Monday Meet and Greet: Katherine McCaffery

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Tell us about yourself! 

Well, I majored in English and Spanish and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Dayton. I am originally from Memphis, TN (which means I’m likely severely underprepared for the winter). My academic interests include medieval and 18th century literature, feminist and queer theory, women writers, and feminist post-Franco Spanish literature. Looking forward, I’m interested in learning more about postcolonial studies, Early Modern literature, and writing pedagogy. Some Fun Facts: I have a dog named Grasshopper; I had a hermit crab named Hermione, but he passed away when I was 13; I could eat breakfast food for every meal; and, I can do a cartwheel.

Why did you choose Lehigh?

I chose Lehigh because it was the best fit for my academic interests as well as my personal situation. I needed to be able to afford graduate school without accruing more loans, and I was really interested in the opportunity to teach for both years (in most programs I applied to, students would only get one year of teaching experience). Additionally, I heard great things about the program from previous graduates, and I felt drawn to the Literature and Social Justice aspect of the graduate program.

What is your favorite book outside your field of study? 

The Hours by Michael Cunningham: While not totally outside my field of study, I really love what Cunningham does in this novel. He folds Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway into a narrative about three women’s lives (one is Woolf herself), and the prose is exceptional.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: This book is written like a poem. It’s powerful and tragic and meaningful; it’s truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: So I study Jane Austen, but I loved this book before I knew anything about the author, which is why it’s on this list. P&P is a major reason why I’m here today, as it fostered my love of reading as a teenager. My first copy is quite literally falling apart from overuse.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I’m really excited just to be in a space where I can focus all of my attention on teaching and learning. I am looking forward to getting to know the faculty and grad students in the English department more; they all seem so nice and so interesting, and I am really eager to learn from them.

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