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Dr Pádraic Whyte B.A. (Dublin), Ph.D. (Dublin) Associate Professor, Co-Director M.Phil. in Children's Literature; Co-Ordinator of School of English Trinity Elective

Teaching and Research Interests

Pádraic is associate professor of English and a director of the Children's Literature MPhil programme at the School of English. He is co-editor of Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research (Palgrave, 2017) which won the International Research Society for Children's Literature Edited Book Award, 2019. He is currently working on a research project funded by the Irish Research Council and the Department of the Taoiseach that explores the use of literature to foster empathy and understanding between various communities on the island of Ireland.

He is also author of Irish Childhoods (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) and co-editor of Children's Literature and New York City (Routledge, 2014). He was co-recipient of a major Irish Research Council/Government of Ireland research grant to establish the National Collection of Children’s Books (NCCB) project. The NCCB catalogue and database can be found at Along with Dr Keith O'Sullivan, Pádraic received funding of over €350,000 to help establish Dublin as a world centre of children's literature research. This interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project involved the examination of Dublin's children’s book collections, in the English language. Over a period of two years, a team of researchers documented children’s book collections held in Trinity College Library, the National Library of Ireland, the Church of Ireland College of Education Library, the Cregan Library, St Patrick’s College (DCU) and Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. The NCCB database provides a solid foundation from which scholars, both Irish and international, may conduct advanced research in children's literature. Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research was one of the outputs of this project.

Pádraic co-established Ireland’s first full-time master’s programme in children’s literature; you can listen to podcasts he created with students from the MPhil programme as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin (2021).

He lectures on a range of topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level including Irish literature and theatre, gender and sexualities, critical approaches to children's literature (which includes Young Adult Literature), boyhood and children’s literature, and agency and empowerment in literature for children. His current research focuses on representations of childhood and youth in Irish writing for adults and children, myth and children's literature, gender and sexuality, queer children’s literature, New York City and children’s literature, the Pollard Collection of Children's Books, theatre for children, and also 19th Century literature for children in Ireland. He is happy to hear from prospective research students with an interest in any of these topics.

Pádraic is the current Chair of the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards and was curator of the exhibition Upon the Wild Waves: A Journey through Myth in Children’s Books which ran from Oct 2014 to Oct 2015 in the Long Room, Trinity College Library. With the NCCB team he prepared the exhibition Come Closer: The Darker Side of Children's Books, which ran from Sept to Nov 2015 at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. He is a former Chair of the CBI Children's Book of the Year Awards 2013, served on the executive committee of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature for a number of years, and worked as curator of the Telling Tall and Tiny Tales literature programme at The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children. He is a Research Associate at Trinity Research in Childhood Centre (TRICC) and a peer reviewer for a number of international children’s literature journals and Irish literature journals. He co-organised an event - ‘Same-Sex Relationships and Literature’ - at TCD, which featured a keynote lecture by author Colm Tóibín titled ‘The Embrace of Love: Being Gay in Ireland Now’.  ('The Embrace of Love' lecture.)

He began his academic career as a lecturer in Drama, before reading for a PhD in English literature and film studies at TCD. Following the completion of his PhD he worked as a research fellow at the Children’s Research Centre (TCD) on a project on masculinities, fatherhood, and sexual responsibility. He was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast and he also spent a period working in story development and script editing for a television production company, before taking up his current post at the School of English.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Irish Childhoods: Children's Fiction and Irish History (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) (Monograph)

  • ‘House, Land and Family Life: Children’s Fiction and Irish Homes,’ in Liam Harte (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)

  • ‘Growing up in Manhattan: Children’s Literature and New York City’ in Ross Wilson (ed.), New York: A Literary History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)

  • Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research, Keith O'Sullivan and Pádraic Whyte (eds.)(Palgrave, 2017) – winner of the IRSCL Edited Book Award, 2019.

  • New York City and Children's Literature, Pádraic Whyte and Keith O'Sullivan (eds.) (Routledge, 2014)

  • ‘A Place in the Canon: Padraic Colum’s Newbery Books and the Development of American Children’s Literature’, in Timothy Young (ed.), Story Time: Essays on the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection of American Children’s Literature (Yale University Press, 2017)

  • ‘Firing for the Hearth: Storytelling, Landscape, and Padraic Colum’s The Big Tree of Bunlahy’ in Keith O’Sullivan and Pádraic Whyte (eds.), Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research (Palgrave, 2017)

  • ‘Navigating Adolescence through the Streets of New York: I'll Get There. It Better be Worth the Trip,’ in Padraic Whyte and Keith O'Sullivan (eds), Children's Literature and New York City (Routledge, 2014)

  • ‘Children's Literature in 19th Century Ireland,’ in James Murphy (ed.) The Oxford History of the Irish Books, Vol IV (Oxford University Press, 2012)

  • ‘Young Adult Fiction and Youth Culture,’ in Valerie Coghlan and Keith O'Sullivan (eds.), Irish Children's Literature: New Perspectives on Contemporary Writing (Routledge, 2011)

  • ‘Teenage Tantrums and Territorial Traumas; Mark O'Sullivan's Melody for Nora,’ in Valerie Coghlan and Mary Shine Thompson (eds.), Studies in Children's Literature; Divided Worlds (Four Courts Press, 2007)

  • ‘American Dreams and Irish Myths: John Sayles' The Secret of Ronan Inish,’ in John Hill and Kevin Rockett (eds.), Studies in Irish Film (Four Courts Press, 2006)

  • ‘Escape From Fantasy Ireland; Martin Duffy's The Boy From Mercury,’ in John Hill and Kevin Rockett (eds.), Film History and National Cinema (Four Courts Press, 2005)

  • ‘Wars of Independence: The Construction of Irish Histories in the Work of Gerard Whelan and Siobhán Parkinson,’ in Celia Keenan and Mary Shine Thompson (eds.), Studies in Children's Literature 1500-2000 (Four Courts Press, 2004)

  • ‘Validating The Veracity: Narrative Voice and the Construction of Authentic Histories in Joan O'Neill's Daisy Chain War,’ in New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship Vol. 10, No. 1 (Routledge, 2004)

Other Publications

  • Elizabeth Nixon, Pádraic Whyte, Joe Buggy & Sheila Greene, ‘Discourses on Sexual Responsibility, Fatherhood and Masculinity Among Young Men from Lower Socio-Economic Groups’ (Dublin: Crisis Pregnancy Agency, 2010)

  • ‘Are we there yet? Same-Sex Relationships in Children’s Literature’, in Inis Magazine (Children’s Books Ireland, Spring 2015)

  • ‘James Patterson and Reading for Boys,’ in Inis Magazine (Children's Books Ireland, Winter 2009)

  • ‘Adaptation and Authenticity; Filming Children's Literature,’ in Inis Magazine (Children’s Books Ireland, Summer 2004)


Dr Pádraic Whyte
School of English
Room 4083
Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: 00353 1 8961224

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