Cara Byrne, PhD

Research Advisor on Diverse Children's Literature
Full-time Lecturer
Department of English

Cara Byrne, Ph.D., is a full-time lecturer in the Department of English and a Seminar Approach to General Education (SAGES) Teaching Fellow. Byrne’s teaching and research interests are centered around studying literary and visual texts, as well as exploring race, gender, and age. She has published articles about police presence in James Baldwin’s picture book Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood, picture book adaptations of Zora Neale Hurston’s anthropological work, and fourth wave feminism in popular young adult fiction. In 2018, she received the emerging scholar award from the Children’s Literature Association. Her current book project, Illustrating the Smallest Black Bodies: The Creation of Childhood in African American Children’s Literature, 1836-2015, analyzes visual representations of black childhood in picture books.

The Schubert Center is pleased to have Byrne take on the Research Advisor on Diverse Children’s Literature role during our work with the Cleveland Foundation’s Common Ground and Book Week events. She will set the intellectual and content agenda for these events, leading a discussion on diversity in children’s literature during Common Ground and facilitating the center’s participation in the first book week event featuring children’s picture books. Byrne will develop a resource guide on diversity in children’s literature to be distributed by the center and will advise the center on other possibilities for research-practice-policy collaborations.

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Race, gender and age in children’s literature
  • Picture book theory & history
  • Visual rhetoric
  • Composition & writing pedagogy