Academic Planning and Priorities Committee

Back to Academic Planning and Priorities Committee

Melissa Walter

Melissa Walter, Ph.D.

Department Head / Associate Professor


Abbotsford campus, D3002

Phone: 604-504-7441 ext. 4490

email Melissa


After teaching English at the high school level for four years, I began going to graduate school, first at a summer master’s degree program (The Bread Loaf School of English), and then at the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin.

I spent a fellowship year in England, at the University of Warwick, researching and writing my dissertation, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph. D. in English (Renaissance Literature) in 2004. Before coming to UFV, I taught at Arizona State University, the University of Oregon, and Campion College at the University of Regina.


  • PhD (University of Wisconsin)
  • M.A., Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College)
  • B.A. (Stanford University)

Teaching Philosophy

When students and faculty make connections between the literature and language we are studying and our experiences, perspectives, and knowledge, we not only learn something but we also help to create new knowledge, in the classroom and in the world.

Teaching Interests

Shakespeare, Renaissance/early modern drama, Renaissance/early modern poetry and prose fiction, European literature of the Renaissance in translation and early modern culture in a transnational perspective, writing and literature in English, and interdisciplinary first year teaching.  I am interested in learning more about indigenous worldviews and indigenous approaches to teaching, story, and language.

Research Interests

My research focuses on Renaissance drama and prose fiction.  I am interested in cultural exchange and translation in literature, and in how literary and dramatic form engages with cultural issues. I’m especially interested in how English prose writers and dramatists (especially Shakespeare) used the formal strategies, plots, and imagery of French and Italian short stories (called novellas), such as the stories in Boccaccio’s Decameron and the Heptameron of Marguerite de Navarre.

These stories got my attention because they are witty and funny, and also because they are often about how apparently disempowered characters can actually get what they want and win out. Shakespeare drew on the clever female characters in these stories when he was creating his comic heroines.

I am a member of Theater Without Borders, a research collaborative studying early modern theatre and drama in a comparative and transnational perspective.




“’Are you a Comedian?’: The Trunk in Twelfth Night and the Intertheatrical Construction of Character.” Transnational Mobilities in Early Modern Theater. Robert Henke and Eric Nicholson, eds. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014.

"Translation and identity in the Dialogues in the English and Malaiane Languages." Indographies. Jonathan G Harris, ed. UK: Palgrave, 2012.

"Secret Interiors." The Duchess of Malfi. Christina Luckyj, ed. UK: Continuum, 2011. With Curtis Perry.

"Drinking from Skulls and the Politics of Incorporation in Early Stuart Drama." At the Table: Metaphorical and Material Cultures of Food in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Juliann Vitullo and Timothy Tomasik, eds. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 18. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007. 93-105

“Matteo Bandello’s Social Authorship and Paulina as Patroness in The Winter’s Tale.” In Shakespeare and the Italian Renaissance: Appropriation, Transformation: Opposition. Michele Marrapodi, ed. Ashgate, 2014.

Back to Academic Planning and Priorities Committee

Contact Us