Research Office

Mavis Reimer
Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood

office: 2A30
phone: 204.786.9185

Home is where the heart is; but what constitutes “home” in Canadian children’s literature? University of Winnipeg English Professor Mavis Reimer (BA Hons. ’76) named Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood in November 2005, is leading a collaborative research team to find out.

Reimer is The University of Winnipeg’s fourth Canada Research Chair and her five-year, $500,000 appointment is unique in its focus on the culture of childhood. The overall objective of her research is to account for the cultural differences in texts directed to children and youth, to understand how actual children relate to the metaphorical figure of the child, and to encourage young people to be critical and discerning readers.

“I am conscious that I am building on longstanding strengths of this University in research into the cultures and texts of young people, research pioneered in the University’s Department of English by Kay Stone and Perry Nodelman,” said Reimer. “In the global and globalizing world of the 21st century, research into the culture of childhood seems to me of urgent importance. Texts for young people are increasingly traveling across national borders, and must be understood within larger systems of cultural politics.”

The concept of home in Canadian children’s literature, for example, is greatly influenced by our country’s history as a former colony, our population of immigrants, refugees, and Aboriginals, and by our proximity to the United States.

Reimer plans to build on her work with discourses of home during the tenure of her CRC to look at the ways in which ideas of homelessness and the homeless are being used in North American cultures.

“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Reimer's research recognized in this important way,” said University of Winnipeg Dean of Arts Neil Besner. “Dr. Reimer's innovative work in the area of Canadian children's literature and, more broadly, in the culture of childhood grows out of one of The University of Winnipeg's longstanding areas of excellence in research and teaching.”

University President Lloyd Axworthy (BA ’61, LLD ’98) noted, “This appointment reflects very well on the quality and significance of research undertaken at The University of Winnipeg. It confirms yet again that the University engages in excellent research, and we attract some of the world’s finest researchers.”

Reimer organized Performing Childhood, the successful international Children’s Literature Association Conference held in Winnipeg in June 2005. She is also the author of many articles on children’s literature, the editor of two books, and co-author of The Pleasures of Children’s Literature with Perry Nodelman—widely used as a textbook in children's literature courses across North America.

Additional Information:

The Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures (CRYTC)
Media release - Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Media release
- Thursday, November 10, 2005
Newsflash - Thursday, November 10, 2005
Canada Research Chairs website

At the current time, The University of Winnipeg has six Canada Research Chairs.      Read More>