Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Jacklyn Boggs



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Jeffrey Scraba

Committee Member

Theoron Britt

Committee Member

Lori Cohoon

Committee Member

Shelby Crosby

Committee Member

Chrisanne Geist


Bibliotherapy—the use of the literary arts for the purpose of healing—has been used by numerous professionals for a variety of reasons. Psychologists, social workers, educators, and health care professionals have specifically utilized works in the children’s genre as a tool for promoting dialogue with children around difficult topics, such as loss, trauma, oppression, self-abhorrence, and suffering. Children’s books can serve as vehicles for facilitating conversations and safe spaces of inclusion that invite them to explore the complexity of their identities and lives. Of course, not all texts are created equal, and thus this project aims to serve as a framework for thinking about utilizing children’s texts in this way. Moreover, this project predominantly utilizes theoretical works by women of color—Toni Morrison, Kimberly Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins, Gloria Anzaldúa, Grace Lin, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni—to build a foundation for understanding how texts by marginalized authors for children can function as beautiful spaces of inclusion. In addition to untangling theoretical frameworks by strong marginalized women, this project will define important terms (ethnographic authors, cosmopolitan curiosity, trespassing, intersectionality, literary imagination, among others) to assist in analyzing and understanding the unique intricacies of these texts. This project contends that while the texts of children’s literature can be full of biases and prejudice, they can also serve as powerful tools to dismantle dangerous oppressive systems that shape children’s gazes of the world and how they interact within it.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 4/19/2023