Key Professional Appointments

Associate Dean for Academic AffairsCollege of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007 - present

ProfessorCurriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 - present

Department HeadCurriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997 - 2002

Associate ProfessorCurriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992 - 1998

Assistant ProfessorCurriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986 - 1992

InstructorDevelopmental Studies, Keenesaw College, Marietta, Georgia, 1980 - 1983


Ph.D., Reading Education, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 1986

M.A., Reading, Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, 1980

B.A., History, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1978

Awards, Honors, Associations

University ScholarBoard of TrusteesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995 - 1995

Distinguished Senior ScholarUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 - 2002

FellowNational Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, 1998 - present

Research & Service

I maintain active interest and conduct research in the areas of children's literature, multicultural children's literature, children's book publishing, the historic development of African American literacy, and the creation of literacy materials created specifically for African Americans. More broadly, I am interested in literacy, socio-cultural influences on literacy and schooling, and teacher education.

Currently, I am working on a content analysis of historic literacy materials for African American children and monitoring two trends in children's literature: biracial/multiracial children and religion.

My future research projects will focus more on analyzing specific authors, illustrators, and genres in children's literature and analyzing trends in publishing.


Harris, V. (2012) Response. Journal of Children's Literature, 2 ms pp..

Harris, V. (2011) "Stories From the Hopescape." The Reading Teacher 64, 380-82

Harris, V. (2009) "We, Too, Sing America." The Reading Teacher 62, 450-455

Harris, V. (2008) "Selecting Books That Children Will Want to Read." The Reading Teacher 61, 426-430

Harris, V. (2007) In Praise of a Scholarly Force Language Arts 85 (2), 153-159

Harris, V. (2007) Master narratives and oppositional texts: Aesthetics and Black literature for youth. The handbook of research in the arts, part two Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Harris, V. (2006) [Review of Brown gold: Milestones of African-American picture books] Lion and the Unicorn

Harris, V. (2003) Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice.. Erlbaum: Malwah, NJ

Harris, V. (2003) The complexity of debates about multicultural literature and cultural authenticity. Cultural authenticity in children's literature National Council of Teachers of English: Urbana, IL

Willis, A., & Harris, V. (2003) Threads of connection: A conversation with Bryan Collier, illustrator The New Advocate 16 (2), 97-104

Harris, V. (2002) Multicultural literature. Literacy in America: An encyclopedia of history, theory, and practice Longman: New York

Harris, V., & Barrera, R. (2002) Images of literacy and literature in Cuba The New Advocate 15 (1), 68-70

Harris, V., & McCarthey, S. (2002) A conversation with James Cross Giblin The New Advocate 15 (3), 175-182

Spodek, B., Barrera, R., & Harris, V. (2002) In touch with kids: A conversation with Jean Marzollo The New Advocate 15 (2), 91-100

Harris, V. (2001) An interview with Effie Lee Morris New Advocate 14 (3), 277-84

McCarthey, S., Dressman, M., Smolkin, L., McGill-Franzen, A., & Harris, V. (2000) How will diversity affect literacy in the next millennium? Reading Research Quarterly 35 (4), 548-52

Harris, V. (1999) Applying critical theories to children's literature Theory into practice 28 (3), 137-154

Harris, V., & Rosales, M. (1998) Biracial and multiracial identity: Another paradox for children’s literature. Literature-based instruction: Present issues, future directions Christopher-Gordon: Norwood, MA

Harris, V. (1997) The depiction of Blacks in children's literature. Using multiethnic literature in grades K-8 Christopher-Gordon Publishers: Norwood, MA

Harris, V. (1997) Why are you always giving us that Black, Latino, Gay, Asian (fill-in-the-blank) stuff?. The multicultural catalogue The New Press: New York

Harris, V. (1996) Continuining dilemnas, debates, and delights in multicultural literature for children The New Advocate 9 (2), 107-122

Harris, V. (1994) Historic Readers for African American Children: Reclaiming a tradition of resistance. Too much schooling, too little education Africa World Press: New York

Harris, V. (1994) Multiculturalism and children's literature: An evaluation of ideology, publishing, curricula, and research Forty-third yearbook - National Reading Conference

Harris, V. (1994) No invitations required to share multicultural literature. Journal of Children's Literature 20 , 9-13

Harris, V. (1994) Reflections of a basal author. Journal of Children's Literature 20, 49-54

Trousdale, A., & Harris, V. (1993) Missing links in literary response: Group interpretations of literature. Children's Literature in Education 24 , 195-205

Harris, V. (1992) Teaching multicultural literature in grades K-8.. Christopher-Gordon: Norwood, MA


Principal InvestigatorImplementation of Professional Development Activities in the Reading Excellence Act, Illinois State Board of Education, 2002 - 2002

FellowCenter for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989 - 1989


ReviewerEducational Researcher, AERA, 2012 - 2012

ReviewersReview of Educational Research, AERA, 2012 - 2012

Chair of the Literature Advisory BoardReading Is Fundamental, Inc., 2007 - 2012

Co-Editor, AERJ-TLHDAERA, 2010 - present

Promotion and Tenure ReviewWheaton College, 2010 - 2010

MemberCEE-Conference on English Education, National Council of Teachers of English-CEE, 2006 - 2010

Mentor for Cultivating New VoicesNational Council of Teachers of English, 2004 - 2008

Board MemberReading Research Quarterly, 2007 - present

Multicultural Literature BoardReading Is Fundamental, Inc., 2007 - present

Board MemberVoices from the Middle-NCTE, 2006 - present

ReviewerEducational Researcher, 2004 - 2006

I served as a member of the committee to select the division's recipient of the dissertation of theAERA, Division G, 2004 - 2006

Editorial Board MemberEditorial Board, Reading Research Quarterly, 2000 - 2005

ReviewerState University of New York at Albany, 2004 - 2004

MemberCanon II-Eight part television series on the teaching of multicultural literature, Thirteen/WNET-New York, 2002 - 2004

ChairAERA/Spencer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship Committee, American Educational Research Association, 2002 - 2004

MemberChildren's Literature Panel, Children's Defense Fund, 2000 - 2004

MemberExecutive Committee, NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature, 2002 - 2003

EditorThe New Advocate, 2000 - 2003

Editorial Board MemberEditorial Board, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 2001 - present


Princ Tchg Lit to Child Youth Examines literature written for children and youth and the uses of literature in the school curriculum. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Credit is not given for both CI 467 and LIS 403. Prerequisite: One college course in literature; admission to the Elementary Teacher Education Program.

African American Childrens Lit Course Information: Approved for both letter and S/U grading. Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral study.

Violet Harris

Professor Emerita, Curriculum & Instruction



Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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