Melissa Verhey works on the modern French novel, and her current project looks at how novels have engaged with issues of autobiography, ethics, and identity. With the support of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Princeton's Dean's Completion Fellowship, Melissa is writing her dissertation, Life Writing as Care of the Self: Fictional Autobiographies in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century French Literature, which deals with novels by Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Paul Bourget, François Mauriac, and Marguerite Yourcenar. Side projects have focused on Victor Hugo's writings against the death penalty, and representations of social mobility in novels by Honoré de Balzac and Émile Zola.
Prior to doctoral studies at Princeton, Melissa completed her bachelor's degree in classics and French at McMaster University in Canada, which included one year at the Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Étienne, France. Melissa then pursued a master's degree in French at McMaster University. Melissa has taught English language at the Université de Paris Nanterre, as well as French language and culture at Princeton University, where she was awarded the Graduate School Teaching Award and the Alfred Foulet Teaching Award in 2016. In 2017-2018, Melissa is leading a writing seminar for senior undergraduate students at Princeton.