Dr. Kathleen Alves - English

Kathleen Alves portrait

Title: Associate Professor

Address: Department of English
Humanities Bldg, Room H417-6B
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364-1497

Phone: 718.281.5459




B.A. Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, 2005.
M.A. English, St. John's University, New York, 2007.
D.A. English, St. John's University, New York, 2011.

Courses Taught

ENGL 101, ENGL 102, ENGL 214, ENGL 201, ENGL 231 


My research and teaching interests include British 18th-century literature and culture, the novel, sexuality and gender studies, history of the book and reading, and history of medical writing.


Body Language examines the complex intersections of British eighteenth-century comic fiction and medical discourse. Engaging medical writings of renowned and widely read physicians of the Enlightenment, such as John Friend, Thomas Sydnham, Albrecht von Haller, and William Cullen, with popular works of comic fiction by Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne, Charlotte Lennox, and Frances Burney, I explain how medicine shaped comic language by fictional dramatization of medical phenomena of women’s bodies, such as menstruation, hysteria, and pregnancy. Body Language reveals that major political and social anxieties broadly centered on women’s sexuality, like their sexual aggression, sexual incontinence, and linguistic intemperance, are problematized within the body and expressed through it, suggesting that comic works subversively criticize the pure objectivity of the sciences. The problem each novel lays out is the conflict between medical discourse and social expectations—the former claims that female excess under certain circumstances can be uncontrollable, while the latter requires that this can be controlled in every circumstance. The appropriation of medical elements in the comic novel, then, is a critique of the irreconcilable conflict between medical discourse’s contention of women’s psycho-physiological excess and societal expectations of women’s strength of sexual virtue.


“Psycho (But Cute)”. The Rambling. 14 February 2019. https://the-rambling.com/2019/02/14/valentines-alves/

 "Teaching the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Atrocity at Community Colleges: Assessment-Based Insights from Across the Disciplines," edited by Amy E. Traver & Dan Leshem, raver, Amy E. and Dan Leshem. Humanistic Pedagogy Across the Disciplines: Approaches to Mass Atrocity Education in the Community College Context. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

 “Queering Film Assignment,” In the Spirit of Pride: LGBT+ Collected Works (Queensborough Community College, 2018).

 “Thirsty Women and Fuckboys: Teaching Shakespeare with Memes.” Frank Jacob, Shannon Kincaid, and Amy Traver, eds. Poetry Across the Curriculum: New Methods of Writing Intensive Education for US Community College and Undergraduate Education (Boston/Rotterdam/Taipei: Sense Publishing, 2018). 

 “Inclusive Pop Culture Pedagogy: Teaching the Romance and the Gothic in Northanger Abbey with Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Studies in the Novel. Web. 2017 Apr. 4. https://www.studiesinthenovel.org/content/inclusive-pop-culture-pedagogy-teaching-romance-and-gothic-northanger-abbey-lady-gaga%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cbad

 Review Essay, “Aiming for Total History in Eighteenth-Century Medicine,” Eighteenth Century Studies. 50. 1 (Fall 2016): 122-125.

 “Women in Comic Novels and Medical Texts.” The Academic Minute. 6 Nov. 2015. https://academicminute.org/2015/11/kathleen-alves-queensborough-community-college-women-in-medical-texts-and-comics/

 “What Pleasure We Scullers Have”: Humor, Menstruation, and Literacy in Smollett’s Humphry Clinker.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 38. 3 (September 2015): 349-360.  

 Review, “Chasing Literacy: Reading and Writing in an Age of Acceleration.” Daniel Keller. Teaching English in the Two-Year College. 42.4 (May 2015) :414-416.

 Review, “Medicine and Narration in the eighteenth century.” Ed. Sophie Vasset. Eighteenth Century Fiction. 27. 2 (Winter 2014-2015): 315-317.

 Review, "Air's Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660-1794.” Jayne Elizabeth Lewis. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 37. 4 (December 2014): 541-42.

Review, “Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions.” Eds. Lisa L. Moore, Joanna Brooks, and Caroline Wiggington. Women: A Cultural Review. 24. 4 (2013).

 "Transgressive Language: Comic Literacies of the Maidservant in Tobias Smollett’s Humphry Clinker." Academic Quarter 3 (2011): 281-289.

 Review, “Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader.” 3rd Edition, Eds. Victor Villanueva and Kristin Arola. Teaching English in the Two Year College, March 2012: 314-316.

 Review, “The Child Reader.” M.O. Grenby. Eighteenth Century Studies. 45.3 (2012): 461-463.

 “Swift’s Mock Virtuoso: The hubris of learning and print culture in “A Lady’s Dressing Room.” Literary and Cultural Interpretations of the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Marianna D’Ezio. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008. (in 533 libraries nationwide)

 Forthcoming or Under Consideration

“Hysterical Libertines in Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones.Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Forthcoming, Summer 2020.

 “Invictus: Race and Emotional Labor of Nonwhite Community College Faculty.” Cowritten with Kerri-Ann Smith, Irvin Weathersby, and John Yi. Journal for Expanded Persepectives on Learning. Under consideration. June 2019.

Grants and Awards 

2019-2020: William P. Kelly Fellowship Award

Spring 2019: CUNY Academy William Stewart Travel Award

2018-2019: CUNY Book Completion Award

Spring 2017: PSC-CUNY Research Award, Traditional B

2016-2017: National Endowment of the Humanities Challenge Grant, Kupferburg Holocaust Resource Center, “Fleeing Genocide: Displacement, Exile, and the Refugee”

Spring 2015: CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program Fellow

2012-2016: PSC-CUNY Research Award, Traditional A

Spring 2012, Spring 2014: CUNY Academy William Stewart Travel Award

January 2011, June 2010: PSC-CUNY Professional Development Award


Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.