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

Awards, Honors, Associations

University Scholar Board of Trustees, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995 - 1995

Distinguished Senior Scholar University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 - 2002

Fellow National 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


"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


Reviewer Educational Researcher, AERA, 2012 - 2012

Reviewers Review of Educational Research, AERA, 2012 - 2012

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

Co-Editor, AERJ-TLHD AERA, 2010 - present

Promotion and Tenure Review Wheaton College, 2010 - 2010

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

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

Board Member Reading Research Quarterly, 2007 - present

Multicultural Literature Board Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., 2007 - present

Board Member Voices from the Middle-NCTE, 2006 - present

Reviewer Educational Researcher, 2004 - 2006

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

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

Reviewer State University of New York at Albany, 2004 - 2004

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

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

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

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

Editor The New Advocate, 2000 - 2003

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

Violet Harris

Professor Emerita, Curriculum & Instruction



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

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