From 2009-2014, this project was funded by a one-year SSHRC grant (2010), a Frances Russell Grant from IBBY Canada (2009), by the Eileen Wallace Fellowship from the University of New Brunswick (2009), by a Research Development Fund Grant from Dalhousie University, and by Research Grants from Acadia University.
The Objectives of the Project
Research over the past two decades has amply demonstrated the importance of literature to the formation of both regional and national cultural identity, particularly in the face of mass market globalization of children's book publishing in the 21st century as well as the predominance of non-Canadian content from television, movies, books, magazines and internet media. However, Canadian children appear to have only very limited exposure to Canadian authors and illustrators. In Atlantic Canada, the locus of study for this proposed project, regional Atlantic Canadian authors and illustrators for children receive very limited critical attention, and resources for the study and teaching of Atlantic Canadian children's literature are few. Print and digital information sources on regional children's books, publishing, authors and illustrators are scattered and inconsistent in quality and currency. The Sea Stacks project directly addresses these key concerns by documenting and analyzing the current state of regional literature for children and young adults in Atlantic Canada, and by creating an authoritative web-delivered textbase devoted to contemporary Atlantic Canadian literature for children and teens.
The Research Team
Dr. Vivian Howard is an associate professor in the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she has been teaching since 1996. Her PhD dissertation, completed through Aberystwyth University, Wales, investigated the role of reading for pleasure in the lives of young teens. Vivian Howard is also the editor of the YA Hotline Newsletter and is associate dean academic of the Faculty of Management.
Susan Fisher is curator of the Eileen Wallace Special Collection in Children's Literature at the University of New Brunswick, the most comprehensive research collection of children's and young adult literature in Atlantic Canada. She has overseen the development of the Portolan Database, an annotated bibliography of Atlantic Canadian books for children held within the Eileen Wallace Collection.
Dr. Andrea Schwenke Wyile is Associate Professor at Acadia University where she has taught Children's Literature courses since 2000. She is a member of the Children's Literature Association, the International Research Society for Children's Literature, is on the Editorial Board of Children's Literature in Education, and is co-editor of Considering Children's Literature: A Reader (Broadview Press, 2008).
Dr. Keith Lawson has expertise in electronic text design and information management systems. He has been involved in a number of digital humanities projects and has expertise in Web 2.0 applications which enable social and collaborative activity. He is currently researching the presence of technology in education and has particular interest in social networking and Web 2.0 technologies for educational collaboration.
Nicole Dixon (Dalhousie University) For more information, please visit her website.
James Langer (University of New Brunswick)
Chasity St. Louis (University of New Brunswick)
Kimberly Wallace (Acadia University)
Lee Danielle Hubbard (Dalhousie University)
With the assistance of
Matt Cole (Dalhousie University)
Lara Killian (Dalhousie University)
Jasmine MacDonald (Dalhousie University)
Longer Term Goals
- Researching the history and context of children's publishing and book culture in the Atlantic provinces by interviewing key publishers, editors, independent booksellers, and other key figures who have been influential in shaping regional literature for youth.
- Conducting videotaped interviews with selected authors and illustrators, specifically exploring regional themes in their work.
- Creating a comprehensive database of books, writers, illustrators, publishers and other relevant cultural institutions involved with English-language Atlantic Canadian literature for children and teens.
- Developing a multi-faceted web-based interface to serve the needs of specific user groups: scholars, practitioners (teachers and librarians), and youth themselves.