Key Professional Appointments

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

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

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


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

Distinguished Senior Scholar2001 - 2002

Fellow1998 - 

University Scholar1995 - 1995

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

Harris, V. (2011) "Stories From the Hopescape." The Reading Teacher

Harris, V. (2009) "We, Too, Sing America." The Reading Teacher

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

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. (2007) In Praise of a Scholarly Force Language Arts

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

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

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

Spodek, B., Barrera, R., Harris, V. (2002) In touch with kids: A conversation with Jean Marzollo The New Advocate

Harris, V., Barrera, R. (2002) Images of literacy and literature in Cuba The New Advocate

Harris, V., McCarthey, S. (2002) A conversation with James Cross Giblin The New Advocate

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

Harris, V. (2001) An interview with Effie Lee Morris New Advocate

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

Harris, V. (1999) Applying critical theories to children's literature Theory into practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, 3/1/2002 12:00:00 AM - 8/31/2002 12:00:00 AM

FellowCenter for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM - 12/31/1989 12:00:00 AM


Reviewer2012 - 2012

Reviewers2012 - 2012

Chair of the Literature Advisory Board2007 - 2012

Co-Editor, AERJ-TLHD2010 - 

Promotion and Tenure Review2010 - 2010

Member2006 - 2010

Mentor for Cultivating New Voices2004 - 2008

Board Member2007 - 

Multicultural Literature Board2007 - 

Board Member2006 - 

I served as a member of the committee to select the division's recipient of the dissertation of the2004 - 2006

Reviewer2004 - 2006

Editorial Board Member2000 - 2005

Reviewer2004 - 2004

Member2002 - 2004

Chair2002 - 2004

Member2000 - 2004

Member2002 - 2003

Editor2000 - 2003

Editorial Board Member2001 - 


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.

Violet Harris

Professor, Curriculum & Instruction



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

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