skip to primary navigation skip to content

Zoe Jaques


University Reader in Children’s Literature

Dean of Homerton College

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 767683


  • BA (hons) English Literature
  • MA English Studies
  • PhD in English Literature
  • PGCert in Higher Education

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations


  • 2017 Louise Betchel Visiting Professorship. Baldwin Library, University of Florida
  • 2015 Jacqueline M. Albers Guest Scholar in Children's Literature. Reinberger Children's Library, Kent State University
  • 2013 Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography.
    Houghton Library, Harvard University.
  • 2011 Limited Editions Club Endowment Fellowship.
    Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Children's Book History Society
  • Children’s Literature Association
  • International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
  • International Board on Books for Young People
  • International Research Society for Children’s Literature
  • Modern Language Association 
  • Lewis Carroll Society

Back to top


Zoe Jaques is the author of Children’s Literature and the Posthuman (Routledge, 2015) and co-author of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: A Publishing History (Ashgate, 2013). These books reflect her diverse interests in the history of children’s books and illustration and the intersections of children’s literature and film with literary theory and philosophy. Zoe has written journal articles and book chapters on works by Charles Kingsley, Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, Tove Jansson, Philip Pullman, J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and Suzanne Collins. Her research interests span fiction for children from 1800 to the present, and in particular how children’s fantasy participates in questions of what it means to be human. Her work has engaged with critical thinking on the sublime, Darwinism, ecocriticism, gender, cyborg theory, the history of the book, and animal studies. Her research has been funded by the British Academy and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, which permitted her to consider appropriations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Japan. She has received research fellowships from the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Previously Zoe was a postdoctoral research fellow at Anglia Ruskin University. Before coming to Cambridge Zoe taught children’s literature at Birkbeck College, London, with Michael Rosen and at Anglia Ruskin University with Farah Mendelsohn.

Academic Area/Links

  • Arts and Creativities
  • Literary theory / Philosophy of childhood / Fantasy / Animal studies / Ecocriticism / Film

Back to top

Research Topics

  • Intersections of children’s literature and philosophy (in particular animal studies, ecocriticism, and posthumanism)
  • Children’s film and adaptation (Disney studies, in particular)
  • Visualising childhood
  • History of the book

Prospective PhD Applications

Zoe welcomes contact from prospective PhD students on any topics broadly concerning children’s literature, in particular in the following areas:

  • Animal studies
  • Animation
  • Ecocriticism and nature studies
  • Literary theory
  • Fantasy
  • Illustration
  • Posthumanism

Current Research Project(s)

  • Cambridge History of Children's Literature in English
  • Entomology and the Child Reader
  • Visualizing Victorian childhoods, 1830-1900

Recent PhD completions:

  • Dr Nard Choi: Exploring Tanzanian students experiences of engaging with English language texts in school library spaces.
  • Dr Amy Webster: The 'Classic Series in Children's Fiction'

Current PhD Students

  • Gabriel Duckels: AIDs and the Melodramatic Imagination in Queer Young Adult Literature
  • Victoria Mullins: A Study in Innocence: The relationship between Disney animation and cinematic horror
  • Andy McCormack: The functions of the children’s book in literature for adults
  • Stella Pryce: An exploration of displacement in children's fantasy literature
  • Lindsay Burton: Posthumanist ontology and children's literature
  • Emma Reay: Untouchable Texts: Getting to grips with children's video games
  • Madison McLeod: Neverland, Hogwarts and the Downworld: The evolution of London as a posthuman space in children's literature. 
  • Lisa Kazianka: Rewriting a legend: Depictions of masculinities in contemporary Arthurian narratives for children. 
  • Catherine Olver: Fantasy, the sense and the mastery of nature
  • Margarita Meimaridi: Entering the contact zone: encountering the animal in children's fantasy fiction.
  • Anna Purkiss: Representations of disability in children's fiction 
  • Maya Zakrewska-Pim: Charles Dickens for children: conveying cultural heritage through adaptations

Back to top

Back to top

Principal and Recent Publications

Books / Collections:

Jaques, Z. (2015). Children’s Literature and the Posthuman. London, Routledge.

Jaques, Z. & B. Sundmark. Eds. (2015) ‘Machines, Monsters and Animals: Posthuman Children’s Literature.’ Special issue of Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature.

Jaques, Z. &, E. Giddens (2013). Lewis Carroll’s Alice: a publishing history. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Selected Articles / Chapters:

Jaques, Z & D. Whitley. (2019). ‘“Adieu, adieu, remember me!’: whatever happened to poetry memorisation is schools?’ English in Education. 53.2.

Jaques, Z. (2018). ‘Animal Studies’. In: Beauvais, C. & Nikolajeva, M. (eds) The Edinburgh Companion to Children’s Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 42-53. 

Jaques, Z. (2017). 'Pullman, Pets and Posthuman Animals: The Daemon-child of His Dark Materials. In A. Feuerstein & C. Nolte-Odhiambo (eds). Childhood and Pethood: Representation, Subjectivity and the Cultural Politics of Power. New York: Routledge, 109-123.

Jaques, Z. (2017). 'Controlling the Wild Things: Child Governance and Animal Sufferance'. In C. Kelen & B. Sundmark (eds). Child Governance and Autonomy in Children's Literature. London: Routledge, 150-172.

Jaques, Z. (2015). Tiny dots of cold green: pastoral nostalgia and the state of nature in Tove Jansson’s The Moomins and the Great Flood. The Lion and the Unicorn, 38(2), 200-216.

Jaques, Z. (2014). This huntress who delights in arrows: the female archer in children’s fiction’. In L. Campbell (Ed.), A quest of her own: the female hero in modern fantasy (pp. 150-171). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

Jaques, Z. (2013). There and back again: the gendered journey of Tolkien’s hobbits.’ In. P. Hunt (Ed.), J. R. R. Tolkien (pp. 88-105). London: Palgrave.

Jaques, Z. (2013). Arboreal myths: dryadic transformations, children’s literature, and fantastic trees. In I. Gildenhard, & A. Zissos (Eds.), Transformative change in Western thought: a history of metamorphosis from Homer to Hollywood (pp. 163-182). Oxford: Legenda.

Jaques, Z. (2012). States of nature in His Dark Materials and Harry Potter. Topic, 57, 1-16.