Beverly Lyon Clark

Professor of English, Emerita



Main Interests

Children’s literature, feminist criticism, American literature, writing.


Ph.D., Brown University
B.A., Swarthmore College

Research Interests

I’m particularly interested at present in several issues. One is the relationship between feminist theory and criticism of children’s literature (I’ve coedited Little Women And The Feminist Imagination and Girls, Boys, Books, Toys: Gender In Children’s Literature And Culture). Another is the reception of children’s literature within the academy and beyond since the nineteenth century (I’ve published Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction Of Children’s Literature In America and The Afterlife of “Little Women”). I’m currently working on the relationship between children’s literature and American Indians, especially how the latter are portrayed in the former; one focus is the many versions of the Pocahontas story.

Teaching Interests

In addition to regular courses in children’s literature, feminist criticism, early American literature, romance, and writing, I occasionally teach a senior seminar on “Constructing Childhood.”


  • The Afterlife of “Little Women.” Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2014. See guest blog posts at http://jhupressblog.com/2014/11/24/seeking-little-women/ and
  • Edited. The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 2007.
  • Coedited. Oxford Encyclopedia Of Children’s Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 2006.
  • Edited. Louisa May Alcott: The Contemporary Reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004.
  • Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction Of Children’s Literature In America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2003
  • Coedited with Margaret R. Higonnet. Girls, Boys, Books, Toys: Gender In Children’s Literature And Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999.
  • Coedited with Janice M. Alberghene. “Little Women” And The Feminist Imagination. New York: Garland, 1999.
  • “Kiddie Lit in Academe.” Profession (1996).

Student Projects

I’ve worked on coauthored scholarship with a number of former students–addressing writer’s block, girls’ school stories, teaching and learning “Feminist Criticism,” and “Reading Romance, Reading Ourselves.” Recently students have worked with me locating early reviews of Louisa May Alcott’s work, transcribing Alcott letters at Harvard, summarizing fanfiction, or writing entries for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature.