(Gender and Women's Studies)
American Literature; Youth Culture and Literature; Women's Studies
Department of English
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331
Office: (269) 387-2588
911 Sprau Tower
Ph.D., Purdue University (1997)
I am an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University, where I teach courses in children's and YA literature, comics studies, and gender studies. As a department administrator, I have served as graduate director and as chair of the department’s Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee, as well as the Curricular Review Committee.
My scholarly interests combine cultural history, visual theory, and children's literature, fields I drew upon to write my dissertation, The Clubwomen's Daughters: Collectivist Impulses in Progressive-era Girls' Fiction, which uncovered the way that the first college-educated, politically-active US women modeled their lives and their interests in series books written for girls -- books such as The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. In 2000, The Clubwomen’s Daughters was published by Routledge and was designated as a Choice/ALA Outstanding Academic Title in 2001. Since that time, I have published on 19th and 20th century children’s literature and on the Harry Potter phenomenon.
My current research projects focus on the portrayal of adolescence in French, Belgian, and North American comics, as well as a continued focus on girls’ studies and culture. I will be on sabbatical from January 1, 2013-September 1, 2013, working on these areas of research.
To learn more about my teaching and scholarship, head over to my personal blog: http://bookcandy.typepad.com/gwen_tarbox/