Philip Nel

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

Office: English/Counseling Services Bldg. 103

Fields of interest:
Children's Literature; American Studies; Comics; Cultural Studies; Biography; Gender and Women's Studies.

Philip Nel's books include:

Forthcoming: the final volume of Crockett Johnson's Barnaby (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics, 2024). Nel also wrote the Afterwords to Crockett Johnson's Magic Beach (Front Street, 2005) and Johnson's Harold's Imagination: 3 Adventures with the Purple Crayon, (HarperColllins, 2018), as well as the Introductions to The Cat in the Hat: 60th Anniversary Edition (HarperCollins UK, 2017) and The Ruling Clawss: The Socialist Cartoons of Syd Hoff (New York Review Books, 2023). Nel is 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 (2012) won the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association's Rollins Book Award, and was named a Children's Literature Association Honor Book. You can learn more about his Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books (2017) via his Talk @ Google. Along with Naomi Wood & others, he is webmaster of the English Dept. website.

Photo by Michael Henry.