The English Department Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) Committee does all kinds of good work. One good thing is their newsletter “In Addition…News from the English Department’s NTTF Committee.” One of the features of the newsletter, which is sent monthly to NTTF in the department, is a faculty profile, which they’ve agreed to let us share on the blog.

Catherine Ratliff

What name do you prefer to go by? Where are you located on campus?

I go by Catherine and most days on campus I can be found in the Behavioral Sciences (BS) building or the library. Nearly every MWF around 11:00 I can be found eating lunch somewhere not too far from the Department copy room in BS. My office is in Ingersoll 251.


What courses do you teach at CSU? What (if any) courses have you taught before?

This semester I’m teaching CO 150 and AMST 101, which I teach as an American Studies course that examines aspects of US culture since 1877 through literary and cultural narratives. Last fall I also taught Modern Women Writers, E332, and included texts by contemporary women writers such as The Bluest Eye, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and The God of Small Things.


What has been your greatest challenge while teaching here at CSU?

The greatest challenge so far has been adapting to a new campus and learning as much as I can about the student body here at CSU. I find that each university has its own personality when it comes to students and campus, and for me learning this vibe is essential to being an effective teacher. Sometimes it’s seemingly the simplest things, such as figuring out where certain offices are located or what resources there are for students, so that I can pass that information along to students. Other times it’s getting to know the overarching values of the institution and student body. Having just taught one semester here at CSU I’m still learning but definitely getting the hang of things.


What do you like to do when you are not teaching? What do you like to do for fun?

I’m in the process of completing my dissertation on female expatriate literary communities of early twentieth-century Paris. So, in all honesty I don’t have much free time right now. When I can squeeze in some fun I do like kayaking, hiking, traveling to new places, listening to music, and finding new local restaurant spots. Being new to Colorado I’m still enjoying exploring new outdoor spaces. There are so many great outdoor activities here!


If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be (and why)?

What a great (and tough) question! I think that I’d have to incorporate something connected to the ocean because I absolutely love the water and grew up in Florida so I feel a strong connection to the Gulf and Atlantic waters. I’d love for the title to include a connection to Paris between the World Wars too because I adore that time period and city. Perhaps Floating on Parisian Dreams.