Courtney Weikle-Mills

Associate Professor

Courtney's Affiliations: Children's Literature, Global Studies Center

Courtney Weikle-Mills is an expert on children’s literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Specific research and teaching interests include early American studies, transatlantic and early Caribbean studies, citizenship studies, readership and literacy, ethics, and the history of the book.

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. Her most recent essay, "The Obscure Histories of Goosee Shoo-shoo and Black Cinderella: Seeking Afro-Caribbean Children's Literature in the Nineteenth Century," appeared in volume 47 of Children's Literature. Her work can also be found in Who Writes for Black Children?: American Children's Literature Before 1900, The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature, Early American Literature, and American Periodicals

She is working on a new book tentatively titled Little Hands and Mouths: Atlantic Commerce, Relational Ethics, and Global Children’s Literature, which traces children's literature's relationship to Atlantic trade, the circulation of British and American children's literature in the early Caribbean, and the development of "global" children's literature.

She is also the creator of a collaborative digital project with Sreemoyee Dasgupta and Gabriela Lee called Round the Globe: Travel Routes of Children's Literature, which investigates how children’s literature’s history was shaped by transnational trade, colonization, and evangelism, and contextualizes children’s literature’s circulation within a framework recognizing anti-colonial response and resistance.

Research and Publications

Selected Publications

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.

Undergraduate Courses:

  • 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

Graduate Courses:

  • 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.

Research Interests

Early American children’s literature and culture, theories of citizenship, readership and literacy, transatlantic 18th-century studies