Grenby to deliver 2021 Gryphon Lecture

M.O. Grenby

M. O. Grenby, dean of research and innovation and professor of eighteenth-century studies at Newcastle University, UK, will deliver the 2021 Gryphon Lecture on April 15. 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 "Going Global: Transnational Networks and the Spread of Early Modern Children’s Books," Grenby will examine a little-known aspect of the early history of children's literature: the international networks by which children's books were transported and transplanted around the globe in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.

"Often, these books were intended to be instruments of colonialism or were designed to support religious conversion," he said. "But what's also remarkable is the way that new, hybrid forms of children's books emerged, as European practices met with existing traditions or adapted to local contexts in India and China, or North and South America."

According to Grenby, the rapid and "extraordinarily large-scale" movement of these children's books around the world had a huge effect not only on the development of children's literature, but also on the history of print as a whole.

"What's also obvious is that a globalized culture of childhood, in which children across the world know many of the same books, is not a completely modern phenomenon," he said.

Grenby's research interests include pre-modern children's literature and culture, eighteenth-century political literature and culture, and the connections between children, antiquarianism, and "heritage." He is the author of several monographs, including The Anti-Jacobin Novel: British Conservatism and the French Revolution and The Child Reader 1700-1840, which won the Harvey Darton Award, as well as editor of books including Popular Children's Literature in Britain and The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature. He earned his MA and PhD from the University of Edinburgh.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

New book exploring provenance authored by iSchool PhD student, alumni

Documenting the Future: Navigating Provenance Metadata Standards, a new book authored by PhD student Michael Gryk and alumni Rhiannon Bettivia (PhD '16) and Jessica Yi-Yun Cheng (PhD '22), explores provenance, which is the study and documentation of how something has come to be. Provenance documentation is critical for authenticity, trustworthiness, and reproducibility in science. 

Michael Gryk

Holmes joins the iSchool’s Academic Affairs team

Amber Holmes joined the iSchool this month as assistant director of academic affairs. In her new position, she will support Academic Affairs, playing a key role in scheduling the curricula across all degree programs and collaborating with Student Affairs to balance program needs with instructor preferences.

Amber Holmes

SLA chapter at UIUC celebrates 50 years

One of the iSchool's student organizations is celebrating a special anniversary this year—the Special Libraries Association chapter at the University of Illinois (SLA@UIUC) is turning fifty. The chapter's mission is to support and empower iSchool graduate students with specialized interests in librarianship. The organization provides a community and resources that promote learning and professional development and offers students a chance to connect with peers and working professionals who share their specific interests.

SLA at UIUC logo

Project to study anti-Black violence in newspapers receives support from Mellon Foundation

A project to examine the circulation of newspaper reports about anti-Black violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. newspapers could provide context to the spread of white supremacist ideologies in social media today. "The Virality of Racial Terror in US Newspapers, 1863-1921" (VRT) is a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northeastern University, and Washington University, with Illinois serving as the lead institution. VRT was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, as part of its Higher Learning program that supports inquiry into issues of vital social, cultural, and historical import.

St. Louis newspaper from early 1900s

Zhou receives HICSS Best Paper Award

A paper coauthored by PhD student Zhixuan (Kyrie) Zhou and Mengyi Wei, a PhD student at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, received the Best Paper Award at the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-56). The conference, which was held in Maui on January 3-6, is one of the longest-standing working scientific conferences in information technology management.

Zhixuan Zhou