PhD student in English Literature
Supervisors: Professor Kimberley Reynolds and Dr Beate Müller
Recovering Children’s Drawings: Judith Kerr’s and Tomi Ungerer’s Fiction from and of Childhood Exile in the Nazi Era
History of the Holocaust tends to show the child merely as victim. Historian Nicholas Stargardt seeks to reconstruct this history, to form a history that reflects the wider range of possible fates that befell children in this period. Archival evidence, while of a ‘fragmentary nature’ which leaves many ‘silences’ (Roberts 2017, p. 316), helps in this reconstruction. In archives across Europe there is a significant proportion of the drawings, paintings and illustrated writings Judith Kerr (b. 1923) and Tomi Ungerer (b. 1931), major figures in children’s literature and holocaust education, made as children in exile in the Nazi era, Kerr from Nazi Germany and Ungerer in occupied Alsace. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, I show Kerr and Ungerer not to have been victims as children because they had agency: their juvenilia was the space in which they could creatively express the disruption to their childhoods, including the re-negotiation of home, identity, language and cultural heritage. My research also explores how Kerr’s and Ungerer’s early creative responses influenced their adult presentations of the Nazi era and its aftermath.
Children's Literature, Childhood Exile, Children’s Drawings, Forced Migration, War in Children's literature, Childhood and Memory in Children's Literature, Children's Literature in Education, Juvenilia, History of Childhood, Archival Research, Refugees in Children’s Literature, Art History, Exile Studies
- Children's Literature Unit Graduate Group (CLUGG)
- International Research Society for Children's Literature (IRSCL)
- Children’s Literature Association (ChLA)
- University of Cambridge Picturebook Club
- ‘Children’s Literature and Play’. The 12th Child and the Book International Conference, University of Wroclaw, 2016. Presented paper: Negotiating Childhood Exile through Play: Judith Kerr’s Juvenilia.
- First Year HaSS Conference, Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Newcastle University, 2017. Presented paper: Recovering the Voices of Children in Exile.
- 'Home and Lived Spaces in Picturebooks from the 1950s until the Present Day', The 6th Biennial European Network of Picturebook Research International Conference, University of Padua, 2017. Presented paper: Tomi Ungerer’s Otto: Home and its Loss.
- Textfor the L’art de l’enfance exhibition journal at the Tomi Ungerer Museum in Strasbourg, 2017.
- In 2016, the Children's Literature Unit Graduate Group (CLUGG) founded the Children’s Literature in Newcastle blog (https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/childrensliteratureinnewcastle/) for which I act as editor
- Research Excellence Academy Studentship (2016 – 2019)
- David Almond Fellowship (2016)
- Board Member, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)
MPhil in Education (Children’s Literature), University of Cambridge
BA (Languages) (Honours), University of Sydney