Department of English and Creative Writing

Visiting address
102 Fincham, Digby Stuart

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3815


Director of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL)

I have been a member of this internationally renowned centre since 1996. I am proud to work with such an outstanding team of scholars, both in the NCRCL and in the wider Department 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.

Head of Postgraduate Taught Programmes in ECW

I am also Programme Convener of our long-running MA/PDs in Children's Literature (on-site and 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.

Research interests

Current Research

My broad field of research is philosophy and children's literature, as reflected in my monograph for Bloomsbury - Ethics in British Children's Literature: Unexamined Life (2013). I am currently working on my next book for Bloomsbury on the metaphysics of children's literature.

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 related to childhood culture.


  • 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 Academic, 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.

Current PhDs

Manuela Salvi: The Disempowered Author: Pre-censorship, Self-censorship, and the Challenge of Children’s Literature. 2015 - present.

Rebecca Sutton: Inside/Outside: Contested Spaces in Young Adult Literature set in Israel/Palestine. 2016 - present.

Kay Waddilove: Motherhood in 1950s Children's Literature. 2012 - 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: On-site and Distance Learning

Convener of MA/PDs in Children's Literature


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