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Personal profile


Michelle J. Smith teaches units on fairy tale and children’s literature. Her primary research focus is femininity in Victorian print culture, particularly through constructions of girlhood. She is currently completing a monograph for Edinburgh University Press entitled "Manufacturing Female Beauty in British Literature and Periodicals, 1850-1915". She also works on contemporary Young Adult literature, with projects on YA Gothic Fiction and girls' books and the YA publishing industry in progress. 

Michelle is the author of From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Children’s Literature (1840-1940) (U of Toronto P, 2018, with Clare Bradford and Kristine Moruzi) and Empire in British Girls’ Literature and Culture: Imperial Girls, 1880–1915 (Palgrave, 2011), which won the European Society for the Study of English's prize for best first book. She has also co-edited four books in the fields of children’s literature and Victorian literature, including Affect, Emotion and Children’s Literature: Representation and Socialisation in Texts for Children and Young Adults (Routledge, 2017) and Victorian Environments: Acclimatizing to Change in British Domestic and Colonial Culture (Palgrave, 2018). Michelle writes regularly for popular media and has published articles in the Age, Washington Post, the Guardian, the Conversation, New Statesman and the Sydney Morning Herald

Michelle especially welcomes potential honours students in any area of children's/YA literature, fairy tales, Victorian literature and culture, any aspect of gender/feminism in relation to literature, and colonial literature. She is also able to supervise creative writing projects, particularly children's/YA writing and topics relating to fairy-tale traditions or the Gothic. She is currently at her limit for MA and PhD students and is not taking on further supervisions at present.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Research area keywords

  • Victorian literature
  • Children's literature
  • Girlhood
  • Fairy tales
  • Gothic literature


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