Personal profile


Lead Co-Ordinator of the National Community of Researchers in Children's Literature (NCRCL)

I have been a member of this internationally renowned community since 1996. I am proud to work with such an outstanding team of scholars, both in the NCRCL and in the wider subject area of English and Creative Writing (ECW). The NCRCL is committed to research excellence and I work with colleagues to inspire, facilitate and extend scholarship in the field of children's literature.

Research Degrees Convener for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Programme Convener of our long-running MA/PDs in Children's Literature (distance learning).

Series Editor of Bloomsbury Academic's flagship list: Perspectives on Children's Literature

Current Titles in the series: The Courage to Imagine, (2017) Roni Natov; From Tongue to Text: A New Reading of Children's Poetry, (2017) Debbie Pullinger; Adulthood in Children's Literature, (2018) Vanessa Joosen; Fashioning Alice: The Career of Lewis Carroll's Icon, 1860-1901, (2019) Kiera Vaclavik; Literature's Children: The Critical Child and the Art of Idealisation, (2019) Louise Joy; Rereading Childhood Books: A Poetics, (2019) Alison Waller; Irish Children's Literature and the Poetics of Memory (2021) Rebecca Long; Space, Place, and Children's Reading Development (2022) Margaret Mackey; British Activist Authors Addressing Children of Colour (2022) Karen Sands-O'Connor; British Children's Literature and Material Culture (2022) Jane Suzanne Carroll.

Research interests

Current Research

My broad field of research is philosophy and children's literature, as reflected monographs for Bloomsbury - Ethics in British Children's Literature: Unexamined Life (2013) and Metaphysics of Children's Literature: Climbing Fuzzy Mountains (2021). I am also interested in environmental issues and eco-criticism in the context of children's literature and youth culture.

Areas of Research Interest in Children's Literature

Applied Ethics and Metaphysics; Postmodernity;Electronic Narrative; Environmental Ethics and Eco-Criticism; Poetry; Historical Fiction; Illustration and Visual Texts; Critical Writing; Music and Sound related to childhood culture.


  • Sainsbury, L. Metaphysics of Children's Literature: Climbing Fuzzy Mountains. London: Bloomsbury, 2021.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘‘But The Soldier’s Remains Were Gone:’ Thought Experiments in Children’s Literature.’ Children’s Literature in Education, Volume 48, No.2, June 2017.
  • Sainsbury, L.‘Childhood, Youth Culture and the Uncanny: Uncanny Nights in Contemporary Fiction for Young People.’ In: Butler, C; Reynolds, K, ed. Modern Children’s Literature: An Introduction, 2nd Ed. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2014.
  • Sainsbury, L.‘Chronotopes and Heritage: Time and Memory in Contemporary Children’s Literature,’ In: Butler, C; Reynolds, K, ed. Modern Children’s Literature: An Introduction, 2nd Ed. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2014.
  • Sainsbury, L. Ethics in British Children’s Literature: Unexamined Life. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.
  • Sainsbury, L. and Hunt, P. Illustrated Children’s Books. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2009.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘A Boy’s Duty: Ethics and Masculinity.’ In: Bottala, P; Santini, M, ed. What are Little Boys and Girls made Of? Unipress: Padua, 2009, pp. 67-85.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Rousseau's Raft: Interaction and Transformation in Electronic Books for Children.’ In: Collins, F; Ridgman, J, ed. Turning the Page: Children’s Literature in Performance and the Media, Peter Lang: Oxford, 2006, pp.207-226.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Politics and Philosophy in the Work of Raymond Briggs.’ In: Reynolds, K, ed. Modern Children’s Literature: An Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2005, pp.227-249.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Game On: Adolescent Texts to Read and Play.’ In: Black, J; Mallan, K; Pearce, S, ed. Youth Cultures: Texts, Images, and Identities. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2003, pp.155-167. (Winner of IRSCL Honour Award.)
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Tales from the Mouse House: Playing with Reading on CD-ROM.’ In: Bearne, E; Watson, V, ed. Where Texts and Children Meet. Routledge: London, 2000, pp.82-97.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Exploration of textual space in the (dis)location of adolescence.’ Journal of the Institute of Romance Studies, 1999, 7, 313-324.
  • Sainsbury, L. ‘Information Playgrounds: Children’s Reference and Multimedia.’ In: Hancock, S, ed. A Guide to Children’s Reference Books and Multimedia Material. Ashgate Publishing Ltd: Aldershot, 1998, pp. 145-187

PhD Students

Completed PhDs

Liz Thiel: The Fantasy of Family: Nineteenth-Century Children's Literature and the Myth of the Domestic Ideal. Awarded 2006.

Noga Applebaum: Control Shift: Interfaces of Technology and Children's Literature Through the Dimension of science Fiction Written for Children. Awarded 2008. (AHRC Funded)

Julie Cross: The 'Highs' and 'Lows' of Humour: Funny Junior Fiction from 1960 Onwards. Awarded 2009.

Simon Machin: Ripping Yarns: The Breaking of Masculine Codes in 'Boy's Own' Adventure Stories, 185501940. Awarded 2016.

Karen Williams: Humour in Children's Literature 1800-1840. Awarded 2017.

Anne Malewski: Growing Sideways: Shifting Boundaries Between Childhood and Adulthood in Twenty-First Century Britain. Awarded 2019.

Kay Waddilove: Motherhood in 1950s Children's Literature. Awarded 2019.

Manuela Salvi: The Disempowered Author: Pre-censorship, Self-censorship, and the Challenge of Children’s Literature. Awarded 2020.


Current PhDs

D Mortimer: The Butch Diaries - 2018 to Present

Harry Brooks-Kent: Poetry and Care - 2020 to Present

Mark Carter: As easy as ABC? A Study of English Language Alphabet Books - 2020 to Present.

Rufus Vaughan-Spruce: Study of a Collection, In Indian Ink: The Journalistic Origins, Evolutionary Process and Literary Significance of Kipling's 'Departmental Ditties and Other Verses’ - 2021 to Present.

Catherine Archer-Richards : The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Readers - 2022 to Present.

Denise Batchelor: An exploration of the relationship between vulnerability and love - 2022 to Present.


Please feel free to contact me if you would like to study with me in the NCRCL and the Department of English and Creative Writing at Roehampton.


PG Programmes in Children's Literature

Convener of MA/PDs in Children's Literature