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Personal profile

Biography

You can find out more about my research interests and projects here

I specialise in young adult fiction and my current project is a study of ordinariness in contemporary British YA. I am the author of Constructing Adolescence in Fantastic Realism (Routledge 2009) and General Editor of The International Journal of Young Adult Literature.

I am also an expert in the practice of remembering and rereading childhood fiction, and my latest monograph, Rereading Childhood Books: a Poetics (Bloomsbury 2019) examined how adults negotiate relationships with books from their pasts. 

I enjoy collaboration, and recently led a co-creative project ‘Lifelong Reading: New Stories’, working with a day centre specialising in dementia. I was co-organiser for ‘The Memory Network’, which brought together scholars working in arts and humanities and science. I am now collaborating with schools and young people to create digital YA reading communities for my Covid-19 related project, ‘Reading for Normal.’

I am a member of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

 

Qualifications

PhD: 'Representing Adolescence in Young Adult Fantastic Realism' (Nottingham Trent, 2005); PGCert: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Roehampton/HEA, 2009).

Research interests

Young adult fiction; Memory and literature; Reading and rereading. I would welcome enquiries from research students and collaborators with interests in any of these areas.

Teaching

I teach on both the on-site and distance learning MA programmes in Children's Literature. I teach 'Memory and Being' and 'British Young Adult Fiction' on the undergraduate English curriculum.

I have supervised these PhD projects to completion:

  • Nick Cambell: 'Children's Neo-Romanticism: The Archaeological Imagination in Post-War Children's Fantasy.' (2017: minor corrections)
  • Erica Gillingham: 'Lesbian Love Stories in Young Adult Literature and Graphic Novels: Narrative Constructions of Same-Sex Relationships between Female Characters across Genre and Form.' (2017: no corrections)
  • Anne Malewski: 'Growing Sideways: Shifting Boundaries between CHildhood and Adulthood in Twenty-First Century Britain' (2019: no corrections)
  • Sarah Pyke: 'Queer readers remember: The textual and extratextual afterlives of childhood reading for LGBTQ adults' (2019: minor corrections)
  • Kay Waddilove: 'Good Enough? Representations of Motherhood in Populist Children's Literature from 1911 to 2011' (2019: no corrections)

I also supervise the following students:

  • Emily Corbett: 'Gender-Variant Identities in Twenty-First Century Young Adult Literature'
  • Odhran O'Donoghue: 'The ‘Gay Future Child’: an analysis of homonormativity and assimilation in contemporary American LGBT+ young adult fiction'
I won the Student-Led Teaching Award for 'Best Research Supervisor' in 2014. "Alison is incredibly knowledgeable. She has an excellent manner (she is always calm and gentle), while offering firm and perceptive guidance."

Links

Research Output

Rereading childhood Books: A Poetics

Waller, A., 7 Feb 2019, London & New York: Bloomsbury. 232 p. (Bloomsbury Perspectives on Children's Literature)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Open Access
File
2 Downloads (Pure)

Margaret Mackey’s One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography (review)

Waller, A., 23 Mar 2017, In : Children's Literature in Education. 48, 2

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Open Access
File
90 Downloads (Pure)

"Re-memorying: A new phenomenological methodology in children’s literature studies"

Waller, A., 1 Oct 2017, The Edinburgh Companion to Children¹s Literature. Beauvais, C. & Nikolajeva, M. (eds.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 136-149

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

"“Girls Like it Most” Challenging Gendered Canons and Paracanons in the case of The Secret Garden"

Waller, A., 2017, Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children’s Literature. Kümmerling-Meibauer, B. & Müller, A. (eds.). London: Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, p. 155-172

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
File

Amnesia in Young Adult Fiction

Waller, A., 2016, Memory in the Twenty-first Century: New Critical Perspectives from the Sciences and Arts and Humanities.. Groes, S. (ed.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 286-291

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Prizes

Southlands Methodist Trust Small Grant - Lifelong Reading: New Stories (£3000)

Waller, Alison (Recipient), Sep 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Student Led Teaching Award - Best Research Supervisor

Waller, Alison (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities

Remembering Childhood Books

Alison Waller (Speaker)

12 Feb 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachSchools engagement

Digging Down: excavating memories of childhood reading

Alison Waller (Speaker)

20 Jun 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachSchools engagement

Lifelong Reading Workshop

Alison Waller (Organiser)

29 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Novel Perspectives: Towards an inclusive canon

Alison Waller (Consultant)

1 Sep 20191 Sep 2020

Activity: Consultancy

Alison Waller in Conversation with Nathan Waddell

Alison Waller (Interviewee)

12 Feb 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation

Thesis

Children’s Neo-Romanticism: The Archaeological Imagination in British Post-War Children’s Fantasy

Author: Campbell, N., 10 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Priestman, D. (Supervisor) & Waller, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

File

Growing sideways: challenging boundaries between childhood and adulthood in twenty-first century Britain

Author: Malewski, A., 7 Feb 2019

Supervisor: Sainsbury, L. (Supervisor) & Waller, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

File

Growing Sideways: Shifting Boundaries Between Childhood and Adulthood in Twenty-First Century Britain

Author: Malewski, A., Jan 2019

Supervisor: Sainsbury, L. (Supervisor) & Waller, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Tending, mending, caring : constructions of motherhood in popular children's literature from 1945 to 1960

Author: Waddilove, K., 4 Mar 2020

Supervisor: Sainsbury, L. (Supervisor) & Waller, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

File