Children's and Young Adult Feminist and Queer Non-Fiction Literature: A Literary Geography Approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Geography


This project will examine the role of collective biographies of women and LGBTQ+ figures in diversifying children's and young adult literature through narrating the lives and achievements of figures, past and present. Examples of books include the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series, the Fantastically Great Women series, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, and Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes from Past and Present, amongst others. This project will address three key questions as listed below:

1. How can the production of collective biographies of women and LGBTQ+ figures disrupt masculinist, heterosexual knowledge, and contribute to increasing the diversity of children's literature and of conventional accounts of history?
2. What are the successes, complexities and critiques of the content, themes and messages of children's non-fiction literature?
3. How can biography be used to teach issues of gender and sexuality, perhaps providing potential solutions to the gaps in the school curriculum, created as a result of the unease surrounding feminist topics and LGBTQ+ education?


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2580917 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2021 30/09/2025 Leah Shackman