Catherine Roach

Catherine Roach



  • PhD in Religion in the Modern West, Harvard University, 1998
  • MA in Religion in the Modern West, Harvard University, 1991
  • MA in Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, 1989
  • Honours BA, University of Ottawa, 1987


Dr. Catherine M. Roach is a New College professor of cultural studies and gender studies.  She has over two decades of teaching, research, and publication experience on gender and sexuality in American popular culture.

She writes fiction under the name Catherine LaRoche, with two historical romance novels published and an academic satire in the works.  Her first e-novel Master of Love appeared with Simon & Schuster in 2012; Knight of Love followed in 2014.

Her academic books include an analysis of the environment as Mother Nature and an examination of exotic dance and striptease culture.

Most recently, she wrote about becoming a romance novelist in a book about how romance — “find your one true love” — is the most powerful narrative at work in popular culture.  Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture, won Silver Medal in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Popular Culture and earned mention in the New York Times Book Review.

Roach won the Romance Writers of America Academic Research Grant in 2009, the Fulbright–University of Leeds Distinguished Chair Award in 2013–14, and the Fulbright Specialist Award to Greece in 2018.

She is interested in food studies and has led students on study abroad to a 12th-century agricultural estate in Italy.  She enjoys hiking, paddling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends — especially summers escaping the sultry Alabama heat back in her native Canada.

Teaching Interests

  • NEW 140  Sexuality and Society (every term, large enrollment Core lecture course)
  • NEW 211  Perspectives in the Humanities: Food For Thought (service-learning seminar)
  • NEW 411  So You Like to Write: A Writing Workshop Open to All Genres (workshop seminar)
  • NEW 415  Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (Core writing seminar)

Subscribe to Dr. Roach’s weekly term-time email newsletter, Sexuality and Society.

Follow along with her students as they trace out America’s new gender and sexual revolution.  Learn about a “Concept of the Week” such as intersexuality or the body positivity movement.  Read “Stories of the Week” from the media.

Selected Publications