My research and my teaching focus on four overlapping fields of inquiry: first, the recovery of neglected primary and secondary texts in Canada and how the recovery of such texts can impact Canadian literary culture; second, the increasingly arbitrary line between texts about young people but aimed at a general readership and texts for young people, particularly the implications of that distinction in terms of generic and age-based readership categories; third, the ways that print texts recirculate culturally and gain renewed currency in the form of new editions, abridgements, supplementary texts and franchises, stage and screen adaptations, commodity and tourist industries, and fan-created online texts; and fourth, the ways in which print, screen, and material texts circulate in the international marketplace.
A major thread that links these fields of inquiry concerns depictions, in print or on screen, of young people, who are figured either as role models whom actual young people are encouraged to emulate, symbols of the future or of pre-socialized spontaneity that most adults have been socialized to repress, or both at once. The work of L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) and its derivatives have been at the centre of my research program for almost two decades.
Not only does my work encompass the vast set of primary texts of an author whose popularity and influence persist more than a century after the publication of Anne of Green Gables, but also it traces the extent of her cultural footprint in adaptations and tourist sites, copyright and trademark legislation, book history, online communities, periodical culture, the archive, and the reception of these Canadian texts in markets around the world. My six books on this author include a three-volume critical anthology, The L.M. Montgomery Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2013–15), which consists of rare essays by Montgomery, interviews with her, commentary and scholarship on her work, coverage of her death and funeral, and reviews of her books, and an edition of her rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted (Penguin Canada, 2009), which will be reissued as part of Penguin Modern Classics in 2018.
Most recently, I wrote the introduction to a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Anne of Green Gables (2017). Since 2010, I have taught courses in English, Youth and Children’s Studies, and Social and Environmental Justice (formerly Contemporary Studies) on Laurier’s Brantford and Waterloo campuses.
Throughout my career, I have also held visiting appointments at several universities across Canada and one in the United Kingdom, and I am affiliated with the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures, the Institute for Child and Youth Studies, and the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre.
I am currently busy with new projects on adolescent fiction, long-form serial television, Canadian adult fictions of childhood, periodical texts, and cross-media adaptations, in addition to editing the Early Canadian Literature series (Wilfrid Laurier University Press), which returns to print rare texts deserving of reconsideration in the canon of Canadian literature.
PROSE Award for Literature, Association of American Publishers, for:
Editor, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 3: A Legacy in Review (University of Toronto Press, 2015)
Editor, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 2: A Critical Heritage (University of Toronto Press, 2014)
Editor, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print (University of Toronto Press, 2013)
Editor, Textual Transformations in Children’s Literature: Adaptations, Translations, Reconsiderations (Routledge, 2013; paperback edition, 2015)
Co-editor (with Andrea McKenzie), Rilla of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery (Viking Canada, 2010; paperback edition, 2011)
Co-editor (with Irene Gammel), Anne’s World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables (University of Toronto Press, 2010)
Editor, The Blythes Are Quoted, by L.M. Montgomery (Viking Canada, 2009; paperback edition, 2010; Penguin Modern Classics Edition, 2018)
Editor, Early Canadian Literature Series (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014–)
Twenty refereed journal articles and book chapters in Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse, Canadian Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly,
English Studies in Canada, Essays on Canadian Writing, Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’études canadiennes, Journal of Religion and Culture, Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne, Voix plurielles, and in books published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Routledge, Springer, University of Toronto Press, and Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1999–
Thirty review articles and reviews in Canadian Children’s Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse, Canadian Literature, Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Essays on Canadian Writing, The Globe and Mail, International Research in Children’s Literature, Journal of Mennonite Studies, Quill and Quire, University of Toronto Quarterly, and Women’s Writing, 2000–
See my website for a complete list of my publications.
CT 400: Cinderella Stories: Fairy Tales and Contemporary Culture (honours seminar)
EN 201: Children’s Literature EN 267: Contemporary Canadian Fiction
EN 286: Young Adult Literature YC/CT 326: Children, Toys, and Media
Adolescent Literary and Media Texts Canadian Children’s Literature and Cultures Children’s Classics in the 21st Century (postgraduate course) Children’s Literature Fairy Tales and Culture Fairy Tales, Myth, and Poetry Fiction for Children Laughter and Tears: Comedy and Tragedy Literature across Borders Literature and Identity: Personal, Categorical, National Studies in Children’s Literature.
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