Portrait of Dr Catherine Bates Dr Catherine Bates

c.bates@hud.ac.uk | 01484 470000


Catherine completed her BA, MA and PhD at the University of Leeds. During the PhD, she also qualified as a Dyslexia Support Tutor in Higher Education and taught extensively within the School of English at Leeds and beyond. In 2005, while completing the PhD, she taught for a year at the University of Huddersfield as a part time lecturer in Twentieth Century literature. In 2006, Catherine was employed by Leeds to build, design and write a study skills website for Arts and Humanities students. This was converted into a book, co-written with Abi Matthewman, published by Palgrave in 2009. From 2007-8 Catherine taught Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, as well as designing and teaching modules in contemporary literature for the Yorkshire branch of the WEA and the University of Leeds. From 2008-2010, Catherine worked as an English lecturer at Keele University, before returning to Yorkshire to work at the University of Leeds as a dyslexia support worker and part time lecturer in American literature, and at Huddersfield as a part time lecturer in modern and postmodern literature. She began her current two-year full-time research post at Huddersfield in September 2011.

Research and Scholarship

Catherine co-coordinates the British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS) literature group and holds the position as treasurer for BACS. Catherine's ongoing, published and presented research focuses on the areas of Canadian literature and culture, life-writing and critical theory, waste studies and ecocriticism, archival theory, and ethical reading practices.

She is working on two monographs: one initially entitled Alibis, Decoys and Backdoors: Robert Kroetsch's Subversive Life Writings; the second provisionally entitled Regarding Discard: Representations of Rubbish in North American literature and culture. The former focuses on Robert Kroetsch, one of the most influential and extensively creative Canadian writers, theorists and teachers; it theorises new approaches of approaching and collaboratively producing autobiography between writer and reader showing Kroetsch's relevance to feminist and post/colonialist theorists who strive to move beyond hermetic, fixed notions of the self. The latter works to provide a survey of poetic, fictional and cinematic texts which focus on the subject of garbage, in order to consider Gay Hawkins' claim 'The minute you start paying attention to waste you enact a different relation with it.' The focus is on textual examples from Canada and the US in particular; work on Canadian writers such as bpNichol, Robert Kroetsch, Thomas King, Margaret Laurence and Rita Wong has already been tested out in paper and article form.

Catherine co-runs a Gender theory reading group at the University of Huddersfield and is investigating ways to introduce the study of Canadian literature in some form at Huddersfield as well. She is setting up the Yorkshire Network for Canadian Studies with the Leeds Centre for Canadian Studies and is keen to continue developing research and teaching relationships with other Canadianists with the Yorkshire region and beyond.

Furthermore, Catherine’s interest in finding the most effective ways to teach literature and theory and make the student experience as productive and enjoyable as possible as led to a number of teaching-related publications. These include a study skills book and an article about using Shakespeare and film to teach Queer Theory for Palgrave.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Bates, C (2013) ‘Waste-full Crossings: Thomas King’s Rubbishy Border’. In: Parallel Encounters: Culture and the Canada-US Border. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 1-25. ISBN 9781554589845

Bates, C (2013) ‘Sustainable Urban Foragings in the Canadian Metropolis: Rummaging through Rita Wong’s Forage and Nicholas Dickner’s NikolskiBritish Journal of Canadian Studies , 26 (2), pp. 191-212. ISSN 0269-9222

Bates, C. and Barton, A. (2013) ‘‘Beautiful things’: nonsense and the Museum’. In: Literary Bric-a-Brac and The Victorians: Oddities and Commodities. London, UK: Ashgate. pp. 49-65. ISBN 978-1-4094-3990-5


Bates, C (2012) ‘In the hope of making a connection: Rereading Archival Bodies, Responses and Love in Marian Engel’s Bear and Alice Munro’s ‘Meneseteung’’. In: Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 85-106. ISBN 978155458632-5

Bates, C (2012) ‘Teaching Queer Theory: Judith Butler, Shakespeare and She’s the Man in Teaching Gender’. In: Teaching Gender. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. pp. 47-62. ISBN 9780230252516


Bates, C (2010) ‘Dancing Discard: Michael Ondaatje’s Elimination DanceMoving Worlds , 10 (2), pp. 19-30. ISSN 1474-4600

Bates, C. and Hussain, N. (2010) ‘Talking Trash/Trashing Talk: Cliché in the poetry of bpNichol and Christopher Dewdney’. In: Trash Culture: Objects and Obsolescence in Cultural Perspective. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang. pp. 165-183. ISBN ISBN 978-3-03911-553-2 pb


Bates, C. and Matthewman, A. (2009) Studying Arts and Humanities . Palgrave Study Skills. Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 9780230205475


Bates, C (2008) ‘Messing with the Archive: Backdoors, Rubbish and Traces in Robert Kroetsch’s The Hornbooks of Rita KSubStance , 37 (2), pp. 8-24. ISSN 0049-2426


Bates, C., Huggan, G., Marinkova, M. and Orr, J. (2007) Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe . Visions of Canada/Visions du Canada.. Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University Press. ISBN 978-80-210-4243-8.

Bates, C., Huggan, G., Marinkova, M. and Orr, J. (2007) ‘Introduction to: Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe’. In: Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe. Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University Press. p. ix-xx. ISBN 978-80-210-4243-8.


Bates, C (2006) ‘Ghosting as a Way to Mourn Responsibly in Frank Davey’s Elegies “Dead in France” and “Dead in Canada”Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory , 12 (8), pp. 60-78.


Bates, C (2005) ‘Autobiography as Decoy in Robert Kroetsch’s The Puppeteer’. In: Canadian Studies in Europe: The Making of Canada. Masaryk, Czech Republic: Masaryk Press. pp. 29-40. ISBN 8021037865

Research Degree Supervision

Catherine would be happy to supervise projects which focus upon:

  • Canadian literature and culture
  • Ethical reading practices
  • Representations of museums and archives
  • Thing theory
  • Waste studies and ecocriticism
  • Gender theory
  • Contemporary North American poetry