Please note that the Government has approved a new scheme of MA and PhD study loans under favourable terms! See:
There will be new CIRCL seminars in Autumn Term 2018 – please return to this page to check then! We very much hope you will be able to attend!
CIRCL has a very long-standing history of being frequently delighted and honoured to welcome CIRCL Visiting Fellows from all over the world! CIRCL Visiting Fellows are academics who come to stay with us for any period of time from one-day-visits to one-term-stays to more than one year to discuss their research with CIRCL staff and/ or attend our research seminars and M(Res) in Children’s Literature seminars.
In 2018 we are delighted to have visiting with us Dong Haiya, Associate Professor from School of Education, Shanghai International Studies University, China and Lv Xiaotang from the Foreign Languages Department of Huaiyin Institute of Technology, China.
In 2016-7 we were delighted to have had visiting with us Xu Dan, Associate Professor of Literature, Zhejiang Normal University, China; Xu (David) Derong, Associate Professor and Associate Head, English Department, Ocean University of China; Jiang (Tina) Jianli, Senior Lecturer and Department Head College of Foreign Languages, Qingdao Technological University, China and Zhu Limin from the College of Humanities, Zhejiang Normal University, China.
For further information about applying for a CIRCL Visiting Fellowship please contact Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein (email@example.com).
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with CIRCL Visiting Fellows Lv Xiaotang and Dong Haiya April 2018
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with Academic Visiting Fellow Derong (David) Xu, Associate Professor from Ocean University, China (2016-17)
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with Academic Visiting Fellow, Jiang Jianli (Tina), Qingdao Technological University, China (2016-17)
Congratulations to CIRCL PhD student Bonnie McGill for passing her viva on 28-01-2019 with her thesis on ‘Reading a formula(ting) of space(,)time and Quantum Mechanics’! External Examiner: Dr Claudia Castañeda (Emerson College, USA) and Internal Examiner Dr Neil Cocks, supervisor Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein!
Please see for a list of past MA dissertations from the CIRCL MA our MA Dissertations page.
CIRCL’s Dr Neil Cocks has a new book out! Higher Education Discourse and Deconstruction: Challenging the case for Transparency and Objecthood, Palgrave Critical University Studies (Palgrave, 2017).
We were honoured to welcome for a visit and CIRCL research seminar on 7th December 2016, Professor Zhu Ziqiang, Professor of the College of Literature & Journalism of Ocean University of China and Head of the Children Literature Institute, who spoke about Key Issues in Contemporary Chinese Children’s Literature Theories.
Professor Zhu, Director of the Centre for Children’s Literature, Ocean University, China, with Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, December 2016
Congratulations to CIRCL PhD student Anindita Roy for passing her viva on 27-06-2018 with her thesis on ‘Reading Child[ren] of Words and Pictures in Picture Books for Children: Three Essays on Picture Book Research’! External Examiner: Dr Emma Francis of the University of Warwick and Internal Examiner Dr Neil Cocks, supervisor Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein.
Published by Palgrave publishers in 2015 CIRCL’s new volume, edited, introduced and first chapter by Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein and including chapters by other CIRCL members including Dr Sue Walsh and Dr Neil Cocks: Rethinking Disability Theory and Practice: Challenging Essentialism.
CIRCL PhD student Krissie West was nominated as FAHSS Faculty PhD Researcher of the Year for 2014-15 for her research on childhood in the work of the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson! Congratulations, Krissie!
CIRCL Korea came to visit CIRCL Reading again, July 2014! Now for a three-day CIRCL Summer School on Children’s Literature.
Former CIRCL PhD student Dr Jess Medhurst (supervisor: Dr Neil Cocks) won the University’s three-minute thesis competition on June 14th 2013 with her presentation on her research on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” books, including work on Carroll’s photography and archival material! The University’s Graduate School writes about the competition:
“The Three Minute Thesis Competition invites Reading PhD students to engage, inspire and entertain an academic audience (delegates to the PhD Research Conference) with a summary of their PhD research. The ability to present your research in a clear and coherent manner to an audience who know little, or nothing, about your area of study is an important skill all PhD students need to develop As well as showcasing the variety of doctoral research taking place at Reading, we hope this competition will encourage PhD students to reflect on how they communicate their research to those outside their particular field or discipline.” Many congratulations, Jess!
See for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/graduateschool/events/gs-events.aspx
CIRCL Korea visits University of Reading, July 7th 2010! Professor So-Jin Park (CIRCL MA graduate) and a group of her children’s literature project students from Sookmyung University in Seoul, Korea, visited Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein for an interview about approaches to children’s literature and the children’s literature teaching curriculum at CIRCL.
