Upcoming Events

March 10, 2015

Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat's hatRace & Children’s Literature Symposium, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

“Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: Structures of Racism in Children’s Literature.” Keynote. 4:15 pm, Watson Forum.

Also, come and hear the great Michelle Martin’s talk, “From the Kitchen to the Edges: Hair Representations in African American Children’s Picture Books,” at 7:30 pm in Prindle Auditorium.

Both talks are free and open to the public!

June 18-20, 2015

Children’s Literature Association Annual Conference, Richmond, VA

“Is This 2015 or 1965?: Structures of Racism in Children’s Literature.” Paper. Details TBA.

August 8-12, 2015

Biennial Conference of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature, University of Worcester, UK

“Childhoods ‘outside the boundaries of imagination': Race, Genre, and the Segregation of African American Children’s Literature.” Paper. Details TBA.


Southwest Popular and American Culture Association's logoFebruary 13, 2015

Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM

Round table session on three SP/ACA Rollins Award Winners: my Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, Kimberley Monteyne’s Hip Hop on Film: Performance Culture, Urban Space, and Genre Transformation in the 1980s, and Justin S. Vaughn and Lilly J. Goren’s Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics. 9:45 am – 11:15 am, Sendero II.

I’m told there will be a book-signing afterwards.

November 9, 2014

American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA

“How to Read Uncomfortably: Affect, Power, and Resisting Racist Children’s Books.” 12:00 pm, Westin Bonaventure, San Gabriel C (L1).

September 26, 2014

Rowayton Historical Society, Rowayton, CT

“Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature.” 7:30 pm, Rowayton Community Center, 33 Highland Ave., Rowayton.

Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955): cover

September 24, 2014

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

“Not So Simple: The Genius of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.”  4:00 pm, Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center.

July 24-27, 2014

Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Volume One: 1942-1943 (Fantagraphics, 2013): front coverComic-Con, San Diego, CA

I’ll be at the Fantagraphics booth (#1718), signing Barnaby books (which I co-edited with Eric Reynolds). Currently available: Barnaby Volume One: 1942-1943 (2013) and Barnaby Volume Two: 1944-1945 (2014).

Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Volume Two: 1944-1945, ed. Philip Nel & Eric ReynoldsSchedule of my signings (and the far more illustrious people who will be signing at the same time):

Stop on by, even if it’s just to say hi!

Oh, and click here for full schedule of Fantagraphics authors & editors.

July 2, 2014

Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Race: Affect, Racism, and Classic Children’s Books” (paper). 11 a.m.

June 20-21, 2014

Children’s Literature Association Annual Conference, Columbia, SC

“Dreaming in Red: Russia and the Soviet Union in Anglo-American Children’s Literature, 1905-1945″ (chair of panel, featuring panelists Julia Mickenberg, Kim Reynolds, and Jane Rosen). June 20, 11 a.m.

“Teaching Racist Children’s Books; or, How and Why to Make Readers Uneasy” (paper). June 21, 9:45 a.m.

April 27, 2014

January 11, 2014

Modern Language Association. Chicago, IL

“Queer Youth: Sexuality and Adolescent Transformations” (panel chair; session organized by Kristen Proehl).  Features a response from Sarah Sahn, and these 3 papers:

  1. “The Queer Case against Willa Cather’s Paul,” Adam Sonstegard, Cleveland State Univ.
  2. “Queer Sentiments: Tomboys and Familial Belonging in Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding,” Kristen Proehl, State Univ. of New York, Brockport
  3. “When Queer Isn’t So Queer: The Absent Adolescent in the Work of David Levithan,” Kent Baxter, California State Univ., Northridge

12:00 noon, Chicago F, Chicago Marriott.

November 24, 2013

American Studies Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC

“Laughing from the Left: Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby, and the Limits of Satire as a Means of Dissent” (paper, on panel “When Does Laughter Liberate?: Humor and Dissent in 20th-Century Popular Culture,” which features papers by Juniper Ellis, Gary Richards, and a response from Lori Brooks).  8:00 am, Washington Hilton / A – Albright.

October 24-25, 2013

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

“Not So Simple: The Genius of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon” (invited talk).  Oct. 24, 3:30 pm.

“Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: Seuss and Race in the 1950s” (seminar). Oct. 25, 12:00 pm.

October 21, 2013

New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium, Parsons School, New York, NY

“Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby: The Greatest Comic Strip You’ve Never Read” (invited talk). 8:00 pm, Parsons School (2 West 13th Street), in the Bark Room (off the lobby).  Free and open to the public.

October 19, 2013

Bookfest @ Bank Street, Bank Street School of Education, New York, NY

“Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, and Other Little Rebels: Philip Nel in conversation with Lindsey Wyckoff.” 9:35 am, Auditorium.

August 12-13, 2013

Biennial Conference of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. Maastricht, Netherlands

“Whiteness, Nostalgia, and Fantastic Flying Books: The Disappearance of Race in William Joyce” (paper). 12 Aug. 2013.

“Keywords for Children’s Literature: A Roundtable Discussion”: panel session co-chaired with Lissa Paul, and featuring Nina Alonso, Nina Christensen, Francesca Orestano, Emer O’Sullivan. 13 Aug. 2013.

