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(General Information)
Hollins University
Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
Fax (540) 362-6288

Children's Literature Program Director
Amanda Cockrell
(540) 362-6575

Children's Literature

Summer session in the U.K. 2011

(Photo, above: Summer Session 2011 in the United Kingdom. Professors Jamila Gavin and Julie Pfeiffer with students.)

Children's Literature Summer Abroad Program

June 24 - July 20, 2014
Faculty Director: Julie Pfeiffer
Application Deadline: Monday, March 4, 2013

As a part of its master's degree program in the writing and study of children's literature, Hollins will offer its fifth summer study session in summer 2014.

Application Procedure

1. The application should be completed by the applicant and returned to Julie Pfeiffer, Hollins University, P. O. Box 9677, Roanoke, VA 24020, by March 4, 2013. (Late applications will be accepted as space allows).

2. The letters of reference should be given to two faculty members who can assess your academic performance, motivation, and ability to work in a group. Send the appropriate form to the faculty members willing to write for you and request that it be returned by the application deadline. Letters of recommendation may be emailed to Professor Pfeiffer at It is the responsibility of each applicant to see that all materials are in place by the application deadline.

3. A short phone interview may be scheduled with Professor Pfeiffer. Eligibility criteria that will be considered during the selection process include faculty recommendations, GPA, academic and personal reasons for participation, and personal qualities (maturity, independence, adaptability, ability to contribute to and engage with the group, flexibility, ability to deal with stress, physical stamina, conscientiousness, and a sense of humor).

4. Students will be informed in writing of decisions on their application shortly after April 1, 2013.

5. Students admitted to the seminar will be expected to confirm their intention to participate by signature on a letter of agreement, due no later than April 15, 2013.

6. On acceptance to a program, students will be asked to complete a health history to aid the faculty director in preparing an appropriate environment to deal with any current health problems and/or to help the director or others respond on your behalf should you become ill abroad.

7. Regarding health insurance: Trip fees include supplemental health insurance.

8. A student with a disability that may affect participation should discuss necessary accommodations as soon as possible with the seminar faculty director.

Study and Tour Coordinators

Julie Pfeiffer spacer Children's Literature Journal spacer Jamila Gavin spacer Coram Boy
Julie Pfeiffer Joe Sutliff Sanders

Julie Pfeiffer teaches English and children’s literature at Hollins University. This is her third trip to Great Britain with graduate students. She has published on Charlotte Bronte, children’s literature, and gender theory and is currently working on a comparative study of nineteenth-century German and American novels for girls.

Joe Sutliff Sanders is an assistant professor of children's literature in the English Department at Kansas State University. He is the co-editor of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden: A Children's Classic at 100 (Scarecrow, 2011) and the author of Disciplining Girls: Understanding the Origins of the Classic Orphan Girl Story (Johns Hopkins UP, 2011). He is the recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study children's nonfiction and a Fulbright fellowship to Luxembourg.


At least one summer of coursework in the Hollins University graduate program in children’s literature.


We will spend time in London, Paris, and Cambridge.

Course of Study

English 550: The Landscape of British Children's Literature
Gardens and walls, maps and street signs, city and country – the great works of British children’s literature are full of actual and imagined landscapes. We will take advantage of our presence in Great Britain to think about the ways that images of place and space influence our readings of classic works of British children's literature. We will consider how our presence in contemporary London shifts our understanding of its history and fiction (4 credits, taught by Professor Pfeiffer).

ParisEnglish 550: Insiders and Outsiders in the Paris of Children's Literature
In this course (available for critical or creative credit), we'll use children's literature of all kinds (comics, picture books, novels, and whatever the heck Hugo Cabret is) to get into Paris, following Madeline on a path through the great sites of Paris, reconstructing the Paris-that-wasn't through The Three Musketeers, and tasting our way through the neighborhood markets with the skill of Anatole. But we'll also use children's literature to discover the outsiders of Paris: the tourists (Anna and the French Kiss), the ex-pats (Paris in the Spring with Picasso), the Algerians (The Rabbi's Cat), and the well as the Muslims who saved them (The Grand Mosque of Paris) and the others who didn't. Students will declare at the beginning of the course whether they are pursuing critical or creative credit, and the writing assignments will help students develop the skills of scholarship or fiction-writing based on a strong sense of place while we ourselves slip back and forth, becoming both insiders and outsiders in one of the world's greatest cities (4 credits, taught by Professor Sanders).

Tentative Itinerary

Please note that these are preliminary dates. The actual itinerary and detailed logistics of this program will become firm when the bookings take place next year. Classes will be held most mornings, Monday – Friday.

  • Early June, 2014 – online class begins. Please do not plan to travel to Europe before the trip begins; you’ll need to be available to participate in the class on-line and will be completing research/writing assignments.
  • Monday, June 23: Depart from North America by own arrangements
  • Tuesday, June 24 - Saturday July 5: London
  • Saturday, July 5 - Monday, July 14: Paris
  • Monday, July 14 - Saturday, July 19: Cambridge
  • You can plan to return to the U.S. on Sunday, July 20 or begin independent travel


In London and Cambridge we will stay in university housing, in Paris we will stay in a small hotel. Breakfast is included at all locations. Other meals are on your own.

Class Schedule

Both courses will start as on-line classes in early June. Once in Europe, classes will meet Monday through Friday mornings. Guided tours and field trips will occupy some afternoons as well. London theater performances will be scheduled for two evenings. Students are expected to attend all classes and all scheduled group trips and theater outings.

Program Fees

The fee for the trip is $4,500 plus regular tuition. This does not include transportation to and from London; group travel during the program is included. A deposit of $1,500 is due May 1, 2013; further installments of $1,500 are due November 1, 2013 and May 1, 2014.

Students who fail to pay according to this schedule face being dropped from the trip, with any money already paid to be forfeited.

Due to the necessity to prepay for many activities and accommodations, cancellation or withdrawal will incur substantial financial loss to the withdrawing student. Hollins University strongly recommends travel insurance for all participants. Here are a few travel insurance companies you may want to contact:

Aberdare HallIncluded in the cost of the trip:

  • Housing
  • Transportation for all group trips
  • All entrance fees for site visits
  • Arranged guest speakers
  • Transportation within London and Paris

Not included in the cost of the trip:

  • Transportation to Britain
  • Tuition
  • Some meals