Research and Scholarship

Ongoing Research Projects

Capshaw, Katharine. Child Bodies and Treacherous Spaces: Emancipatory Possibility in June Jordan’s His Own Where (1971) and James Baldwin’s Little Man, Little Man (1976).

Capshaw, Katharine. Fractured Innocence in G. Neri’s and Randy Du Burke’s Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty (2010).

Glenn, W. J., Drossopoulos, A., Ginsberg, R., & King. D. (In progress). Exploring and expanding understandings of Islam through young adult literature.

Smith, Victoria Ford. Sex and Hot Wings: Food and Desire and Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, A Girl in Pieces.

Smith, V. F., Glenn, W. J., & Capshaw, C. (In progress). UConn Reads: A bibliography of children’s and YA literature with content centered on Islamic culture and/or Muslim characters.

Completed Research Projects

Glenn, W. J. (In press). Space and place and the “American” legacy: Female protagonists and the discovery of self in two novels for young adults. Children’s Literature in Education.

This qualitative literary analysis explores the intersection of place, space, and identity in two novels for young adults to explore how the provision of a new physical place provides space for independence development among female teen protagonists and the implications of this development given the authors’ identities as non-US authors writing about the US. Through the application of theories centered on conceptions of space and place and how they work together to influence the identity development of characters in literature, the piece examines how experiences in new places can provide space to redefine one’s personal identity and foster a sense of belonging. It recognizes the value of place-based narratives as stories that offer hope and inspiration to those longing to visit while simultaneously encouraging educators to support students in a critical reading of place to challenge misconceptions and romanticized views and build more complex understandings of communities and cultures that lie beyond the national borders in which they reside.

Glenn, W. J. (2016). Vying for position: The role of sport in postcolonial young adult literature. SIGNAL: International Reading Association, 39(2), 28-33.

Sport, culture, identity, and power are intimately related. Sport can serve to reaffirm important ideas and beliefs in many societies, strengthening existing ideologies related to gender, race, and class. In a postcolonial context, where different norms are being established following independence, sport can also serve to build new ideologies and act as an “important tool for ‘imagining’ nationhood. It is a perfect forum for constructing identity” (Jutel in Coakley, 2009, p. 446). However, in a postcolonial context, where tensions can run high between colonizers who remain in the country and once-colonized peoples striving to assert a changed set of values, sport can undermine political stability and a peaceable transition of power. This paper draws upon postcolonial literary theory, namely the representation of cultural identity and privilege among and between the colonized and colonizers, to examine the intersection between sport and power in two novels for young adults, Now Is the Time for Running (Williams, 2011) and Out of Shadows (Wallace, 2011).