June 25, 2013

Visual/Verbal Texts Symposium. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

“‘He came up thinking fast’; or, How does Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon work” (invited).

June 14, 2013

Children’s Literature Association Annual Conference. Biloxi, MS

“Manifesto for a Comics-Children’s Literature Alliance” (as part of a panel titled “Taking a Risk: Manifestos for Children’s Literature,” which also features manifestos from Robin Bernstein, Marah Gubar, and Karin Westman).

March 22, 2013

Washington University, St. Louis, MO

“Was the Cat in the Hat Black? Seuss and Race in the 1950s.”

March 18, 2013

College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

“Was the Cat in the Hat Black? Seuss and Race in the 1950s.”

November 16, 2012

American Studies Association Annual Meeting.  San Juan, Puerto Rico

“Getting a Race-Lift: Whitewashing, Marketing, and Resistance in Children’s Literature” (as part of a panel session titled “Black, White, or Other?: Reading Race, Constructing Childhood in American Popular Culture”).  10:00 am, Puerto Rico Convention Center, 101A.

October 27, 2012

Children’s Literary Salon, New York Public Library, New York, NY

“Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature.”  2 p.m., Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium.

September 29, 2012

Children’s Literature and the European Avant-Garde, Linköpings University, Norrköping, Sweden

“Surrealism for Children: Paradoxes and Possibilities” (invited talk).  2 pm.

September 15, 2012

Small Press Expo, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Bethesda, MD

“Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby and the American Clear Line School” (panelist), with Daniel Clowes, Mark Newgarden, and Chris Ware.  12 pm, White Flint Auditorium.

“Comics as Children’s Literature” (moderator). Panel features Renée French, Françoise Mouly, Mark Newgarden, and Brian Ralph.  5 pm, White Flint Auditorium.

August 24, 2012

Nordic Children’s Literature – A New Research Question?  Oslo, Norway

“Keywords for Children’s Literature: Mapping the Critical Moment” (keynote), with Lissa Paul.

June 14, 2012

Children’s Literature Association Annual Conference.  Boston, MA

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Color: Whitewashing, Race, and Resistance” (as part of a panel session, “Slipstreams of Race: Whiteness and Children’s Literature”).

March 26, 2012

Illinois State University, Normal, IL

“Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature.”  Lois Lenski Lecture.  7 p.m., 138 Schroeder Hall.  Free and open to the public.

March 23, 2012

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

“Harry Potter: A Cultural Biography.” 1:30 pm, 501 Cathedral of Learning.

January 7, 2012

Modern Language Association, Seattle, WA

“Not Genres, but Modes of Graphic Narrative: Comics and Picture Books” (as part of a panel session on “Why Comics Are and Are Not Picture Books”). 5:15 p.m., 303 Washington State Convention Center.

January 5, 2012

Modern Language Association, Seattle, WA

“Filling the Gaps: The Future of Keywords for Children’s Literature”: panel session co-chaired with Lissa Paul, and featuring Jack Zipes (on “Fairy Tale”), Karin Westman (on “Genre”), and Kelly Hager and Talia C. Schaffer (on “Family”).  1:45 p.m., 205 Washington State Convention Center.

November 11, 2011

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

“Accidental Experts: Strategy, Serendipity, and the Places You’ll Go,” with Karin Westman.  2:10-3:45 p.m. Buttrick Hall 309.

October 26, 2011

Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

“Keywords for Children’s Literature,” with Lissa Paul.  (Lissa will be there, physically; I’ll be participating via Skype.)  5:00-7:30 pm GMT.  East Road, Lord Ashcroft Building, LAB 107.

October 23, 2011

American Studies Association, Baltimore, MD

“Re-Imagining America: Jeff Smith, Herman Melville, and American Dreamscapes,” co-presented with Jennifer A. Hughes (as part of a panel session on “Transforming Melville”), 8 a.m., Hilton Baltimore: Douglass.

July 5, 2011

International Research Society for Children’s Literature, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

“Erasing Race to Keep Kids Safe?: The Ideological Effects of Bowdlerizing Children’s Literature” (second paper on panel session), 5 p.m., room Z306.

June 25, 2011

Children’s Literature Association Conference, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA

“Radical Children’s Literature Now!” (keynote), co-presented with Julia Mickenberg.  10 a.m., Babcock Auditorium, Dana.

November 20, 2010

American Studies Association, San Antonio, TX

“The Hope in the Joke: The Politics of Laughter in Dr. Seuss” (as part of a panel on “Laughing at Power: Subversive Humor in American Visual Culture”), 12:00 p.m., Grand Hyatt: Presidio C.

October 19, 2010

Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA

“Q&A,” 3:30 p.m., Wilson Lecture Hall.

“Harry Potter: A Cultural Biography,” 7 p.m., Wilson Lecture Hall.

October 11, 2010

Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

“Dr. Seuss, American Icon: The Legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel,” 7 p.m., Park Library Auditorium.

Older Invited Talks and Conference Papers are listed on my CV.