Key Professional Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

Instructor Developmental 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

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 ( pp. 1007-1020). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Harris, V. (2006). [Review of Brown gold: Milestones of African-American picture books]. ( 2 ed vol. 30, pp. 274-275). Lion and the Unicorn.

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

Harris, V. (2003). The complexity of debates about multicultural literature and cultural authenticity. Cultural authenticity in children's literature ( pp. 116-134). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

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 ( pp. 368-374). New York: Longman.

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 ( pp. 13-38). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

Harris, V. (1997). The depiction of Blacks in children's literature. Using multiethnic literature in grades K-8 ( pp. 21-58). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Harris, V. (1997). Why are you always giving us that Black, Latino, Gay, Asian (fill-in-the-blank) stuff? The multicultural catalogue ( pp. 486-490). New York: The New Press.

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 ( pp. 143-178). New York: Africa World Press.

Harris, V. (1994). Multiculturalism and children's literature: An evaluation of ideology, publishing, curricula, and research. ( pp. 15-27). 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 Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.


"The Re-emergence of Lifestyle Books for African-American Youth." (2010). Graduate School of Education.


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

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

Harris, Violet

Professor Emerita, Curriculum & Instruction



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

Update Your Profile Refresh Your Profile