Prof. Elizabeth Hale
Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, University of New England
I grew up in Dunedin, New Zealand. My first encounters with Classical Antiquity came from my adoration of the Asterix books, and my grandfather’s copy of Long, Long Ago: Stories from the Classics (by Blanche Winder). I enjoyed learning Latin at Logan Park High School, and was an early Classical Receptionist, writing plays about Scipio’s Adventures in New Zealand (alas, no longer extant).
My higher education took place at the University of Otago, where I took double honours in English Literature (1992) and Latin (1993), before moving to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar, to study at Brandeis University, for my MA and PhD in English Literature. There, I wrote a PhD on the reception of classical scholars in nineteenth-century fiction; I also discovered the joy of researching children’s literature. Since 2002, I have taught children’s literature, writing, fantasy, and media studies at the University of New England, in the high country of New South Wales, Australia; in 2011, I was an awarded a Australian Learning and Teaching Citation for my innovative teaching practices, entwining critical and creative approaches to literary study.
I research children’s literature, and have published on material from 1800 to the present. I have edited works on New Zealand children’s literature: Marvellous Codes: The Fiction of Margaret Mahy (with Sarah Fiona Winters, Victoria University Press, 2005), and Maurice Gee: A Literary Companion – the Fiction for Younger Readers (Otago University Press, 2014). I was recently appointed General Editor of the Routledge Historical Resources in Children’s Literature, 1789–1914, and I am a founding member of the UNE Nineteenth-Century Studies Network. I enjoy working collaboratively with scholars and creators, and have worked with writers and illustrators (established and emerging), through endeavours such as the Writers and Illustrators in Residence program.
My scholarly life was further enhanced when I began attending Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak’s mythical events, Our Mythical Childhood... The Classics and Children’s Literature between East and West, Chasing Mythical Beasts... The Reception of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture as a Transformation Marker. I have relished the opportunity to join, and collaborate with this outstanding community of scholars, and to continue that through my involvement with the ERC grant (see below).
From 2016, I have been leading the Australasian wing of Our Mythical Childhood... The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges, directed by Katarzyna Marciniak, and funded by the European Research Council (Consolidator Grant 2016–2021). As well as gathering material from the Asia-Pacific region for the Our Mythical Childhood Survey, I am writing a guide to the field, with Dr Miriam Riverlea (PhD, Monash University), provisionally entitled Children’s Literature and Classical Reception: an Alphabetical Odyssey. My thinking about that project can be seen online in the blog Antipodean Odyssey: Explorations in Children's Culture and Classical Reception.
Profile on the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education UNE Website: https://www.une.edu.au/staff-profiles/19th-century-research-group/ehale
Elizabeth Hale (ed.), Maurice Gee: A Literary Companion – the Fiction for Younger Readers, Otago University Press, Otago 2014, 208 pp.
Elizabeth Hale and Sarah Fiona Winters (edd.), Marvellous Codes: The Fiction of Margaret Mahy, Victoria University Press, Wellington 2005, 264 pp.