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Personal profile


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.



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.


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."



Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or