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Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw

Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
Phone: 8148638921
Office Address:
265 Chambers Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Professor of Education (Language & Literacy)


Curriculum and Instruction


Children's Literature
Curriculum and Instruction: Children's Literature
Curriculum and Instruction: English Language Arts Education


Vivian Yenika-Agbaw is Professor of literature and literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where she teaches courses in children’s & adolescent literature in both the residential and World Campus programs.  She previously held tenure-line faculty positions at Clarion University (department of education), and Bloomsburg University (department of English) where she was also professor of English Education, taught literature and composition courses, and coordinated the secondary English program. 

A former Middle/High School teacher of English, she is passionate about literature, literacies, learning and how they intersect with culture. Her research/scholarship centers on children’s/young adult literature/texts, and is informed by critical theories (critical multiculturalism, postcolonialism) as well as reader response.  She publishes and presents primarily on topics related to issues of social justice and the representation of populations that have been historically marginalized and under-represented in youth texts and culture (with particular concern toward race, class, gender, and dis/abilities).  Her work has appeared in several peer refereed journals including Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, Language Arts, and Research in the Teaching of English.  She is the author and/or co-editor of numerous books including Representing Africa in Children's Literature: Old and New Ways of Seeing (Routledge) and reviews manuscripts for several educational and children’s literature journals.  She's currently a co-editor of the Journal of Children's Literature housed by the Children's Literature Assembly of the NCTE.


Areas of Expertise

Curriculum Areas

Children's Literature
Language/Literacy Ed


Equity and Diversity

Teacher Preparation

In-service Teachers
Pre-service Teachers

Education History

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, University of Connecticut, Storrs, University of Yaounde, Cameroon

Representative Publications

Yenika-Agbaw, V.  (2006). “Taking Children’s Literature Seriously:  Reading for Pleasure and Social Change.” In Peter Hunt (Ed.)  Children’s Literature:  Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies.  Volume 2.  Routledge:  London & New York. *Reprinted