Michelle Beissel Heath

Associate Professor

Office: THMH 210   |    Phone: (308) 865-8109   |    Email: beisselheamp@unk.edu

Michelle Beissel Heath

Biography

Dr. Beissel Heath’s teaching and research interests include children’s literature and British literature (particularly 19th century British children's literature).  Her current work in childhood studies explores intersections of literature, history, play, citizenship, and empire.   

Appointments

Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney Department of English (August 2014–present)
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney Department of English (August 2009–July 2014)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Tulane University Department of English (August 2008–July 2009)
Assistant Director, The George Washington University Writing Center (August 2002–July 2003)

Education

Ph.D., English.  The George Washington University.  Washington, DC.  May 2008.
M.A., English.  The University of Maine.  Orono, ME.  August 2001.
B.A., English, History, & Spanish.  Gustavus Adolphus College.  St. Peter, MN.  May 1999.



Academic Grants/Fellowships

Grants and Fellowships
  • Children’s Literature Association Faculty Research Grant (for research at The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY, June 2015)
  • Mary Valentine and Andrew Cosman Research Fellowship, The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY (for research at The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY, June 2015)
  • Research Services Council (RSC) Seed Grant, University of Nebraska, Kearney (for research at The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY, 2015)
  • Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington (for research at the Lilly Library, Winter 2011-2012)
  • Research Services Council Summer Scholarly Activity Grant, University of Nebraska at Kearney (for research at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Summer 2011)
  • Center for Teaching Excellence Travel Grant, University of Nebraska at Kearney (for paper presentation at the VISAWUS conference, 2010)
  • Research Services Council Mini-Grant, University of Nebraska at Kearney (for research at the British Library in London and the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Winter 2009-2010)
  • Newcomb Faculty Fellow, Tulane University (2008)
  • Newcomb Institute Faculty Travel Grant, Tulane University (for paper presentation at the NAVSA conference, 2008)
  • Cosmos Club Foundation Grant, Washington, DC (for research at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, London, Spring 2007)


Publications

Publications
  •   “‘Just think – How Many Girls Have Special Powers Like You?’: Weird Girls and the Normalizing of Deviance in Early Readers.” The Early Reader in Children’s Literature and Culture.  Ed. Annette Wannamaker and Jennifer Miskec. London: Routledge, December 2015. 190-216.
  • "Recycled Stories: Historicizing Play Today Through the Late Nineteenth Century Anglo-American Play Movement."  Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. 7.1 (Winter 2014): 107-133.  
  • "The 'Rubbing Off' of 'Art and Beauty': Child Citizenship, Literary Engagement, and the Anglo-American Playground Movement." Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media. Ed. Alexander N. Howe and Wynn Yarbrough. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. 71-94.
  • "Oh Golly, What a Happy Family!: Trajectories of Citizenship and Agency in Three Twentieth-Century Book Series for Children." Jeunesse: Young Peoples, Texts, Cultures. 5.1 (Summer 2013): 38-64.
  • “Cooks and Queens and Dreams: The South Sea Islands as Fairy Islands of Fancy.” Oceania and the Victorian Imagination: Where All Things Are Possible. Ed. Richard D. Fulton and Peter H. Hoffenberg. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013. 137-149. 
  • “Not ‘All Ridges and Furrows’ and ‘Uncroquetable Lawns’: Croquet, Female Citizenship, and 1860's Domestic Chronicles.” Critical Survey. 24.1 (Spring 2012): 43-56. 
  • “Lessons Not Learned: ‘Bad Cocoa,’ ‘Worse Blankets,’ and the Unhappy Endings of Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales.” The Oscholars. Ed. Naomi Wood. 2009.
  • “Playing at House and Playing at Home: the Domestic Discourse of Games in Edwardian Fictions of Childhood.” Childhood in Edwardian Fiction: Worlds Enough and Time. Ed. Adrienne E. Gavin and Andrew F. Humphries. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 (New York: 2009). 89-102. In 2011, Childhood in Edwardian Fiction: Worlds Enough and Time was awarded the inaugural Children's Literature Association Edited Book Award. 
  • Bibliographic entries for the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Bibliography: 2005-2007. Victorian Periodicals Review 41.3 (Fall 2008): 183-224.