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein and Professor Park (photo courtesy Eunbyul Ahn)
Karin was awarded the Faculty Student Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning 2010 on 1st July 2010. A further University RUSU award for Outstanding Contributions as Personal Tutor was made in 2015.
Lisa Stallard, CIRCL MA 2011-12
Dr Evdokia (Kia) Michalopoulou, CIRCL MA, CIRCL PhD
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Always challenging, the course approached and encouraged me to deal with many issues in a rigorously academic way. The work on the course was always innovative and now I can see how the course changed the way I can think about problems and solutions in both academic and non-academic contexts. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to deal with their own and other’s assumptions in a thoughtful and explorative way."Christopher Johnson, CIRCL MA 2015-2016
'Studying the Children’s Literature MA at Reading was a hugely challenging and rewarding experience for me. When I began the course I had no idea how much my own thinking, reading and argument would develop, so much so that by the end I considered continuing with a PhD. A year after completing the MA I won University Studentship funding to undertake a PhD at CIRCL. I would recommend the Children’s Literature MA to anybody who wishes to develop their critical thinking in any subject area, n...Helen Ainslie, CIRCL MA 2004-5, CIRCL PhD 2006-9
'I gained much more than I had expected from the MA. The course was not just about children's literature; it led me to reconsider the way I read, think, and argue. It prepared me for my PhD research and had an influence on my whole life. I can sincerely say that the MA in Children's Literature at Reading is worth attending, even if you need to travel all the way from the other side of the earth (which is more or less what I did, as an international student).'Yuko Ashitagawa, CIRCL MA 2001-2, CIRCL PhD 2002-5
Dr Haiya Dong, CIRCL Visiting Scholar 2018-19 Interview
'With great support from the tutors and friends I have had a wonderful year in exploring and reconsidering the way I have been thinking all my life. In many ways it is my personal journey during which I have learnt a lot, not only about how to (or not to) find an answer but also about how to raise a question. As an international student I would like to say that the MA is very challenging, yet very liberating.'Sireethorn (Pam) Simawathna, CIRCL MA 2012-13
The [M(Res)] seminars I attended in CIRCL during my one year’s visit are always inspiring and profound, which have greatly improved my research skills and changed my mindset for doing research in children’s literature. The seminars taught me to find the perspectives in the text we analysed and develop my own judgment, which is the most challenging yet most rewarding thing in doing research. From my own experience as a teacher, such seminars are most effective in forging critical and indepe...XU Derong (David), Associate Professor, Ocean University of China, CIRCL Academic Visiting Fellow, 2016-17
'My undergraduate degree was English Literature with Education Studies at the University of Cambridge and as part of that course I took a module in Children's Literature and absolutely loved it. I therefore decided to research MA courses so that I could further develop my interest. I was advised by my tutors at Cambridge that the most rigorous course was the one offered by the University of Reading and I was thrilled to be offered a place. During the MA the tutors were friendly and support...Hannah Smith (now: Anglin-Jaffe), CIRCL MA 2001-2, CIRCL PhD 2005
'I was nervous doing the course as a part-time student as I worried that I may be at a disadvantage. This was definitely not the case. The course is structured so well, and the support I received from [the MA staff] Karin, Neil and Sue (as well as the other students over both years) ensured that I was given the same opportunities, guidance and experience as everyone else. I have really enjoyed this degree and I can see that it has changed the way I think. I would recommend it to anyone who...Samantha Horsfield, CIRCL MA 2011-13 (part-time)
'Studying the MA in Children's Literature was an excellent introduction to and preparation for academic practice and further research as it provided me with an opportunity to engage in discussions surrounding the issues addressed by current researchers during CIRCL seminars in a nurturing and supportive environment.'Catrin Edwards, CIRCL MA 2006-7, CIRCL PhD 2010
'The Reading MA in Children's Literature was a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. The course is intellectually demanding and wide-ranging in its approach to the field of children's literature and its cultural context. Though it focuses on the child in literature it is not restrictive. Many of the issues raised during the course of study are pertinent to all kinds of literature. There are ample opportunities for students to engage in discussion and to make their own con...Hilary Fraser, CIRCL MA 1999-2000, CIRCL PhD 2009
My one year’s visit in CIRCL is the most rewarding academic experience that I have ever had. I found the [M(Res.)] seminars very stimulating. With “positive reinforcement”, all the participants are encouraged and involved. I am always encouraged and inspired by the discussions that were held in the seminars, which are though-provoking and very interactive, heated sometimes yet always in a very pleasant and harmonious atmosphere. I am greatly indebted to Karin, Neil and Sue for their wonder...JIANG Jianli (Tina), Associate Professor, Qingdao Technological University, China, CIRCL Academic Visiting Fellow 2016-17
Sara Zadrozny (then: Sara Broad), CIRCL MA 2003-4