Professor of English Roberta Seelinger Trites will give Illinois State University’s Distinguished Professor Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.
A renowned author who has built an international reputation as a children’s literature specialist, Trites will give the talk titled Twenty-First Century Feminisms in Adolescent Literature. The event is free and open to the public.
Trites’ work focuses on feminism, narrative theory and cognitive studies in children’s and adolescent literature. She was one of the first to argue that adolescent literature is not a literature of rebellion and iconoclasm, but a literature that ultimately molds adolescents into socially acceptable and conformist roles.
Her book Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature won the Children’s Literature Association book award. Another book, Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels, has been honored by the American Library Association. She is also the author of Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel and Literary Conceptualizations of Growth in Adolescent Literature: Metaphors and Cognition in Adolescent Literature. Several of her works have been translated into Japanese and Chinese.
She served as editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and was president of the Children’s Literature Association. In addition, she has organized the Children’s Literature Association Conference and has served on the board of directors for the Louisa May Alcott Society. Her scholarship has been published in journals such as the African-American Review, Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Children’s Literature in Education and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. She has delivered lectures at Cambridge University in England and in Taiwan, Japan, China, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.
Trites received her Ph.D. in English from Baylor University. A member of the Illinois State faculty since 1991, she has been active in the Illinois State community and has overseen the graduate and doctoral work of many students. She has chaired various committees and worked with Fulbright students. She was named Outstanding University Teacher in 2000, was honored with a University Teaching Initiative Award and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. She has received the College of Arts and Sciences Research Award, and was named the College’s Distinguished Lecturer.
She has been an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of graduate studies in the Department of English. She has served on the English Department Faculty Status Committee as well as the department council, has chaired multiple searches and has served as the director of graduate studies in English.
The Distinguished Professor designation honors faculty who have achieved national recognition for scholarly research or leadership; been clearly identified by students, colleagues or external agencies as an outstanding teacher and have contributed significant public service within the academic discipline.