Selected Conferences

Conferences
  • “‘Hissing and Clapping’: Dark Undercurrents and Contradictions of Liberty in Narrative Descriptions of 19th Century Children’s Games.” International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA). Richmond, VA. June 2015.
  • “Frances Hodgson Burnett and Children’s Literature’s De-Radicalizing of Aestheticism.” Midwest Victorian Studies Association (MVSA). Iowa City, IA. May 2015.
  • "Trapped in the Past: Limiting the Fantastical Potential of the Neo-Victorian Girl."  Neo-Victorian Cultures: The Victorians Today. Liverpool John Moores University Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History conference. Liverpool, UK. July 2013.
  • "Dueling with Literary Legacies? The Battle for Cultural Respectability and National Pride in U.S. and British 19th Century Card Games." International Conference of the Children's Literature Association (ChLA). Biloxi, MS. June 2013.
  • "Art for Art” is their motto’: Aesthetics, Children’s Play, and Late Victorian Children’s Literature.”  North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) annual conference.  Nashville, TN.  November 2011.
  • “Re-taming the Rebellious Child?: Re-writing the 19th Century Girl in Timothy Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Jacqueline Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA).  Roanoke, VA.  June 2011.   
  • “Playing with the Numbers: Child Crowds, Child’s Play, and Mary Augusta Ward’s Milly and Olly.”  North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) annual conference.  Montreal, Canada.  November 2010.  
  • “Cooks and Queens and Dreams: The South Seas as Fairy Islands of Fancy.”  Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States (VISAWUS) annual conference.  Honolulu, HI.  October 2010. 
  • “Oh, Golly, what a Happy Family!: Politics, Play, and the Extra-Literary Lives of Allan Ahlberg’s, Florence Upton’s, and Enid Blyton’s Children’s Book Series.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA).  Ann Arbor, MI.  June 2010.   
  • “Redeeming ‘the Uncroquetable Lawn’:  Charlotte Yonge, Flirtatious Hoops, and Family Time.”  18th and 19th Century British Women Writers Association (BWWA) annual conference.  Iowa City, IA.  April 2009. 
  • “Sporting Encounters: Liberating Lawn Tennis and a Heterosocial Forster.”  North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) annual conference.  New Haven, CT.  November 2008.
  • “Making a Good Little Briton: Fiction, Games, and the 19th Century Commodities of Childhood and Citizenship.”  Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media interdisciplinary conference.  Washington, DC.  September 2008.
  • “Empire, Home, and the Child as Artifact: Six to Sixteen and Kim’s Game.”  Midwest Victorian Studies Association (MVSA) Annual Conference. Chicago, IL. April 2008.
  • “Playing at House and Playing at Home: the Domestic Discourse of Games in Nesbit, Barrie, and Stevenson.”  International Conference of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA).  Newport News, VA.  June 2007.
  • “The Uncroquetable Lawn”: Charlotte Yonge and Lewis Carroll Play at Mallets and Hoops.”  Romantic and Victorian Entertainments: Graduate Student Literature Conference.  University of South Carolina.  Columbia, SC.  March 2007.
  • “Science, Billiards, and the Unplayful Child: Great Expectations, What Maisie Knew, and The Secret Garden.”  Southwest/Texas Popular & American Culture Association Annual Conference.  Albuquerque, NM.  February 2007.
  • “Domestic Differences: Conceptions of Home in Juliana Ewing’s Six to Sixteen and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.”  18th and 19th Century British Women Writers Association (BWWA) annual conference.  Athens, GA.  March 2004.