Melissa Terras, "Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children's Literature" (Cambridge UP, 2018)


How have academics been represented in children's books? In Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children's Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh, tells the story of the professor in children's books since 1850. The book details the history of highly problematic depictions of academics, usually as kindly old men, baffled buffoons, or evil madmen, depictions that exclude those who are not white, often middle class origin, men. Terras' work is a great example for digital humanities scholarship, offering a powerful case for new methods to answer crucial questions of equality and diversity for humanities scholars and across universities more generally. Alongside the analysis, Terras has published an anthology, The Professor in Children's Literature, including some of the works discussed in the book. Both Picture-Book Professors and the accompanying anthology are open access and free to read, and will be of interest to every academic as well as the wider public too!

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Dave O'Brien

Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Manchester.

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