Professor Evelyn Arizpe
- Professor of Children's Literature (Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy)
I have worked in the field of children's literature and literacy for over 25 years, starting with my undergraduate thesis on Mexican children's literature in the 1980s at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and then during my doctoral work at the University of Cambridge on adolescent readers and YA literature. While in Cambridge, together with Morag Styles, I pioneered research into children’s response to picturebooks and visual literacy and our co-authored book, Children Reading Picturebooks: Interpreting visual texts (2003/2016) is now considered a classic study in this area. I moved to Glasgow in 2004 and when I joined the School of Education I helped to create the MEd in Children's Literature and Literacies which has now been running for nearly ten years. I now lead an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters in Children's Literature, Media and Culture (IMCLMC). In the last decade, my research projects have had a focus on migration and displacement (Visual Journeys and Journeys from Images to Words) and I built on these to develop a programme for migrant readers through the Salas de Lectura project in the Mexican Ministry of Culture (2016-2018). Overall, I have developed my expertise by bridging, on one hand, the theory and analysis of text and, on the other, reading and reader response. I have worked with both young adult (YA) texts and also with picturebooks in research with participants of different ages and across different countries, especially in Mexico and I have published widely in both English and Spanish. In 2022 I was on the jury for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, International Board on Books for Children and Young People (IBBY).
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
Ursula K. LeGuin
I am interested in the following areas of research and teaching: Children's literature and literacies particularly in relation to picturebooks; YA literature; reader-response, Latin America, migration and intercultural communities.
I welcome enquiries from postgraduate students interested in any of these topics.
As Programme Leader for the International Master in Children's Literature, Media and Culture (IMCLMC) I also welcome enquiries about the programme.
I am particularly interested in children's meaning-making strategies in relation to verbal-visual interaction which is the focus of much of my research. I have delivered lectures, seminars and keynotes in my areas of interest, both in the UK and internationally, to researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. My work also involves international collaboration, especially with Spain and Latin America but also with colleagues in the USA and elsewhere.
My current projects are:
2020 Educational Peacebuilding in Medellin and Acapulco: Understanding the role of education, culture and learning in responding to crises (PI - British Academy GCRF)
2017 AHRC-GCRF Network Grant for 'Children's Literature in Critical Contexts of Displacement: Exploring how story and arts-based practices create safe spaces for displaced children and young people' (PI)
2016 GU Knowledge Exchange Grant for the scoping project 'Literacy Practices Past and Present' in the East End of Glasgow
2014 Children's Literature Assembly Research Award for the project 'Reading Changes: Young adult literature and the changing literacy practices of adolescents in Mexico'
2011 John Robertson Bequest, University of Glasgow, for the project ‘An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Strategies for Critical Literacy in Diverse Communities of Readers’
2011 British Academy small grant for the project ‘Reading Fictions - How representations of books and readers in children's literature reflect perceptions of the power and purpose of literacy’ with Dr Vivienne Smith, Strathclyde University
2010: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation ‘New Approaches to Learning’ small grant for the project Journeys from Images to Words: Examining the efficacy of visual meaning-making strategies in the development of inclusive communities of critical readers
2009: UK Literacy Association small grant for main phase of the research project Visual Journeys: Understanding immigrant children's response to visual images in picturebooks
2007: Children's Literature Association International Sponsorship Grant.
2003: Lilly Library Helm Fellowship for research on Jane Johnson’s Nursery Library.
1995: Spencer Foundation Small Grant for research on gender, adolescent literature and reading in secondary schools in Mexico.
1992: "Elva Knight" Research Grant by the International Reading Association to undertake fieldwork on adolescent reading in Mexico.
