photoMelba Cuddy-Keane
Emerita Professor
Northrop Frye Scholar
Department of English
University of Toronto

Melba Cuddy-Keane is an Emerita Faculty Member of the Graduate Department of English, University of Toronto, and an Emerita Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her areas of specialization include modernism, narratology (cognition, ethics, readers, aurality,feminism), globalism/internationalism, cultural and book history/print culture, and the writings of Virginia Woolf. She has been an invited speaker in Japan, China, Australia, France, the UK, the US, and Canada, and has been interviewed on Hungarian National Radio, the Australian Broadcasting Company Radio National, the CBC, and Bravo TV. Two of her articles have been translated, for publication, into Chinese.

In addition to her individually-authored publications, Melba Cuddy-Keane has pioneered collaborative work with graduate students in the humanities, producing an article (on Virginia Woolf and the car) with a class of MA students, and a book, Modernism: Keywords, co-authored with Adam Hammond and Alexandra Peat, assisted by a research team of ten doctoral students. She developed and taught for several years the course on pedagogy in the Graduate Department of English, and she continues to supervise graduate and postdoctoral students.

Melba Cuddy-Keane was Vice-Principal and Vice-Dean at UTSC from 1993 to 1996, and served terms as President of both the Modernist Studies Association and the International Virginia Woolf Society. She continues to run the latter Society's Web Site. She was a recipient of the Scarborough College Teaching Award in 1987 and, in 1996, she was named a Northrop Frye Scholar for her achievements in linking teaching and research. On the creative side, she has collaborated as a librettist, choreographer and dancer in integrated-media works with the composer David Keane.  

Current Projects

Melba Cuddy-Keane's current research proposes the concept of "storymind" (as a companion to the well-known term "storyworld").  Her argument is that every work of fiction, every storyworld, is a product of mental processes -  and not processes restricted to the mind of the flesh and blood author, since the minds of other people, other writers, even of culture itself, inform the way a text thinks. Minds, she argues, function differently, and she is particularly interested in the way readers can access different storyminds through embodied cognition.  Reading can thus become an experience in mental alterity, exercising our cognitive flexibility by encouraging us to think, not simply new thoughts, but actually in new or unfamiliar ways.  And if some storyminds model complex systems theory, readers may learn from fiction how to respond cognitively to the increasing challenges of the 21st-century world.



Virginia Woolf, the Intellectual, and the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003; issued as e-Book, 2005; paperback 2006. 

Books (collaborative)

Cuddy-Keane, Melba, Adam Hammond and Alexandra Peat. Modernism: Keywords. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

Books Edited 

Introduction and Annotations. Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf. Harcourt Annotated Editions. ed. Mark Hussey. New York: Harcourt, 2008. xxxv-lxvi; 151-220. Direct Textbook; or Get Textbooks

On-line Lectures and Presentations

On-line Essays and Web Publications

Essays in Collections and Journals

Graduate Courses Taught

Contact Information

Professor Melba Cuddy-Keane
Graduate Department of English
Jackman Humanities Building, 6th floor
170 St. George St.
University of Toronto
Toronto M5R 2M8


Professor Melba Cuddy-Keane
Department of English
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, Canada, M1C 1A4