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

Teaching and Research Interests

Pádraic is associate professor in children’s literature, Director of Research, and a director of the Children's Literature MPhil programme at the School of English. He recently received a Fulbright Scholar Award to spend Spring 2024 at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa researching the relationship between Ireland and Hawai’i in terms of storytelling, islands, and identities in children’s literature. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Ark, a cultural centre for children.

His co-edited collection, The Writings of Padraic Colum: ‘That Queer Thing, Genius’ will be published by Routledge in 2024. In 2022, he completed a research project funded by the Irish Research Council and the Department of the Taoiseach that explored the use of literature to foster empathy and understanding between various communities on the island of Ireland. 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. 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 genders and sexualities, children’s film, critical approaches to children's literature (which includes Young Adult Literature), and Irish writing. His current research focuses on myth and children's literature, genders and sexualities, LGBTQI+ children’s literature, children’s book collections, 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.

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 for an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project to help establish Dublin as a world centre of children's literature research. 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. Trinity’s Research Impact Unit published the NCCB Research Impact Case Study in 2022.

He is the former 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 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. In 2018, he co-curated Story Spinners: Irish Women and Children’s Books at Trinity Library’s Long Room. He 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. He is a Research Associate at Trinity Research in Childhood Centre (TRICC), a peer reviewer for a number of international children’s literature journals and Irish literature journals, an advisor to the Dutch Research Council, and a frequent consultant for the Arts Council of Ireland. 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’.

He began his lecturing career in 2000 as a full-time 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.

Select Peer Reviewed Publications

  • The Writings of Padraic Colum: ‘That Queer Thing, Genius’, Pádraic Whyte and Keith O’Sullivan (eds.)(Routledge, forthcoming 2024)
  • Storytelling and The Frenzied Prince,’ in The Writings of Padraic Colum: ‘That Queer Thing, Genius’, Pádraic Whyte and Keith O’Sullivan (eds.)( Routledge, forthcoming 2024)
  • ‘Beyond Traditional Hierarchies: Creating Space for Children’s Literature Collections’, Pádraic Whyte and Keith O’Sullivan, in Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung (GKJF) / Yearbook of the Children's Literature Research Society (GKJF): Beiträge aus Geschichte und Theorie (2022)
  • ‘House, Land and Family Life: Children’s Fiction and Irish Homes,’ in Liam Harte (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Fiction (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 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)
  • Irish Childhoods: Children's Fiction and Irish History (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) (Monograph)
  • ‘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

  • Sinéad Moriarty, Pádraic Whyte, Elizabeth Nixon, ‘Reading Rooms: Fostering Constructive and Inclusive Dialogue Between Communities’. Research report (2022). Available through TARA:
  • Pádraic Whyte et al.‘National Collection of Children’s Books: Repositioning Children’s Literature in Ireland’ [pdf] (Dublin: Trinity College Dublin). Research Impact Case Study (2021). Published through TARA:
  • ‘KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2022’, in Inis Magazine, 65 (Children’s Books Ireland, Spring 2022)
  • ‘KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2021’, in Inis Magazine, 62 (Children’s Books Ireland, Spring 2021)
  • ‘Are we there yet? Same-Sex Relationships in Children’s Literature’, in Inis Magazine, 43 (Children’s Books Ireland, Spring 2015)
  • ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’, in Inis Magazine, 41 (Children’s Books Ireland, Summer 2014)


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

Telephone: 00353 1 8961224

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