1992-1994: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT, Mexico)
1990: British Council Scholarship
1990: Fellowship, International Youth Library, Munich
Yaxi Wang: An Exploration of Interpictoriality: The relationship between original artworks, children's picturebooks and meaning-making
Lan Ma: Library Wars: Discourse, power and dystopian Young Adult literature from the East and West
Suzanne Abou Ghaida: The Arabic adolescent novel: tracing constructions of adolescence within texts and in the discourses of authors, publishers and readers
Julie McAdam: Resources of Hope: A narrative inquiry into the potential of Children’s Literature to foster mutual care in times of crisis
Soumi Dey: Emerging bilingual readers' responses to metafictive picturebooks: A cognitive exploration of multiliteracies
Osman Coban: An Educational Perspective on Reading Practices of Adolescent Readers in Turkey and Scotland
Sadie Ryan: Language, identity, integration and education: a sociolinguistic study of ‘New Arrivals’ in Glasgow (with Dr Jennifer Smith, Lord Kelvin & Adam Smith Scholarship)
Emma McGilp: A Dialogic Journey into Exploring Multiliteracies in Translation for Children and a Researcher in International Picturebooks
Jennifer Farrar: "I didn't know they did books like this!" An inquiry into the literacy practices of young children and their parents using metafictive picturebooks
Caroline Bagelman: Picturing Transformative Texts: Anticolonial learning and picturebooks
- Arshad, Rabaha
Children's Literature for Children's Rights
- Deng, Fuling
Teaching and Learning with Picturebooks: developing multimodal literacy with a community of primary school teachers in China.
- Ghosh, Kerenza
Childhoodnature: Picturebooks and Film
- Herdiana, .
The power and potentials of multicultural literature in a diverse archipelago: multiculturalism in Indonesian children’s books, children’s responses, and teachers’ perspectives.
Ph.D. Thesis: The interpretation of fictional violence represented in illustrated books by gatekeepers of children’s literature in educational context, Halyna Pavlyshyn, University of Tasmania
Ph.D. Thesis: El libro-álbum contemporáneo español: procesos de canonicidad, mediadores adultos y lectores infantiles, Marta Larragueta, Universidad Camilo José Cela
Ph.D. Thesis: Anglophone picturebook shared reading in Chinese families —A mixed method study exploring parents’ motivation and parent-child interaction patterns, Ying Zou, University of York
Ph.D. Thesis: Exploring Tanzanian Students' Experiences and Engagement with English-Language Books in School Library Spaces, Nard Choi, University of Cambridge.
Ph.D. Thesis: Reading Illustrated Novels: Exploring the medium through participatory case study, Jennifer Aggleton, University of Cambridge
International Doctorate: Esto no va de libros. Literatura infantil y juvenil digital y educación literaria, Lucas Ramada Prieto, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 2017.
Ph.D. Thesis: Humour in Children's Literature 1800-1840, Karen Elizabeth Williams, University of Roehampton, 2017.
Ph.D. Thesis: Reconceptualizing the Crossover Picturebook: Cognitive Approaches to Crossover Picturebooks and Reader's Engagement with Them, Xiaofei Shi, University of Cambridge 2016.
Ph.D Thesis: De lo Universal a lo Global: Nuevas formas del folklore en los álbumes para niños (From the universal to the global: New forms of folklore in picturebooks), Brenda Bellorín Briseño, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, 2015.
Ph.D. Thesis: A practice-based exploration of the relationship between artists’ books and children’s picturebooks, Laura Little, Anglia Ruskin University, 2015.
Ph.D. Thesis: Children’s literature about refugees and its use in the primary classroom, Julia Hope, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2015.
International Doctorate: El mediador escolar de lectura literaria, Felipe Munita, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2014.
Ph.D. Thesis: “What’s the story?” A case study of young adults’ attitudes towards reading in Lebanon, Nayla Aramouni, University of Cambridge, 2014.
Ph.D. Thesis: Interconnections between young adult fiction and young adult readers’ constructions of place within and beyond the text, Erin Spring, University of Cambridge, 2013.
Ph.D. Thesis: Conocimientos literarios y tipos de actuaciones que permiten progresar en la competencia literaria (Literary knowledge and practices that allow progress in literary competence), Martina Fittipaldi, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, 2013.
Ph.D. Thesis: National Identity in Visual Texts in Cyprus, Louiza Mallouri, University of Cambridge, 2011.
