Kathleen Heininge

Kathleen Heininge, PhD

Associate Professor of English




Kathy has taught a wide variety of courses for the English department, including British literature courses, world literature (western and non-western), women’s studies, poetry, drama, composition, introductory literature courses and senior capstone.

Published Work


Kathy recently released a new book: Buffoonery in Irish Drama: Staging Twentieth-Century Post-Colonial Stereotypes . Buffooneryexamines a wide range of Irish plays, paying special attention to how playwrights sought to create Irish characters who were not merely comic but embodied a truer and fuller Irish identity. Within the structure of British colonialism, however, these characters were often still seen as buffoons, calling for further works to reclaim Irish identity again. Using post-colonial and performative theories, Kathy shows her readers this progression of Irish drama through the 20th century into the 21st.

"Living by the Code: Authority in The Gay Detective" appeared in June 2009 in Queer Theory in Irish Drama. The Gay Detective is a play written by Gerard Stembridge about a gay man, working as a detective, and living in Dublin when homosexuality was illegal. Kathy's article examines power structures within the two distinct worlds of police work and gay culture. Kathy has also published numerous reviews for the Irish Literary Supplement, as well as several other articles about Irish literature.


Kathy earned her PhD in English with a secondary emphasis in critical theory from the University of California, Davis, in 2002. Her dissertation was ""The Broth of a Boy': Manifestations of the Stage Irish Figure." Her master's degree is in English from California State University, Hayward, with a thesis on W.B. Yeats and Henrick Ibsen. 

Personal Interests

Kathy has been a church musician for much of her life, singing and playing the piano or the guitar. She loves cooking, reading, gardening and playing with her dog, Grania. She is married to Ken, has two adult children, and one granddaughter, Sophia.