Dr Kate Houlden

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Literature

Courses taught: English Literature

Kate teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate modules in English literature. Her research focuses on the intersections between queer studies, transnational feminism and world-literature, with a specialism in Caribbean fiction.

Twitter: @kate_houlden, @WorldLitNetwork

Facebook: World Literature Network

Website: World Literature Network



Before joining Anglia Ruskin, Kate held a permanent lectureship at Liverpool John Moores University, and a one-year teaching fellowship at the University of Surrey. She has also taught at Queen Mary, University of London, where she did her AHRC-funded PhD.

Kate is one of the founders of the international World Literature Network and her current research focuses on the intersections between queer studies, transnational feminism and world-literature. She has an essay just out in Women: A Cultural Review on queer and world-literary approaches to the work of Anna Kavan, and is developing her next book, Queering World Literature.

Her monograph Sexuality, Gender and Nationhood in Caribbean Literature appeared in 2016, and a co-edited collection on Popular Postcolonialisms is to follow in 2018 (both with Routledge). She has published essays in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Memory Studies, Interventions, the Journal of West Indian Literature and English Studies in Africa as well as a range of collections.

Areas of research supervision

Kate would welcome potential students interested in Caribbean, postcolonial and world literatures or gender and sexuality studies.


In 2017-18, Kate is on sabbatical during semester 1. In semester 2, she will be teaching:

  • Level 4: History of English
  • Level 5: Black British Fiction
  • Level 6: Literature and Exile
  • MA: Research Methods


  • Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Distinction)
  • PhD and MA (Distinction) English, Queen Mary, University of London
  • BA English (First class), University of Liverpool

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Founder member of the international World Literature Network
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Steering Committee member of the Northern Postcolonial Network
  • Member of the Postcolonial Studies Association

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • 2016: 1,000 EUR, Moore Institute, NUI Galway. Two-week Visiting Fellowship in World Literature Autumn 2017
  • Mar 2016: £5,000 received from the Independent Social Research Foundation Small Grants Scheme for a joint, interdisciplinary research trip to Jamaica with a colleague from Social Psychology at Goldsmiths University
  • Oct 2015: Successful internal funding bid at Anglia Ruskin University for a seeding event in April 2016 to investigate the parameters of launching an international world literatures network; in conjunction with NUI Galway
  • Mar 2015: Internal funding bid accepted by Liverpool John Moores University to host the inaugural event of the Northern Postcolonial Network; support in kind provided by Manchester, Sheffield and Salford Universities
  • Sept 2014: Funding/support received from the Institute of English Studies, Liverpool John Moores University and Peter Owen publishers for the symposium Anna Kavan: Historical Context, Influences and Legacy of her Fiction at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Jan-Jul 2013: £2,000 received from LJMU Early Career Fellowship Scheme
  • Apr 2012: £500 from the Postcolonial Studies Association for the symposium Popular Postcolonialisms; support in kind provided by Queen Mary, University of London

Selected recent publications


Popular Postcolonialisms: Popular Cultural Forms and the Postcolonial Paradigm. Edited collection with Dr Nadia Atia, QMUL (Abingdon: Routledge, Research in Postcolonial Literatures, 2018)

Sexuality, Gender and Nationalism in Caribbean Literature: Writings from the Post-war Anglophone Caribbean. Monograph (Abingdon: Routledge, Research in Postcolonial Literatures, 2016)


Houlden, K. and Gunne, S. 'Children's Fiction as World-Literary Project: Comparative Irish and Caribbean Food/Land Crises'. The Irish University Review Special Issue: Food, Energy, and Climate: Ireland in the World-Ecology(2019) [In development; co-written]

‘Queering the World or Worlding the Queer? New Readings of Anna Kavan’s Who are You? (1963)’, Women: A Cultural Review, Special Issue: Anna Kavan 28.4 (Dec 2017): 295-311 DOI:10.1080/09574042.2017.1388580

‘Writing the Impossible: Racial, Sexual and Stylistic Expansivity in Nalo Hopkinson’s The Salt Roads (2003)’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing 51.4 (Jun 2015): 462-75 DOI:10.1080/17449855.2015.1038577

‘Andrew Salkey, the British Home and the Intimacies In-between’, Interventions 15.1, Special Issue: Postcolonial Intimacies (2013): 95-109

“It Worked in a Different Way”: Male Same-Sex Desire in the Novels of Abdulrazak Gurnah’, English Studies in Africa, Special Issue: Critical Perspectives on Abdulrazak Gurnah 56.1 (May 2013): 91-104

‘Nostalgia for the Past as Guide to the Future: Paule Marshall's The Chosen Place, The Timeless People', Memory Studies 3 (Jul 2010): 253-61

Book chapters:

‘Redefining the Boundaries: Black and Asian Queer Desire’ in The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing eds. S. Nasta and M. Stein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018) [In press]

‘Racialised Femininities in Samuel Selvon’s Trinidad novels’ in Beyond Calypso: Re-Reading Sam Selvon ed. Malachi McIntosh (Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle, 2016), 84-101

‘John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy’ in Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature eds. J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg (Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2015), 145-57

‘Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners (1956), White Sexual Desire and the Calypso Aesthetic’, Journal of West Indian Literature 20.2, Special Issue: Sam Selvon (Apr 2012): 24-37

‘Andrew Salkey, James Baldwin and the Case of the “Leading Aberrant”: Early Gay Narratives in the British Media’ in LGBT Transnational Identity and the Media ed. Christopher Pullen (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 146-60

Recent presentations and conferences

July 2018, 'Semi-Peripheral Irreality and Saud Alsanousi's The Bamboo Stalk (2012)', Reality Interrupted: New Perspectives on Magic Realism, Liverpool John Moores University

April 2018, 'Anna Kavan’s Queer Modernism in Who Are You? (1963)', Queer Modernism(s) II, University of Oxford

Sept 2017, 'Worlding Women's Work: The Migrant Female Domestic Worker in May-Lan Tan's "Date Night" (2014)', Visiting Fellow Paper, Moore Institute, NUI Galway

Sept 2017, 'The Gendered Politics of Globalization in World Literary Space', Postcolonial Studies Association, Annual Convention, Institute of English Studies, London

Aug 2017, 'Queering the World or Worlding the Queer? New Readings of Anna Kavan's Who are You? (1963)', Modernist Studies Association 19, Amsterdam

Apr 2017, 'Gendered Bodies and Migrant Urban Encounters in World-Literary Space', EACLALS, Oviedo, Spain [Panel Organiser and Paper]

July 2016, Critical Roundtable, ‘Intersections: Researching Feminism, Gender and Sexuality in World Literature', Women in World Literature, NUI Galway [Panel Organiser and Paper]

July 2016, 'Male Same-Sex Desire in Post-War Caribbean Fiction', 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies, Newcastle University

June 2016, Fourth Biannual Northern Postcolonial Network Symposium, Postcolonial Education: Teaching, Learning and Schooling in and after Empire, Leeds University [Invited Roundtable Speaker]