Courtney Weikle-Mills specializes in early American literature and children’s literature. Additional research and teaching interests include citizenship, Atlantic and early Caribbean studies, readership and literacy, the novel, and the history of the book.
Research and Publications
Her first book, Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2013), won the Children's Literature Association's Honor Book Award for an outstanding book published in 2013. In it, she investigates how early Americans addressed the complications that children posed to the civic ideals of independence, reason, and consent by representing children as "imaginary citizens." Reviews can be found in American Literature, Early American Literature, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Journal of American Studies, American Studies, American Literary History Online Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Legacy, among other publications.
She is currently working on a new book tentatively titled, "Little Hands and Mouths: Children’s Literature, Commerce, and Relationality in the Early Atlantic World,” which traces the circulation of British and American children's literature in the early Caribbean, children's literature's relationship to transatlantic trade, and the early development of Caribbean children's culture.
Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
“Free the Children: Jupiter Hammon and the Origin of African American Children’s Literature.” Impossible Publics: African American Children’s Literature Before 1900. Eds. Kate Capshaw Smith and Anna Mae Duane. Forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press.
Guest Editor, Special Issue of American Periodicals on Children’s Periodicals. 22.2
“‘My Book and Heart Shall Never Part’: Reading, Printing, and Circulation in The New England Primer.” The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature. Eds. Lynne Vallone and Julia Mickenberg. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Collection won the 2011 Best Edited Book Award from the Children’s Literature Association.
“‘Learn to Love Your Book’: The Child Reader and Affectionate Citizenship.” Early American Literature 43 (2008): 35-61.
Weikle-Mills teaches courses on children’s literature from a variety of periods, as well as classes on eighteenth and nineteenth-century American and Transatlantic literature.
Englit 560: Children and Culture
Englit 562: Childhood’s Books
Englit 570: American Literary Traditions
Englit 1150: Enlightenment to Revolution
Englit 1200: American Lit to 1860
Englit 1220: Emergence of Modern America
Englit 1645: Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature
Englit 1900 Junior Seminar
Englit: Children in Pittsburgh
Englit 2209: Imagining U.S. Citizenship
Englit 2287: Transatlantic Literature
Englit 2800: Children’s Literature
Awards and Distinctions
In addition to winning the Children’s Literature Association Conference’s Honor Book Award for an outstanding book published in 2013, Weikle-Mills was the recipient of a Reese Fellowship for Research on the History of the Book at the American Antiquarian Society and a Pitt Humanities Center Fellowship.
Courtney Weikle-Mills. Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012