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, 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 Baricelli Prize for best book in Romanticism Studies. With her colleague Bethany Wiggin, she has edited the forthcoming volume Un/Translatables: New Maps for Germanic Literatures, which will appear in 2016. She is currently 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.