A historian and professor at the University of Victoria, Cleves is the author of three books, Unspeakable: A Life Beyond Sexual Morality (2020), Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (2014), and The Reign of Terror in America: Visions of Violence from Anti-Jacobinism to Antislavery (2009). Her research has been featured in The Washington PostThe Boston Globe, salon.com and brainpickings.org. Her current project is titled “A Historian’s Guide to Food and Sex.”

She writes in a treehouse in Oak Bay, British Columbia.