Catriona MacLeod

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of German

745 Williams Hall
On leave Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
CV (file):


Ph.D., Harvard University

Catriona MacLeod studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland (M.A.) and at Harvard (Ph.D.). The author of Embodying Ambiguity: Androgyny and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Keller (Wayne State U P), her most recent book project, Fugitive Objects: Literature and Sculpture in the German Nineteenth Century, appeared in 2014 with Northwestern U P and was awarded the Jean-Pierre Barricelli Prize for best book in Romanticism Studies.  In Fugitive Objects, she examines the question of why sculpture is both intensively discussed and yet rendered immaterial in German literature. She focuses on three forms of disappearance: sculpture’s vanishing as a legitimate art form at the beginning of the nineteenth century in German aesthetics, statues’ migration from the domain of high art into mass reproduction and popular culture, and sculpture’s dislodging and relocation into literary discourse.  

With her colleagues Bethany Wiggin, Dan DiMassa, and Nick Theis, she edited the volume Un/Translatables: New Maps for Germanic Literatures, which appeared in 2016.  That project resulted in two articles on displaced philologies connecting Kafka with his first translators into English, Edwin and Willa Muir, with reference to their role in Scottish modernist language debates over vernaculars.

She is now working on a new book project, Romantic Scraps: Cutouts, Collages, and Inkblots, which explores how Romantic authors and visual artists cut, glue, stain, and recycle paper; generating paper cuts, collages, and ink blot poems in profusion, and even combining them in what are for their time striking new hybrid forms such as the picture books of fairy-tale author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and medical doctor and poet Justinus Kerner (1786-1862).  Much of her recent work has been devoted to word and image studies and material culture in the context of German Classicism and Romanticism.

Past secretary of the International Association of Word and Image Studies, MacLeod is the co-editor of two volumes in the area of interarts scholarship: Elective Affinities: Testing Word and Image Relationships (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009) and Efficacité/Efficacy: How to Do Things with Words and Images? (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011). Since 2011, she has been senior editor of the journal Word & Image. In 2015, she was elected Vice President of the Goethe Society of North America, and will become President in January, 2019.

Macleod is the 2011 recipient of the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences.

In 2018-19 MacLeod, the recipient of a fellowship from the ACLS, will be on sabbatical.

Research Interests

Romanticism; Goethe; 19th-century literature; material culture/object theory; inter-arts/intermediality; sculpture in literature and film; narrative theory, description, and ekphrasis; gender studies


Member of the graduate groups in Comparative Literature and History of Art. Affiliated with English; Cinema Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; and Urban Studies.


Faculty Bookshelf