Catherine Bloomer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, where she obtained her MA and MPhil in Italian literature. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College in 2013, with a B.A. in Italian and English literature and a concentration in Creative Writing. At Barnard, Catherine received the Speranza Prize in Italian and the Lenore Marshall Prize for poetry. As part of her undergraduate career, she studied at the Università di Bologna in 2011.
She received her M.F.A. in fiction from the New School in 2016, where she taught literature and worked as a research assistant while writing a critical thesis on women’s voices and, as her creative thesis, a novel that examines the intersections of disability and marginalized cultures. Catherine was the pilot teacher for the arts education nonprofit WriteOn NYC. She currently serves as their Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Director. In the past she has been the Research and Publications Director and a member of their Advisory board. Her experiences outside academia include work at the nonprofits American Academy in Rome and the National Book Foundation.
Her research interests include the body and gender in medieval literature and the historical conception of disability. She is also pursuing research in comparative literature and feminist scholarship with special regard to disease, disability, and violence against the body. Her dissertation focuses on disability in Dante’s works and times.