I teach the course "Children's Literature and Literacies: Critical Enquiry" for the MEd in Children's Literature and Literacies and for the International Masters "Children's Literature, Media and Culture". I also lecture for other courses and I have been guest lecturer at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, the Universidad de Zaragoza and the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. I have also taught on various on-line courses, including for the Diploma course offered by IBBY Mexico. I was External Examiner for the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Critical Approaches to Children's Literature MPhil and MEd Routes from 2018-2021.
Professional activities & recognition
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2018: AHRC, ODA Review College
- 2016: The National Research Council of Canada, Reviewer
- 2017: The National Research Foundation in South Africa, Reviewer
- 2018: Czech Science Foundation, Reviewer
- 2016 - 2019: Journal of Literacy Research
- 2013 - 2019: CLELE
Professional & learned societies
- 2015 - 2019: Awards and Grants Officer, International Research Society for Children's Literature
- 2019: Vocal, Serra Húnter Programme
- 2019: President, International Research Society for Children's Literature
Selected international presentations
- 2019: Keynote: XI Congreso De la Oralidad a la LIJ: Géneros de la memoria, pioneros y transterrados españoles (U Iberoamericana, UNAM, Mexico City)
- 2018: Keynote: “Literatura, temas difíciles y espacios educacionales” (Centro de Justicia Educational, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Santiago, Chile)
- 2018: Keynote: A Childs World Conference: New Shoes New Directions (Aberystwyth University)
- 2017: Keynote: MA in Education Address (St Mary's University, Twickenham)
- 2016: Congreso Iberoamericano de Lengua y Literatura Infantil y Juvenil (Mexico City)
- 2015: Keynote: Im Bildungsfokus: Bilderbuchrezeptionsforschung (Landau-Koblenz-Heidelberg Universities)
- 2014: Keynote: Universo de letras (UNAM, Mexico City)
- 2013: Keynote: UKLA International Annual Conference (UK)
- 2011: Keynote: La literatura que acoge: infancia, inmigración y lectura’ (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Consulting and Advice
Advisory Panel member for Beyond School Gates: Children's contribution to community integration (Nuffield Foundation), June 2022-May 2024.
Experts Panel member for the Agenda de prioridades para el desarrollo de las bibliotecas y el fomento de la lectura, la escritura y la oralidad en Iberoamérica (CERLALC)
Consultant for the programme Salas de Lectura para migrantes y desplazados, Dirección General de Publicaciones, Secretaría de Cultura, Mexico.
Member of the Jury for the VIII Premio Iberoamericano SM de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil 2012 (CERLALC, IBBY, OEI, OREALC-UNESCO) representing the Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).
Co-curator for the Andrew Raven Trust Weekend on the theme of "Flourishing Children: Childhood, Nature and Community”, Ardtornish, June 2013.
Academic consultant: Universidad de Almería, Depto. Didáctica de la Lengua y la Literatura, Dr José Manuel de Amo Sánchez-Fortún, ‘Identificación de las facetas metaliterarias en el proceso de construcción de la competencia lecto-literaria del alumnado de educación secundaria’, Subprograma de Educación, Programa Nacional de Proyectos de Investigación Fundamental, en el marco del VI Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica, January 2011 – January 2014
Academic peer reviewer: Cambridge Journal of Education, International Research in Children's Literature, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy and The Journal of Children's Literature Studies)
Academic and professional membership
2019- Elected President of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL)
2015- Elected Member to the Board of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) as Awards and Grants Officer.
2014- Founding member of the Mexican Academy of Children's Literature (AMLIJ).
2014- University Research Network on Children's and Young Adult Literature (Spain and Latin America).
2009-2014 International Sub-Committee, United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA)
2010-2013 Academic Member of GRAMNET Advisory Board (Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network
2009-2011 Executive Group, Refugees into Teaching in Scotland (RITeS)
Special Issue: Arizpe, E., Farrell, M. and McAdam, J. (eds) (2011) New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship 17 (2).