Distinguished Professor of English Dr. Roberta Seelinger Trites will offer a retrospective look at the evolution of the study of children’s literature during her career for the 2021 Lois Lenski Children’s Literature Lecture. 

The talk, “Mentalités of Children’s Literature: 1991-2021” will be at 7 p.m. Monday, March 29. Find the Zoom link here. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Illinois State University’s Department of English and Milner Library.   

Trites is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of children’s and young adult literature. She has published six scholarly books in the fields including Twenty-First Century Feminisms in Children’s and Adolescent Literature (2018), Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel (2007), Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (2000), and Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels (1997). 

Trites has served as the president of the Children’s Literature Association and as the editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly. She received the International Brothers Grimm Award in 2017 for her scholarly contributions in the field of children’s literature by the International Institute for Children’s Literature. Her scholarly articles have appeared in numerous edited collections as well as in academic journals including Children’s LiteratureChildren’s Literature in EducationTulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, and Style. 

Trites joined the Department of English at Illinois State in 1991. Her scholarship and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level helped to establish the department’s Children’s Literature Program as one of the most respected programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels in the United States and attracts students from around the globe. 

Trites’ presentation will provide a 30-year retrospective of her career as a teacher and scholar and the changing nature of the scholarly study of Children’s Literature. Professor Trites plans to retire from Illinois State University on June 30, 2021. 

For additional information, contact Dr. Jan Susina at jcsusina@ilstu.edu. Dr. Trites can be contacted at seeling@ilstu.edu