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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

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 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.

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 (

[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

CIRCL are delighted to announce that our current M(Res) in Children’s Literature student Kristy Keller has won second prize in the ‘First Pages’ category at the Swedish ‘Stockholm Writer’s Festival’ with her children’s detective novel Harper Holloway and the Disappearance of Arabella Sent      Many congratulations, Kristy!

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

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 CocksRethinking 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:

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.

[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]

Students’ Views

Latest News & Events

Forthcoming CIRCL Research Seminar 28-11-2018

On Wednesday 28th November 2018 at 1 pm in Edith Morley 110, our former CIRCL BA and MA student, now PhD student at the University of Portsmouth, Sara Zadrozny, will give a CIRCL Research Seminar on: ‘How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty?’: Anthropomorphism in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (1871) All welcome!