M.A. in English: Children’s Literature Concentration

Our Children’s Literature Concentration within the English MA is a vibrant and increasingly popular program. Our courses deal with a variety of children’s literature, including British and American children’s literature, picture books, and young adult literature. We also explore a range of approaches and emphases related to the study of children’s literature. These include cultural studies, diversity, gender, and the history of children’s literature.

Students can choose to take a comprehensive exam or to write a thesis on a topic of their choice at the end of the program. The exam offers the chance to acquire a breadth of knowledge in the field. The thesis involves in-depth research in children’s literature with the help of faculty mentors.

Both children’s literature and childhood studies are growing fields of study and current sites of new academic inquiry for scholars and theorists pushing disciplinary boundaries. Our graduates have pursued their interests in a variety of fields. Some go on to doctoral programs in children’s literature, some have worked as teachers, librarians, or creative writers. Our students have published essays in the field and have presented papers at regional and national conferences.

The Children’s Literature program at UNC Charlotte has been a longstanding one. Our faculty publish in many aspects of the field. They are also actively engaged in national organizations. The conference of the Children’s Literature Association has been held here three times. Just as important, our faculty have a profound love of the field, and are committed to working closely with students.

For full course descriptions, go here.

Consult our website for information about admissions, advising, and exam and thesis options.

The Children’s Literature Worksheet in MS Word can be downloaded here.

Information about the Children's Literature Graduate Organization and some resources in the field of children's literature can be found here.

Exam/Thesis Requirement
Students choosing the Children’s Literature Concentration will sit for a comprehensive exam or complete a thesis. The exam is in addition to the 36-hour program outlined on the Children’s Literature Worksheet. Students choosing to write a thesis will complete 30 hours plus six hours of thesis credits.

Required Comprehensive Examination or Master’s Thesis
Students choosing the exam will sit for an examination based on a reading list proposed by the student and approved by the Graduate Committee. The written examination may not be attempted sooner than the last semester of coursework.

Master's Thesis
The Masters thesis offers students an opportunity for in-depth research in an area of interest, with the help of faculty mentors. Students who choose to write a thesis should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Before electing the thesis option, students must seek out a director, who will head a thesis committee with two additional faculty readers, to be named by the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Before registering for thesis credit, the student must submit a prospectus that has been approved by his/her thesis committee to the Director of Graduate Studies in English.

Children’s Literature Graduate Faculty

  • Balaka Basu
    Research specialties: children’s and young adult literature; new media studies & digital humanities; fan, reception, and audience studies.
  • Paula Connolly
    Research specialties: multiculturalism in children’s literature; visual images and children’s literature; early twentieth-century children’s literature.
  • Elizabeth Gargano
    Research specialties: Victorian children’s literature; gender and children’s literature; the history of education.
  • Alan Rauch
    Research Specialties: science, technology, & children's literature; nineteenth-century children's literature; the graphic novel.
  • Daniel Shealy
    Research specialties: nineteenth-century American literature; Louisa May Alcott; American Romanticism
  • Mark West
    Research specialties: American children’s literature; childhood studies; children’s popular culture.