About Kate


I am a critic, columnist and cultural historian. My primary academic research interests are in Elizabethan literature, and I use my background in Greek and Latin to trace the history of ideas and stories from Homer to Shakespeare.

I hold a PhD from University College London, for a thesis which explored the intellectual life of Elizabeth I through the prism of her accomplished translations of Latin poetry, her own poems and recently attributed letters, and her representation as a learned queen by writers such as Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. My thesis was interdisciplinary across the humanities: I was supervised in the English Department, but examined by two historians, with additional skills training from the Classics Department. I am now a Senior Research Associate at Jesus College, Cambridge, attached to the college’s ‘Intellectual Forum’, where I am adapting my PhD thesis for publication as a peer-reviewed monograph.

I am as engaged with the ideas of the present as I am with the past, and am a lead columnist at the i newspaper, where I write weekly about the relationship between contemporary politics and broader culture. I also have a long history as a theatre writer, beginning as a junior theatre critic with The Times. Currently, I am Prospect Magazine’s theatre critic, and also contribute a monthly theatre column to The Stage, the theatre industry’s trade paper. As such, I am Chair of the Drama Section of the Critics’ Circle, where I organise the annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.

As a journalist with particular interests in foreign policy, education, faith and feminism, I have also contributed regularly for The Financial Times, The Spectator, The Times, The Telegraph, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and CNN Online as well as occasionally for The Wall Street Journal, The TLS, and The New Statesman. I am the Deputy Chair of Index on Censorship, which has defended global freedom of expression for 50 years, and I contribute a monthly column on culture to the Jewish Chronicle.

I am a regular broadcaster, having appeared on programmes such as Newsnight, Question Time, Front Row, Women’s Hour, Radio 3’s Free Thinking, Radio 4’s PM programme and BBC Breakfast for the BBC, as well as serving as a regular paper reviewer for Sky News. I speak regularly in schools and judge debating competitions.

If you’d like to get in touch with me to talk about any of the above, do email me here.

Kate Maltby Question Time Still