Associate Professor

Kate LawsonPhD, Toronto
MA, Toronto
BA, Toronto

Extension: 43965
Office: HH 264


I grew up in Nova Scotia and Ontario, and completed my PhD at the University of Toronto in 1988. I joined Waterloo’s English Department in 2002, after spending six years on limited-term contracts at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto and eight years in a tenure-stream appointment at the University of Northern British Columbia.

My research and graduate teaching focus on mid-nineteenth-century British fiction. From my PhD dissertation on Charlotte Brontë and religion, to my co-authored book on representations of middle-class domestic violence, to my current research on the three Brontë sisters, I am interested in tracing the articulation of the Victorian period’s characteristic anxieties and preoccupations—political, economic, psychological, and familial.

I served as Chair of the Department of English from 2015-2018, as Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies, from 2008-2011, and on the UW Senate from 2010-12. For the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), I was President (2013-15), Chair of the Board (2017-2020), and member-at-large (2020- ). I am particularly interested in issues of government funding policy, precarious academic labour, and fair employment practices.

Selected Publications


Charlotte Brontë. Villette. Ed. Kate Lawson. Broadview, 2006.

Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky. The Marked Body: Domestic Violence in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Literature. Albany, NY: SUNY, 2002.

Recent Articles

Kate Lawson. “Shirley: History after Wuthering Heights.” SEL: Studies in English Literature 61:4 (2021). Forthcoming.

Kate Lawson, “Church Building, Community, and Nation in Charlotte Yonge’s The Daisy Chain.” VIJ: Victorians Institute Journal. 47 (2020) 200-223.

Kate Lawson. “History in the Sickroom: Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley.” Victorians: A Journal of Literature and Culture 126 (2014) 23-43.

Kate Lawson. “Indian Mutiny/English Mutiny: National Governance in Charlotte Yonge’s The Clever Woman of the Family.” Victorian Literature and Culture 42.3 (2014) 439–455.

Kate Lawson. “Personal Privacy, Letter Mail, and the Post Office Espionage Scandal, 1844.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. 16 March 2013.

Fellowships & Awards

  • Outstanding Performance Award (2016)
  • SSHRC 4A Grant (2005)
  • UW/SSHRC Seed Grant (2003)
  • Merit Award, University of Northern B.C. (2001)
  • SSHRC Grant to Occasional Conferences (with Dr. Gordon Martel, 1997)
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (with Dr. Lynn Shakinovsky, 1993-97)
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (1985-87)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (1983-85)

Current research

The Brontë novels; Elizabeth Gaskell; literary influence.

Areas of graduate supervision

Victorian literature and culture, especially fiction from the 1840s and 1850s.

University of Waterloo

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