Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies

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Drawing on Pitt’s nationally-renowned faculty in Children’s Literature and Culture, CLCS pursues the interdisciplinary study of children’s literature and media from the U.S., Great Britain, and beyond. Pitt was a pioneering department in the field of children’s literature and continues to help forge new directions in the field. 

Graduate students in the area benefit from

  • Rigorous training in historical and archival literary studies as well as exceptional support for interdisciplinary projects on children's literature, media, and culture
  • An active undergraduate Children’s Literature program that offers excellent teaching opportunities for PhD students
  • Faculty strengths in American and British studies, queer studies, ecocriticism, ethnography, musicology, readership/literacy, and new media
  • The Elizabeth Nesbitt and Nietz Old Textbook Collections (children’s literature, materials related to the history of children’s literature, nineteenth-century schoolbooks)  


To learn more about which members of the graduate faculty work in CLCS and related areas, see the Graduate Faculty Areas page

Upcoming and Ongoing Programming

Recent Events

  • Co-sponsored with GSWS, Children's Literature and Childhood Studies will hosted Tey Meadow, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Program in Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. Her current project, Raising the Transgender Child: Being Male or Female in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming University of California Press), is an ethnographic and interview-based book about the first generation of twenty-first century families with gender nonconforming and transgender children. She held a roundtable on methodologies for researching the child with Julian Gill-Peterson and Amanda Chapman called "Gender and the Child: A Roundtable on Queer Method" and also gave a talk called "Being a Gender: The Transgender Child and Changes in the Self." (October 27, 2016)
  • Our fall 2016 speaker was Anna Mae Duane, author of Suffering Childhood in Early America: Violence, Race, and the Making of the Child Victim (U of Georgia P, 2010) and editor of The Children's Table: Childhood Studies and the Humanities. She is currently working on two forthcoming edited volumes: Childhood Slavery Before and After Emancipation (Cambridge 2016) and, co-edited with Kate Capshaw Smith, Impossible Publics: African American Children's Literature before 1900 (U Minnesota, 2016). Her talk focused on the work she's done for the latter volume. (September 29, 2016)

  • April, 2016: Childhood studies co-sponsored a visit by Linda Seligmann, Professor of English at George Mason University, author of Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption Across Race, Class, Gender (Stanford, 2013). 
  • In February, Dr. Marcia Chatelain, Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University and author of South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration (Duke University press, 2015), gave a talk called "#FergusonSyllabus: Social Media Bring the Humanities into Public Debate."
  • The Film Studies Program Colloquium hosted a talk by Dr. Anselmo-Sequeira, an exciting postdoctoral scholar who focuses on girl fan cultures, called “An Intimate Following: Homoeroticism in Movie-Loving Girls’ Personal Fan Archives, 1910-1919."