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Dr Jane Suzanne Carroll B.A., Ph.D. (Dublin)
Ussher Associate Professor in Children's Literature and Co-Director of M.Phil. in Children's Literature


Research and Teaching Interests

My research and teaching interests centre on children’s literature and role of landscape and place in fiction. I am a first generation academic and I completed my undergraduate and doctoral studies here at Trinity College Dublin. Before joining the School of English, I taught with the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at the University of Roehampton. I have also worked at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester and with the Student Disability Services at TCD.


I lecture on a range of topics on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of English. I contribute to the Freshman course ‘Children’s Literature’ and to the Sophister module ‘The Book’. I also run two research-led Sophister options: ‘Home and Away in Children’s Fiction’ and ‘The Golden Age of Children’s Literature’. I am the co-director of the M.Phil. in Children’s Literature programme and as well as teaching on the Core Course, I offer an option module, “Material Culture in Children’s Literature”.


My research traces connections between the imagined worlds of children’s fantasy and the real world. I particularly specialise in examining the background details in texts that are often overlooked. My PhD and the publications that emerged from it focus on the relationship between the landscapes of twentieth-century children’s fiction and the topical settings of medieval literature. My first monograph, Landscape in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2012) offered a new way to combine literature with morphology and landscape history. I am currently working on a new project on material culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century children’s literature. This project investigates the relationships between children and things, specifically how everyday objects – like thimbles, carpets and clocks – made their way into the children’s literature of the period.

I have published on children’s visual texts, on fantasy literature and on a range of authors including Susan Cooper, Terry Pratchett, J.R.R. Tolkien, M.R. James, and Jules Verne. In addition to children’s literature, my research interests include: landscape and literary geographies; material culture; fantasy; picturebooks, illustration and visual texts; domesticity and domestic spaces; archives and children’s literature collections.

I am also interested in craft and I write about research, archives, children’s literature and textiles for a general non-specialist audience on my blog

I currently supervise a Ph.D. student working on representations of Antarctica in British children’s fiction. I have supervised M.Phil dissertations on a wide range of topics related to children’s literature including projects on identity, space, nature and eco-criticism, and representations of home.  I welcome proposals for postgraduate research in any area related to my own research. Please feel free to contact me.



  • Landscape in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2012)

Peer-reviewed Articles and Chapters

  • “Spatiality in Children’s Fantasy”, in Clémentine Beauvais and Maria Nioklajeva (eds) The Edinburgh Companion to Children’s Literature (Edinburgh University Press), in preparation.

  • “Typography as Voice in Children’s Picturebooks”, Word and Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry (forthcoming)

  • “Land Under Wave: Reading the Landscapes of Tiffany Aching”, Gramarye 7, Summer 2015.

  • ‘Civil Pleasures in Unexpected Places: An Introduction to the Etiquette of Middle earth’ in Helen Conrad-O’Briain and Gerard Hynes (eds.) The Forest and the City: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (Four Courts, 2013)

  • ‘Landscape in Tolkien’s Fiction’ in Peter Hunt (ed.) Palgrave Casebook: Tolkien and Children’s Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

  • ‘Catalyzing Urban Interaction: Individual and Crowded Identities in New York City’, in Pádraic Whyte and Keith O’Sullivan (eds.) New York in Children’s Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • “You are too slow: Time Travel in Around the World in 80 Days” in Trish Ferguson (ed.) Victorian Time: Technologies, Standardizations, Catastrophes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) pp77-94

  • “The Absence of Death in The Seeker (2007)” in ISSCL essay collection What Do We Tell the Children? (Cambridge Scholar Press, 2012) pp74-89
  • “A Dramar in Reel Life: M.R. James’ ‘The Haunted Dolls’ House’ and its Influence on Modern Children’s Ghost Stories,” in Helen Conrad-O’Briain and Julie-Anne Stevens (eds.) A Ghostly Genre: Essays on the Ghost Story from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, (Four Courts Press, 2010), pp251-265.
  • “Its own space: Mindscape in Two Texts for Children” The Journal of Children’s Literature Studies, Volume 8 Issue 1 2011, pp 18-33.
  • “Two Misconstrued Attic Spaces in Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising Sequence” in Barbara Drillsma-Milgrom and Leena Kirstinä (eds.) Metamorphoses in Children’s Literature & Culture, (Turku: Oy Enostone, 2009), pp251-260.


I review and peer-review for a number of academic journals including International Research in Children’s Literature, The Lion and The Unicorn, The Irish Journal of Gothic & Horror Studies, and Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy.


School of English
Room 4002
Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: +353 01 896 4023

Twitter: @Jane_S_Carroll

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