Catherine Roach

Office Hours provides an opportunity to introduce UA students, family, and friends to the outstanding men and women who work at The University of Alabama and work tirelessly to provide each student with a great experience at the Capstone.

This edition introduces Catherine Roach, a professor in UA’s New College. Roach’s specialties include the study of gender, sexuality, ad popular culture; she also writes romance fiction.

Name: Dr. Catherine Roach

Hometown: Ottawa, Canada

Job Title: Professor of New College

Alma Mater: University of Ottawa (bachelor’s degree), University of Ottawa (master’s degree), Harvard University (master’s) and Harvard University (doctoral degree)

I came to UA because… New College hired me! It’s an interdisciplinary program where professors work with students to help them create individualized majors. I love my job. The University of Alabama also hired my husband as a professor at the time. It’s very difficult for two academics to get full-time, tenure-track jobs at the same school. We’ve felt grateful and delighted to be here — although I never dreamed I’d end up in Tuscaloosa as a little girl growing up in Ottawa, Canada.

Catherine Roach

My favorite spot on campus is… My office has a big window overlooking the Quad. I have a standing desk that lets me look out as I work, beautiful trees, lots of student action, and Denny Chimes ringing the quarter hour; it’s an iconic view.

During my time at UA, I’m most proud of… I’m very proud that I’ve been part of New College for almost twenty years now: proud to be part of such a talented faculty devoted to innovative undergraduate education. It’s also sort of cool that my eldest son just started as a student at UA this fall!

The one UA experience I will always remember will be… when I met Harper Lee when she visited campus through the Honors program — that was memorable!

I enjoy writing romance novels because… The cultural storyline about romance —“find your one true love and live happily ever after” — is a hugely influential narrative, for better and for worse. I’m fascinated by how it functions in the popular culture. I’ve read romance novels since I was a teenager and wanted the change to develop a new writing craft by trying out fiction. So I wrote the two romance novels while simultaneously writing an academic book about “Romancelandia.” Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture came out just a few months ago.


To contact Catherine Roach, shoot her an email at or give her a call at 205-348-8415. You can also find her in her office in Lloyd Hall 218.