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Department of English

Philip Nel

Philip Nel. Photo by Michael Henry.University Distinguished Professor / Graduate Faculty
Ph.D. 1997, Vanderbilt University

Website: www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/
Email: philnel@ksu.edu
Office: English/Counseling Services Bldg. 103
Phone: (785) 532-2165

Fields of interest:
Children's Literature; American Studies; Comics; Cultural Studies20th Century American Literature and CultureGender and Women's Studies.

Philip Nel's books include:

  • Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books (Oxford UP, 2017)
  • Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Volume Three: 1946-1947 (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics, 2016)
  • Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Volume Two: 1944-1945 (co-edited with Reynolds, Fantagraphics, 2014)
  • Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Volume One: 1942-1943 (co-edited with Reynolds, Fantagraphics, 2013)
  • Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature (University Press of Mississippi, 2012)
  • Keywords for Children's Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul, NYU Press, 2011)
  • Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature (co-edited with Julia Mickenberg, NYU Press, 2008)
  • The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats (Random House, 2007)
  • Dr. Seuss: American Icon (Continuum, 2004)
  • The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity: Small Incisive Shocks (University Press of Mississippi, 2002)
  • J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (Continuum, 2001).

Forthcoming: a second edition of Keywords for Children's Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul and Nina Christensen, NYU Press, 2018), and the next two volumes of Crockett Johnson's Barnaby (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics, 2018-2019). Crockett Johnson's Magic Beach, with an Afterword by Nel and an Appreciation by Maurice Sendak, was published in 2005. Nel is also the author of over forty essays, which can be found in a range of venues. See his CV for details. 

Nel is Director of the English Department's Program in Children's Literature. He is the recipient of the Balfour Jeffrey Award in Humanities and Social Sciences, a Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Award. He has won KSU's Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, and Stamey Award (for excellence in teaching). His Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature won the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association's Rollins Book Award, and was named a Children's Literature Association Honor Book. He maintains a blog, and serves as webmaster for the Crockett Johnson Homepage, and (with Naomi Wood & others) the website you're visiting now.

Photo by Michael Henry.