About Us



Penelope Reed Doob

BA (Harvard), MA, PhD (Stanford)

Professor, Department of Dance, Emeriti

Dr. Reed Doob is a Professor Emerita of Dance, English and Women’s Studies at York University. The recipient of Woodrow Wilson, Kent and Guggenheim Fellowships, her teaching and research have included medieval and Renaissance studies, dance history and criticism, sexual stereotypes in opera, literature and dance, and non-fiction writing.

She has written three books: Nebuchadnezzar’s Children: Conventions of Madness in Medieval Literature (Yale University Press), The Idea of the Labyrinth from the Classical Period through the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press) and, with C. Morse and M. Woods, The Uses of Manuscripts in Literary Studies (Western Michigan University Press), and co-authored Karen Kain’s autobiography, Movement Never Lies.

Professor Reed Doob's dance reviews and feature articles appear regularly in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Dance Magazine, Ballet News, Performing Arts in Canada and Ballet International. She developed more than 20 documentaries for the CBC Radio program The Dance, and has written extensive historical program notes for the National Ballet of Canada and the Kirov Ballet’s North American tour.

Currently she is preparing a book on the nature and nurture of creativity in dance, with a focus on the National Ballet and the National Ballet School of Canada.

Dr. Reed Doob has been active as a facilitator for strategic planning in several arts and academic organizations in Canada and the U.S.A. During a three-year stint in the early 1990s as founding president of Reed MacFadden, a medical research company focusing on HIV/AIDS, her work included clinical trial design, fundraising, statistical analysis and health-related quality of life research. She has been a director of the Actors' Fund of Canada and the World Dance Alliance since 1994.

Professor Reed-Doob has served as York University's associate vice president (Faculties), associate principal (academic) at Glendon College, and academic director of York’s Centre for the Support of Teaching, and has served on York's Senate Executive Committee and the York Board of Governors.

Areas of Research and Academic Specialty: Dance Writing, Dance History, Creative Process