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Dr Pádraic Whyte B.A. (Dublin), Ph.D. (Dublin) Associate Professor, 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 master’s programme in children's literature at the School of English. 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.
He is author of Irish Childhoods (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) and co-editor of Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research (Palgrave, 2017) and Children's Literature and New York City (Routledge, 2014).

In 2013, he was co-recipient of a major Irish Research Council/Government of Ireland research grant to establish a National Collection of Children’s Books (NCCB). 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. The project began in December 2013 and ended in December 2015.

Pádraic lectures on a range of topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level including Irish literature and theatre, Shakespeare, critical approaches to children's literature (which includes Young Adult Literature), Irish children’s literature, space and place in children's literature, boyhood and children’s literature, and agency and empowerment in literature for young adults. 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 was curator of the exhibition Upon the Wild Waves: A Journey through Myth in Children’s Books which ran from October 2014 to October 2015 in the Long Room, Trinity College Library. See online version: Upon the Wild Waves. With the NCCB team he prepared the exhibition ‘Come Closer: The Darker Side of Children's Books,’ which ran from September to November 2015 at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. See feature on Come Closer. He was also Chair of the CBI Children's Book of the Year Awards 2013 and 2014, and he 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 the Children's Research Centre (TCD) and a peer reviewer for a number of international children’s literature journals and Irish literature journals. In May 2015, 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’. See 'The Embrace of Love' lecture.

Peer Reviewed Publications

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

  • Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research,Keith O'Sullivan and Pádraic Whyte (eds.)(Palgrave, forthcoming)

  • 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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