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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Cat Watts

College: Newnham  


Supervisor: Dr Miranda Griffin

Research Topic:
Expanded Universes in 12th-14th Century Medieval French Literature


About Me

Cat Watts is a PhD student in the MMLL Faculty. She offers outreach lectures and supervisions at several colleges, and supervises Year Abroad and 4th year undergraduates.



Cat Watts specialises in medieval French literature and contemporary anglophone pop culture. She is especially interested in literatures outside the printed book, queer and postcolonial theory, theories of space and time, and Internet culture.

Her PhD compares French Arthurian literature and devotional literature with the expanded universes which define the pop culture of the 20th and 21st century – from Star Trek to MARVEL. She’s interested in collaborative literary universes, translatio imperii and American myth, Arthurian literature, affect in devotional literature, resistance narratives, and transtemporal and medium-agnostic legacy.

Her fields of interest include:

  • French Arthurian verse and prose romance and pastiche
  • French devotional literature, art, and objects
  • The history of anglophone fandom 
  • Fandom literature
  • The history of American comics
  • Literary and visual art in videogames
  • Queer studies
  • Theories of space and time, especially in relation to literary spaces and to globalisation
  • Theories of authorship
  • Manuscript ontology and materiality



Cat is generously funded by an AHRC Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship, with partner funding by Newnham College



Cat Watts supervises on topics relating to queer studies in the medieval and modern periods. She also lectures on sex and gender for the final-year FR7 module. She is an outreach lecturer at several colleges, lecturing on the medieval monastic experience, interpreting the medieval bestiary, reading videogames through Auerbach, and models of authorship. She supervises for the Cambridge Higher Aspirations Scheme, designing and delivering the courses “The Eiffel Tower: Symbol of France?”, and “Whose Line Is It Anyway: Authorship in Literature”. She has previously assisted in delivering language courses on the first-year FRB1 course. 

2022-present: Supervisor in French

2021-present: Lecturer on FR7

2021-present : Outreach lecturer and supervisor at Gonville & Caius College in French and English

2020-21: Teaching assistant on FRB1

Cat welcomes enquiries for supervision or teaching relating to any of her research interests at any level of study from Year 6 to MPhil.


Conference papers 

‘Our Lady’s Tumbl(e)r: Rereading Medieval Miracle Texts through Fandom’, French Graduate Research Seminar, University of Cambridge, UK, October 2022

‘Medieval Expanded Universes: Devotion, Comic Books, and Fandom’, Cambridge Medieval Literatures and Cultures Seminar, University of Cambridge, UK, June 2022

‘A seat at the table: Understanding Hegemonic Systemics Through the Round Table’, Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, American University of Paris, France, January 2022.

‘Make Mine Medieval: A Genealogy of Arthurian Romance and American Comics’, Joint International Bande-Dessinée Society and International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, June 2021

‘Rereading Lancelot Against Whiteness’, International Courtly Literature Society Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, April 2021

‘Medievalisms, Magic, and Macula: Encountering the medieval and the modern in Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence’, with Liam McLeod, The Middle Ages in Modern Games Conference, Twitter, July 2020

‘Griefers and Gatekeepers: Reevaluating Realtime Gaming in the 21st Century’. Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, June 2019.

‘De Civitate Mentis: The Singular-Plural Community of the Medieval Religious Mind’. Early Medieval, Medieval, Reformation, Early Modern (EMREM) Annual Symposium, University of Birmingham, UK, May 2019.

‘No Holding Back: Stasis and Cycle in La Queste del Saint Graal’. Cambridge French Graduate Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, April 2019.

‘Modelling Asexuality in Arthurian Literary Space’. Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS) Conference, University of Reading, UK, March 2019.

‘”Four-Color Fantasies”: American comics, Arthurian romance, and the Boom-Bust Cycle’. Central and Late Middle Ages (CALM) Graduate Workshop, University of Cambridge, UK, November 2018.

‘Das Bild der Anderen’. A conference funded by the European Union to foster intercultural relationships across the EU and with refugees. Grafenbach, Austria, 2016.



Watts, Cat, ‘Artus de Bretagne by Christine Ferlampin-Acher (review)’, French Studies 76(3) (2022) pp.454-5 [review]

Watts, Cat, ‘The Abbaye du Saint Esprit: Spiritual Instruction for Laywomen, 1250-1500’, Medium Aevum 90(2) (2021) pp.360-1 [review]

McLeod, Liam & Watts, Cat, ‘Medievalisms, Magic, and Macula: Encountering the medieval and the modern in Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence’, in The Medieval in Modern Games: Conference Proceedings Vol. 1, ed. Robert Houghton (2020) [31/10/21]


Other activities and roles 

  • 2021-present: Library Invigilator at the Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics Library
  • 2022-2023: Convenor of the French Graduate Conference
  • 2021-2022: Convenor of the Cambridge Medieval Literature and Cultures Seminar (“CamMedSem”)
  • 2021-2022: Convenor of the French Graduate Research Seminar (FGRS)
  • 2015-present: Front of House Staff at the ADC Theatre
  • 2018-9 & 2020-1: Postgraduate Representative for Modern and Medieval Languages


Personal website

Find me on Instagram at @gauvain4president to follow my work!

For professional enquiries, please email me.

My twitter, @catchantwatts, is a legacy account and is no longer active.