Friday, September 15, 2017

Fall 2017: Welcome Back and Welcoming Aboard NCSCL’s Graduate Assistants

Greetings Readers, Skimmers, and Seekers of Literary Wisdom,

We look forward to a productive and insightful academic year, bringing you different perspectives into children/young adult literature through a variety of mediums. By exploring not just printed books, but films, television shows, comics and digital content, the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature can be your portal to a greater understanding of the concepts and creativity woven into these stories.   

The exploration of children’s literature takes a community, and this year we hope to show how those perceptions evolve or differ through the words and works of professors, fellow graduate and undergraduate students, and from their intended audience: children and teens.

Please check us out on our social media platforms where we post EVERYTHING, like upcoming events, historical moments in literature, current research musings, book reviews, author interviews, and any other delicate morsels we find appetizing:

Twitter: @NCSChildLit
Instagram: NCSChildlit  

Andrea Kade, Graduate Assistant

Hey Readers! My name is Andrea, and I am a second year English graduate student specializing in Children’s Literature. I’m also a third semester Teaching Associate, who has taught courses in writing and rhetoric, as well as, introduction to literature. My broad range of research interests focus on everything from psychoanalysis and feminist theory to the constructs of identity in childhood. Currently, I’m examining gothic and horror in children and YA literature/popular culture through an independent course for the fall semester. I’m indulging in some nostalgic behavior by studying a few texts of my childhood like, Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes, with newer titles like Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener, along with source texts like the Grimm Brother’s Folktales.

Pumpkin Patch in Florida, 
many October moons ago
My love for books started in preschool (where it probably does for most English students), whereupon my mother promised me I would “learn to read, if I went to school.” Running upstairs after the first day of class, I hungrily tore open the pages of P.D. Eastman’s Go Dog Go! and burst into tears. I couldn’t read a single word. Clearly, nobody explained to my girl-child self that one does not learn to read in a single day. In 5th grade, I had my first encounter with adult literature, in a place that happens for many, the bathroom. I found my father’s copy of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire placed on the ledge of the frosted window and became a devout follower of the author during my teen angst years. Rice’s novels heavily influenced my taste for the gothic and fulfilled the wanderlust within my soul. Over the years, my reading preferences have leaned towards speculative fiction with no bias on any of the sub-genres, I love them all—sci-fi, alternate history, fantasy, dystopian.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I am the exhausted doting mama to three lively, young children, and have the exceptional privilege of exploring these books through their eyes and experiences, while simultaneously, receiving the sweetest snuggles. Contextualizing these works through child and adult perspectives has given me a remarkable slant on the ways I can approach literature and theory.

I’ll see you on the pages. –A

Chris Deming, Graduate Assistant

Somewhere in San Diego
Hello all! My name is Chris Deming, and I’m a second year English grad student specializing in Children’s Literature.  I’m a first semester Teaching Associate for an Intro to Literature class covering the topic Identity in a Technological Age, the goal of which is to explore the nature of identity and how it is constructed, what constitutes technology, and why it is important for this relationship to be depicted in literature. In answering these questions, the class addresses the growing reliance on technology in contemporary society, and what that means for the construction of identity.  Working in conjunction with my class is my current area of research: Posthuman theory. In studying it, I hope to reexamine the questions of what constitutes “human,” and how contemporary Children’s and YA fiction is addressing this with the continually increasing motifs of technology and human entwinement.

I don’t remember the first book I ever read, but I know once I discovered my father’s hoard of old fantasy and sci-fi novels in middle school, there was never a moment I didn’t have my nose in the pages of one book with another ready in the wing. My love of reading inspired me to pursue literature classes, and from there I fell in love with theory and the ability to use books as a window into not just the fantastical realms on the page, but windows to our world and the issues of the times.

I look forward to exploring literature with everyone in tow, and I’ll see y’all on the blog!


  1. Hi Andrea and Chris! Both of your fields of interest sound so interesting. I can't wait to read your posts on here :)

  2. Thank you Meg! We are excited about being part of this incredible team.