The Contribution of Children’s Literature Studies

  • Dena Attar
  • Janet Maybin


Children’s Literature Studies is currently thriving, established as a subject in its own right which is taught in universities around the world. Variously offered as part of programmes in English, Education or Library Studies, it may also include work on publishing and creative writing for children, and illustration. As an academic subject in higher education, however, it emerged relatively recently in the UK and the US in the mid-twentieth century, when literary studies were opened up to social theory and cultural studies. At this point, children’s literature and other ‘popular’ forms became serious objects for academic research and teaching. On both sides of the Atlantic, the study of children’s literature was first incorporated as a strand within courses for teachers and librarians, and it has always maintained strong links with pedagogy. However, interest in children’s books and in children’s literature study has hugely increased over the last twenty years and the subject is now well established and thriving at both undergraduate and postgraduate level with its own encyclopaedias, scholarly journals, academic conferences and funded centres of research excellence.


English Study Literacy Practice Digital Literacy Young Reader Digital Text 
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© Dena Attar and Janet Maybin 2016

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  • Dena Attar
  • Janet Maybin

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