Eastern Michigan University
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Amanda K. Allen

Assistant Professor, Children's Literature Program

603L Pray-Harrold




PhD in English Literature

University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

MA in English Literature

York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

BA (Honors) in English Literature

York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Interests and Expertise

Amanda K. Allen, Assistant Professor of Children's Literature, joined the Department of English Language and Literature in 2010. Her research focuses on:

  • mid-twentieth-century girls' novels
  • women's literary and employment history
  • the history of the children's publishing industry in America
  • fandom studies (particularly the Harry Potter fandom)

Her current project is a book-length manuscript that examines the effects of the publishing, librarian, and educational fields on the history of young adult literature and, more specifically, on teen girl romance novels published from 1942 to 1967 (known as the female junior novel genre). Allen uses a feminist cultural materialist approach, drawing on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Luce Irigaray, and using previously unpublished archival documents, to suggest a revised history of young adult fiction: one that explores the neglected female junior novel genre in relation to the rise and fall of a semi-autonomous network of female producers and distributors (editors, critics, librarians), and contrasted against the academics who ultimately defined “good” young adult fiction. By examining the female junior novel texts and network in relation to Cold War politics, federal initiatives in education and librarianship, and the history of the children’s publishing industry in America, she suggests a heretofore hidden battle regarding who has the right—and ability—to define our current concept of young adult fiction.


*New Course in Winter 2014: CHL 353/WGST 353: Genders and Sexualities in Literature for Younger Readers (cross-listed with Women's and Gender Studies). Please email aallen36@emich.edu for information*

CHL 137: Harry Potter: Literary Allusion, Popular Culture, and Children’s Literature

CHL 207: Introduction to Children’s Literature

CHL 455: Adolescent Literature

CHL 516: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Children’s Literature

CHL 518: History of Children’s Literature

CHL 588: Oz as Icon

CHL 588: Graduate Studies in Harry Potter

Recent Publications and Presentations

Recent Publications:

“Social Networking, Participatory Culture, and the Fandom World of Harry Potter.” Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture. Ed. Gail Ashton. Forthcoming in 2014 by Bloomsbury Academic.

“Breathlessly Awaiting the Next Installment: Revealing the Complexity of Young Adult Literature.” Children’s Literature 40 (2012). 260-269.

“Charm the Boys, Win the Girls: Power Struggles in Mary Stolz’s Cold War Adolescent Girl Romance Novels.” Journal of Popular Romance Studies 3.1 (2012). Available: http://jprstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/JPRS3.1_Allen.pdf

“The Cinderella-Makers: Post-War Adolescent Girl Fiction as Commodity Tales.” The Lion and the Unicorn 33.3 (2009): 282-299.

Recent Presentations:

"School Skirt and Cashmere Sweater: Maturation through Consumerism in Early Cold War Adolescent Girl Romance Novels." Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) Conference. University of Southern Mississippi. Biloxi, Ms. 13-15 June, 2013.

“'Odious Products of a Merchandising Age': Dust Jacket Illustrations and the Marketing of Post-War Adolescent Girl Romance Novels." Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association Conference. Washington, D.C. 27-30 March, 2013.

“Snanger Danger: Snape/Hermione (SS/HG) Fanfiction and the Queering of Children’s Literature. Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) Conference. Simmons College. Boston, Ma. 14-16 June, 2012.

 “Adaptations, Revisions, and Fractures.” Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) Conference. Simmons College. Boston, Ma. 14-16 June, 2012.

“The Paratext of Pottermore: URLs and Structuring Harry Potter ‘Moments.’” Society for Textual Scholarship: International Interdisciplinary Conference. University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Tx. 31 May-2 June, 2012 (Co-presented with Matt Schneider).

"Charm the Boys, Win the Girls: Power Struggles in Mary Stolz’s Cold War Adolescent Girl Romance Novels." International Association for the Study of Popular Romance. New York University. New York, N.Y. 26-28 June, 2011.

"Angie Versus the 'Secret Police System' in Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer." Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) Conference. Hollins University. Roanoke, Va. 23-25 June, 2011.

“High-browing the Middle-brow:  Mary Stolz’s Adolescent Romance Novels and Ilonka Karasz’s Modernist Dust Jackets.” The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) Conference. St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON. 23-27 June, 2009.