Roberta Trites

Roberta Trites

Illinois State University’s Distinguished Professor Roberta Seelinger Trites is the recipient of the 16th International Brothers Grimm Award by the International Institute for Children’s Literature, Osaka, Japan.

The award, which is given out biannually, recognizes prominent contributions made by a literary critic of children’s literature.

Trites served as the president of the Children’s Literature Association in 2006 and 2007, and as editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly from 2000 to 2004. She worked to shift the association’s focus from a primarily North American view to a more international perspective and to enhance its academic rigor. Her direction of 22 Ph.D. students, including students from India, Jordan, Nepal, Tanzania, and Taiwan, provides testimony to her outstanding expertise and international contributions to the field of children’s literature.

Some of Trites’ works include Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels; Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel; Literary Conceptualizations of Growth in Adolescent Literature; and Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature, which won the Children’s Literature Association annual Book Award. With Betsy Hearne, she co-edited A Narrative Compass: Stories That Guide Women’s Lives. Trites also has a book forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi, Twenty-First Century Feminisms in Children’s and Adolescent Literature. The International Institute of Children’s Literature describes Trites’ books as ground-breaking in their theoretical approaches to adolescent literature, feminist studies, historical and cultural literary studies.”

Trites joined the English Department at Illinois State University in 1991. She also served as the associate dean and acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University. She is currently serving in the College of Business as the interim chair of Management and Quantitative Methods.

Professor Trites is the third citizen of the U.S. upon which this honor has been bestowed. She has been short-listed for the award several times before and is now being accorded fitting recognition as its 16th recipient. The award was established in 1986 to honor the Brothers Grimm’s centenary and is sponsored by the Kinran-kai Foundation of Osaka.