Dahlen to deliver 2020 Gryphon Lecture

Sarah Park Dahlen

Sarah Park Dahlen (MS '09, PhD '09), iSchool research fellow and associate professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University, will deliver the 2020 Gryphon Lecture on November 12. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture.

In "(Re)Presenting Korea: The Carpenters and the White American Imaginary," Dahlen will discuss how the writings of Frances and Frank Carpenter influenced Asian American youth literature.

Frances Carpenter was a 20th century writer who authored several children's books that were partially influenced by her travels with her father, Frank Carpenter, a journalist and travel writer. In 1908, they visited Korea while Japan was in the process of annexing the country. This trip and her continuing interest in Korea thereafter, likely inspired her writing of the children's folktale collection, Tales of a Korean Grandmother (1947). This book, in turn, inspired Newbery Award winner Linda Sue Park to write Seesaw Girl, her first chapter book.

Through her analysis of the Carpenters' archives, Dahlen hypothesizes that "Carpenter wrote compassionately about Koreans, despite the larger geopolitical context in which she published, because of her visits to Korea and experiences with Korean people."

"It was at the University of Illinois that my journey with Frances Carpenter really began," said Dahlen. "I first started studying Carpenter in Dr. Christine Jenkins' History of Children's Literature class in the 2000s; only recently did I begin to revisit Tales of a Korean Grandmother and decide to make it my next research project."

Dahlen's research addresses transracially adopted Koreans in children's literature, the information behaviors of adopted Koreans, and diversity in children's literature and library education. She is co-founder of the scholarly journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, with Gabrielle Halko, and co-editor of Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading (2013), with Jamie Campbell Naidoo. She facilitated the creation of the 2015 and 2018 Diversity in Children's Books Infographics based on data from the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Get to know Ved Upadhyay, Senior Data Scientist

Ved Upadhyay (MS/IM '19) serves as a senior data scientist for Walmart Global Tech. He enjoys working with different teams at the company and "designing impactful data science solutions" for customers.

Ved Upadhyay

Wilberg joins the iSchool’s Advancement team

Danielle Wilberg has joined the iSchool as director of corporate and foundation relations. In her new role, Wilberg will be identifying and collaborating with businesses and foundations to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that support the School's mission.

Danielle Wilberg

Hopper named IAP Boss of the Year

Christine Hopper, assistant to the dean, was named Boss of the Year by Illinois Administrative Professionals (IAP, formerly known as The Secretariat), an organization for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign employees in certain Civil Service classifications. She was recognized at a special IAP event on October 19.

Christine Hopper

Batista gift to support iSchool and University Library

When planning their estate, Emily (MS/LIS '77) and David (MS/LIS '83) Batista wanted to give back to the university that prepared them for their successful careers as librarians. For this reason, the Batistas' $1.2 million estate gift to the University of Illinois will be directed to the iSchool and University Library.

Emily Batista

Dietrich transforms lives as 21st CCLC director

As a single parent raising two young children, Stephanie Dietrich (MS/LIS '18) needed a career where she could balance her family life and work life. After working with foster families in Chicago on the Children's Supplement Security Income (SSI) Project, she also knew that she wanted a career where she could serve her community. Dietrich, who holds a bachelor's degree in sociology, decided to make the jump to public education, returning to school for her MS/LIS degree with a K-12 teaching certification.

Stephanie Dietrich