Bio (Cynthia Spada Gralla)

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Cynthia Spada Gralla


Associate Faculty


Interdisciplinary Studies


Because of her background in comparative literature and experience writing for both academic and creative publications, Cynthia Spada Gralla is fascinated by literary genres and their hybridization. For her PhD, Gralla focused on 20th century prose and performance in English and Japanese, and has explored the topic through creative writing.

Gralla’s research and creative work are centered on medical humanities, environmental literature and the tension between the personal and the political in historical fiction. Gralla also researches and writes about empathy-based pedagogical approaches suited to distance learning and international students.  


In addition to her work at Royal Roads, Gralla teaches literature, academic writing and professional writing at the University of Victoria. Previously, she taught in the United States and Japan and conducted research in Poland through a Fulbright grant.

Along with her academic work, Gralla has published a novel and short stories, creative nonfiction, literary criticism and humor for print and online publications. She serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Literature and Librarianship.


Gralla holds a PhD in Comparative Literature (2006) and a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (2000), and a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from Amherst College (1996).

Selected Publications 

Gralla, Cynthia, and Anthony Fenton. “Student Plagiarism in Higher Education: A Typology and Remedial Framework for a Globalized Era.” Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism: Case Studies from Universities Around the World, edited by Bernard Montoneri, Lexington Books, forthcoming in 2020.

Gralla, Cynthia.“Olga Tokarczuk and Polish Literature’s Home Army.” Asymptote Journal, 4 Nov. 2019.

---. “The New National Literature of Canada Is Being Written by Women.” Electric Literature, 10 July 2019.

---. “The Harvest Festival.” October Hill Magazine, vol. 3, no. 1,spring 2019, pp. 45-53.

---. “Case Study of a Psychiatrist in the Freudian Style.” The Satirist, 26 April 2019.

---. “Suicide Contagion and the Risks of Literature.” The Coil Magazine, 10 April 2019.

---. “Kusama Yayoi: Pop Goes the Disease.” B O D Y, 22March 2019. 

---. The Demimonde in Japanese Literature: Sexuality and the Literary Karyūkai. Cambria Press, 2010.

---. “Nang Fah Jam Laeng: Angels in Disguise.” The Mississippi Review, vol. 33, no. 3, fall 2005, pp. 106-117.

---. The Floating World. Ballantine, 2004.