Elizabeth Hoiem

Photo of Elizabeth Hoiem

Assistant Professor

PhD, English, Illinois

234 LIS
hoiem [at] illinois.edu

Office Hours

Wednesdays 12:00-1:00 pm; Thursdays 7:30-8:30 pm; and by appointment

Research Focus

Nineteenth-century British literature, the British novel, history of pedagogy and education, children’s literature and childhood studies, working-class radical press, philosophy of mind, new materialism, material culture and “things” in literature (thing theory), science and literature, automata, industrialization and industrial novels, fantasy and science fiction.


Elizabeth Hoiem joined the iSchool faculty as an assistant professor in 2014. She teaches in the areas of children’s literature, history of children’s literature, and fantasy literature. In her research and teaching, she explores the history of technological innovations in children’s literature—from early children’s books and toys to contemporary applications of digital pedagogy—and looks at modern technology through a historical lens. In addition to literature and the history of literature, Hoiem's research interests include community engagement—specifically, the importance of literature to contemporary youth—and digital humanities. Currently, she is developing a project in the digital humanities that uses statistical analysis to explore the separation of literature for children and adults.

Hoiem is active in several professional organizations, including the Children's Literature Association, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), and the Modern Language Association. She served as the student caucus president for IAFA for two years and has co-organized several interdisciplinary conferences. Hoiem received bachelor's degrees in English and communication design from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, in 2002. She received an MA in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and a PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Prior to joining the iSchool faculty, Hoiem was an assistant professor at East Carolina University.

Teaching this Semester

Research Projects

The Education of Things: Mechanical Literacies in British Culture (1760-1860)

This project examines writers who represent education as an embodied experience, with learning and literacy grounded in what they called “object learning” or “the education of things.” Denouncing rote-learning in favor of an induction method, object lessons promised to coordinate the development of body and mind by using the pupil’s senses as a catalyst for higher cognitive thought.

Related Topics

Digital Humanities, Diversity and Social Justice, History of Information, Youth Literature, Culture, and Services