Please note that the Government has approved a new scheme of MA and PhD study loans under favourable terms! See:
Please keep an eye on this site for announcements of forthcoming CIRCL seminars soon!
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 (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)
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 Conversation.com
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
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.
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!
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.
'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
'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
"My masters with CIRCL has increased my confidence and my critical thinking skills monumentally. At the conclusion of this course and with the support of the lecturers and my course mates I now work for an academic publisher in a senior role of Marketing Manager. Not only is CIRCL an academic challenge, but it is also a community, as a part time student I have been able to meet two cohorts of students, both of which have had incredible, individual and inspiring individuals within. The cour...Katy Corderoy, MA 2017-19
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
Dr Haiya Dong, CIRCL Visiting Scholar 2018-19 Interview
Dr Evdokia (Kia) Michalopoulou, CIRCL MA, CIRCL PhD
'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
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
'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
Lisa Stallard, CIRCL MA 2011-12
“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
'The Children’s Literature MA has aided my development of extensive academic skills and has introduced me to complex and fascinating theoretical approaches, which can be used to question supposedly obvious or accepted ideas encountered not just in Children’s Literature but across all types of literature. However, I also feel the MA has provided me with some essential skills including problem-identifying and solving by working out the implications and effects of the claims made by others, ...Gemma Budd, CIRCL MA 2010-11
'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