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Children's Literature Scholars to Speak

On Thursday, 10/24, Professor Philip Nel and Karin Westman, two internationally recognized children’s literature scholars will be speaking, from 3:30-5:00pm, in 1210 McClung Tower. Professor Nel, a University Distinguished Professor and the Director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature, will give a talk entitled “Not So Simple: The Genius of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.” Professor Westman, who is the Head of the Department of English at Kansas State University will be speaking on “Mind the Gap: Harry Potter and the Fantasy (of) Genre.”

Professor Nel is the author of five books: Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012), The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats (2007), Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004), The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity: Small Incisive Shocks (2002), and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels: A Reader’s Guide (2001). Professor Westman’s talk will preview her forthcoming book on Harry Potter, titled J. K. Rowling’s Library: Harry Potter in Context (2014); she is also the author of Pat Barker’s Regeneration: A Reader’s Guide (2001) and serves as a co-editor of the journal The Lion and the Unicorn, published by John Hopkins University Press.

On Friday October 25th from 12:00-1:30 in 1210 McClung, there will also be a free lunch seminar with Nel and Westman to discuss their two pieces of writing on Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling: “Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: Seuss and Race in the 1950s” by Philip Nel and “Harry Potter and the Object of Art” by Karin Westman.

There are a limited number of places at the lunch, so if you are interested in attending the lunch seminar, please RSVP as soon as possible to Dr. Amy Billone (


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