The following blog post is written by Lesley Clement, LMMI Visiting Scholar and 2020 Conference Co-chair.
We are thrilled and honoured that renowned children’s literature scholar Marah Gubar has agreed to be one of the keynote speakers for the Institute’s 2020 conference. An associate professor in the Literature Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marah was previously at the University of Pittsburgh in the English Department, where she was Director of the Children’s Literature Program. She received her PhD from Princeton University and holds both a BA in English and BFA in Musical Theater from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).
Marah has written extensively on children’s literature from the nineteenth through to the twenty-first century, children’s theater and musical theater, and children’s art and activism. Her Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature (Oxford University Press, 2009) won the 2009 Children’s Literature Association Book Award and was featured as a Times Higher Education Book of the Week. She has an article forthcoming in Broadway Babies: Children, Childhood, and Musical Theater (Routledge, 2020) on “Urchins, Unite: Newsies as an Antidote to Annie.”
Marah’s 2013 article “Risky Business: Talking About Children in Children’s Literature Criticism” and 2106 article “The Hermeneutics of Recuperation: What a Kinship-Model Approach to Children’s Agency Could Do for Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies” have invited wide-ranging discussion for the past few years. We are looking forward to the publication of her work-in-progress: How to Think about Children: Childhood Studies in the Academy and Beyond.
Within the L.M. Montgomery community, Marah is probably best known for her 2001 article in The Lion and the Unicorn (excerpted in Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston’s Norton Critical Edition of Anne of Green Gables), “‘Where is the Boy?’: The Pleasures of Postponement in the Anne of Green Gables Series.”
For her keynote talk, Marah plans on considering the cult of the child and child innocence that Anne embodies in Montgomery’s first novel and televised and theatrical adaptations.