Catriona MacLeod studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland (M.A.) and at Harvard (Ph.D.). Her research, which focuses on late eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century literature and culture, has the following emphases: gender studies, in particular literary and aesthetic figurations of androgyny; the intersections between high art and popular culture in Weimar Classicism and Romanticism; the relationship between verbal and visual arts. She has published on figures such as Winckelmann, Goethe, Bertuch, Adele Schopenhauer, Kleist, Brentano, and Stifter. 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 has edited the forthcoming volume Un/Translatables: New Maps for Germanic Literatures, which will appear in 2016. 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).
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.
Macleod is the 2011 recipient of the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences. She is currently serving as departmental chair.