Professor Jean Webb



Jean Webb is Director of the International Forum for Research in Children’s Literature which provides a focus for literary, cultural and socio-historical scholarly enquiry into writing for children, internationally. She teaches a broad range of undergraduate modules on nineteenth and twentieth century literature, and is responsible for specialist modules in children’s literature. She is also an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner.    


Jean has given conference papers and keynote lectures across the world: she was a Board member of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (2013-17): an Executive Board Member of ChLA, 2010-2013 and is on the Board of the Children’s Literature Association India. She was a contributor to the British Academy-funded research project ‘Reading Fictions: how representations of books and readers in children’s literature reflect perceptions of the power and purpose of literacy’ (2011-2014). 

Amongst other projects she is currently carrying out research for a chapter on ‘Ability/Disability’ in English Children’s Literature 1914-2019 for the forthcoming Cambridge History of children’s literature in English. 

Jean’s publications include: 

‘Reading as protection and enlightenment in Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief.’ Evelyn Arizpe & Vivienne Smith (ed) Children as Readers in Children’s Literature , Routledge, 2015. 

Jean Webb ‘Considering Sickness and Health in Literature for Children and Young Adults: A Case Study of Health and Disability in the work of F.H. Burnett.’ In Iris Schäfer (ed) Sick – Narrating Disease and Deviance in Media for Children and Young Adults Frankfurt/Main Peter Lang 2016. Translated into German. 

Jean Webb ‘The third space’ in Adolescent and YA fiction. Journal Of Child And Adolescent Mental Health, September 2016 

Jean Webb Health, Sickness and Literature for Children. In Maria Nikolajeva and Clementine Beauvais (ed.) The Edinburgh Companion to Children’s Literature Edinburgh University Press 2017. 

Jean Webb ‘Alice and Paddington: Digital Migrants From Book To Film’ in Irena Barbara Kalla, Patrycja, Poniatowska, Dorota, Michulka, (eds) On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media, CultureBrill, 2018.

‘Fantasy, Fear and Reality: tracing pathways between Carroll, Kingsley, and MacDonald leading to the lnklings.’ Stephen Prickett (ed) Informing the Inklings George MacDonald and the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy Winged Lion Press, 2018. 

Levene, Alysa and Webb, Jean: ‘Depictions of the “ideal child” in nineteenth-century British literature and legislature’ Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 2019. 

Jean Webb ‘Fantasy, Fear and Reality: tracing pathways between Carroll, Kingsley, and MacDonald leading to the lnklings.’ Michael Partridge and Kirstin Jeffery Johnson (ed) Informing the Inklings Winged Lion Press 2018. 

Jean Webb ‘Environmental havoc in teen fiction: Speculating futures.’ In Janice Bland (ed) Using Literature in English Language Education: Challenging Reading for 8-18 Year Olds. Bloomsbury 2018. 

Jean Webb The Flip Side of Arcadia: a consideration of the influence of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) in Jennifer Harrison (ed) Posthuman Pooh: Edward Bear After One Hundred Years forthcoming