a field that everyone knows is important but few literature scholars have anything to say about: children's nonfiction. On the one hand, I'm simply interested in reading as much as possible so I can understand the history and dimensions of the field better. On the other, I'm interested specifically in how children's nonfiction can do more than hand readers information that it expects them to memorize. I hope to discover how the best children's nonfiction can invite readers to engage critically with authoritative sources, how it can invite them to argue with and extend existing knowledge.
San Diego State's extraordinary collection in children's literature will be indispensable as I pursue this project. As the home of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature, SDSU is the home of top-shelf scholars and the library necessary to support their productivity. The library collects the best new children's literature each year--including award-winning nonfiction, a genre often ignored--and boasts a staff with specific expertise in children's literature. As a repository for the American Antiquarian Society, the library is a treasure trove of materials from across decades of American literary history.
Dr. Sanders will be in residence March 20 to April 2, 2010.