Peer-Reviewed Articles


“Worlds of Realism and Romance: Ironic Play and the Child Reader in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 2, Summer 2018.

Abstract: Taking Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice as a case study, this article proposes that the “ironic play” of children’s literature calls for a reimagining of methodological debates on the agency of child readers. “Ironic play” describes the way many children’s books blend romantic imagination and realist skepticism to invite a playful mode of engagement, a mode at once both immersive and critical. By self-reflexively winking at their own fictionality, such books acknowledge the complications intrinsic to writing “for” children. Ironic play thereby challenges the notion that children’s literature tends to conceal the mediated nature of fictional representations.

Book Reviews


Screen Adaptations and the Politics of Childhood: Transforming Children’s Literature into Film by Robyn McCallum (review).” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 1 (Forthcoming)


The Outward Mind: Materialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature by Benjamin Morgan (review).” Victoriographies, vol. 9, no. 1 (Forthcoming)

Image Credit:  Black Hawk Ledger, no. 5

Paul Goble, Storyteller by Gregory Bryan (review).” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 1, Spring 2018.

“At heart, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices movements seek not to castigate and silence individuals or to censor literary history, but to redress longstanding and large-scale inequalities in a genre to which colonialist ideologies are endemic...”

Other Essays


“Part-Victorian Imagination: On Being a Victorianist of Color.” “Victorian Teaching Now: Teaching Under Trump,” V21: Victorian Studies for the 21st Century, June 5, 2018.

“Anti-racist pedagogies should not be limited to critiquing racism—as if to be a racialized subject is merely to have violence inflicted upon you—but need to help us understand how our imaginations might heal and be healed...”


“Orange and Sardines: Art and Ekphrasis in the Writing Center.” Another Word: From the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 25, 2017.

“I sometimes think about ‘Why I Am Not a Painter’ when I meet with the many talented art students who visit the Writing Center...”

“To invest in early education, we must value ‘women’s work.’” The Capital Times, June 7, 2017.

“In 1873, when many American children still studied in one-room schoolhouses, the first public kindergarten in the United States opened in the small shipbuilding town of Manitowoc, Wisconsin...”


“What ‘school choice’ in Milwaukee should teach us.” The Capital Times, December 7, 2016.

“Some see the world in terms of winners and losers, but this is not a worldview that will square with our imperative to provide high-quality education to all...”

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“Play and the Writing Center—From Kindergarten to College.” Another Word: From the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 26, 2016. 

“When I taught kindergarten in an urban public school in Milwaukee, my ‘writing center’ was a real plastic mailbox I purchased at the hardware store...”