News and Events

New book out for pre-order by CIRCL member Dr Krissie West: Louise May Alcott and the Textual Child: A Critical Theory Approach  (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2020)!

CIRCL on Facebook and Twitter

See the project @wethehumanities by former CIRCL PhD students Dr Krissie West and Dr Jess Medhurst!

Please note that the Government has approved a new scheme of MA and PhD study loans under favourable terms! See:

CIRCL Seminars

Please keep an eye on this site for announcements of forthcoming CIRCL seminars soon!

CIRCL Visiting Fellows

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.

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new book by one of our former CIRCL Visiting Fellows, Dr Sandra Dinter: Childhood in the Contemporary English Novel. New York: Routledge, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-367-36193-8. You can find the blurb here .

In 2019 we are delighted to have visiting with us Wang Xinrong, Lecturer in the Department of Preschool Education at Yancheng Kindergarten Teacher’s College in Yancheng, Jiangsu, China.

In 2018 we were 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 (

[CIRCL Visiting Fellows April 2018]
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with CIRCL Visiting Fellows Lv Xiaotang and Dong Haiya April 2018

[Karin and David]
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with Academic Visiting Fellow Derong (David) Xu, Associate Professor from Ocean University, China (2016-17)

[Karin and Tina]
Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein with Academic Visiting Fellow, Jiang Jianli (Tina), Qingdao Technological University, China (2016-17)

Other News and Events

New book out for pre-order by CIRCL member Dr Krissie West: Louise May Alcott and the Textual Child: A Critical Theory Approach  (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2020)!

In October 2019, Dr Yuko Ashitagawa, a former CIRCL MA and PhD student, was awarded a Distinguished Volunteer Award by the University of Reading in the UK for her efforts since 2005 on behalf of CIRCL Japan!

CIRCL’s Dr Sue Walsh was recently (August 2019) in conversation with Anindya Raychaudhuri  and Frances Hardinge in the ‘Proms Plus’ series discussing Kipling’s The Jungle Books. You can now hear that conversation on BBC Sounds and Sue’s article on is now available at The

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]
Professor Zhu, Director of the Centre for Children’s Literature, Ocean University, China, with Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, December 2016

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:

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.

CIRCL Korea came to visit again with groups of Sookmyung University students in 2014, 2015 and 2019 to receive three days of seminars on children’s literature from CIRCL’s Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, Sue Walsh, Neil Cocks and further CIRCL colleagues and advanced PhD student teachers!

[meeting Karin and So-Jin photo]
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.

[teaching award Karin photo]

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