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Dr. Elisabeth  Gruner
Dr. Elisabeth Gruner
Professor of English

Dr. Gruner teaches children’s and young adult literature and Victorian literature, as well as Creative Nonfiction Writing. Her research focuses on the relationships between children’s and young adult literature and education, and especially how various minoritized statuses affect those relationships. She is also interested in mindfulness in education. Dr. Gruner is a former associate dean of Arts & Sciences and former Director of the Academic Advising Resources Center, and was the founding coordinator of the First-Year Seminar Program.


Wrestling with Religion: Pullman, Pratchett, and the Uses of Story.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 36.3 (Fall 2011), 276-295.

Education and Knowledge in Recent Children’s Fantasy,” Children’s Literature 37 (2009), 216-235.

Saving Cinderella: History and Story in Ever After and Ashpet.” Children’s Literature 31 (2003), 142-154.

Born and Made: Sisters, Brothers, and the Deceased Wife’s Sister Bill,” SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 24:2 (Winter 1999), 423-447

Cinderella, Marie Antoinette, and Sara: Roles and Role Models in A Little Princess,”  The Lion and the Unicorn, 22:2 (Spring 1998), 163-187

Plotting the Mother: Caroline Norton, Helen Huntingdon, and Isabel Vane,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature,16:2 (Fall 1997), 303-325

The Bullfinch and the Brother: Marriage and Family in Frances Burney’s Camilla,”  JEGP, 93:1 (January 1994), 18-34


Gruner, Elisabeth. “Leading through Reading in Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy by Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett.” In Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature, edited by Scott Allison, Craig Kocher, and Al Goethals, 127-46. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Education,” in Keywords for Children’s Literature, ed. Philip Nel and Lissa Paul. NY; NYU P, 2011. 70-74.

Telling Old Tales Newly: Intertextuality in Young Adult Fiction for Girls,” in Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature, ed. Michael Cadden. Lincoln, NE: U Nebraska P, 2011. 3-21.

Short Fiction by Women in the Victorian Literature Survey,” Teaching British Women Writers 1750-1900, Joanne Moskal and Shannon R. Wooden, eds., New York: Peter Lang, 2005. Pgs. 101-109.

Family Secrets and the Mysteries of The Moonstone,” Victorian Literature and Culture, 21 (1993), 127-145.  (Reprinted in Wilkie Collins, ed. Lyn Pykett.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.  221-243)

“‘Loving Difference’: Sisters and Brothers from Frances Burney to Emily Brontë,” in The Significance of Sibling Relationships in Literature, ed. JoAnna Stephens Mink & Janet Doubler Ward, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993.  32-46.


Why the Ancient Promise of Alchemy is Fulfilled in Reading,” The Conversation, May 2019

“Victorian Literature for Accounting Majors” (with Joe Ben Hoyle). The Chronicle of Higher Education June 26, 2013 (

“Shared Books, Shared Tables,” in The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family & How We Learn to Eat. Ed. Caroline M. Grant and Lisa Catherine Harper. Roost Books 2013. 231-239. 

“I Am Not a Head on a Stick: On Being a Teacher and a Doctor and a Mommy,” Mama, PhD: Women write about motherhood and academic life, ed. Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant.  New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2008.  123-128. 

“Teaching and Tae Kwon Do,” Inside Higher Ed, May 21, 2008 (

Bi-monthly column, “Children’s Lit Book Group,” Literary Mama; First column published November 2004; monthly January 2008 – August 2008; bimonthly August 2008 – June 2009. 

“The Third Snow Day,” in Three-Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work, and Family, ed. Dawn Comer Jefferson and Rosanne Welch.  Seal Press, 2004. 

“Mama Mentor,” in A Cup of Comfort for Teachers, ed. Colleen Sell.  Adams Media, 2004. 

Bi-monthly column, “Midlife Mama,” Literary Mama; columns published in November, January, March,  May, July, and September 2003-2004. 

“Fix Me,” in  Toddler: Real-Life Stories of those Fickle, Urgent, Irrational, Tiny People We Love, ed. Jennifer Margulis, Seal Press, October 2003 

“Walking with the Women in Black,”  Books and Babies: Writing about Motherhood Literary Web Zine, May 2003. 

“The Bad Mother Did It: A Chat with Mystery Writer Ayelet Waldman,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, 4:2 (Spring 2003), 14-15. 

“To sleep, perchance,” Books and Babies: Writing about Motherhood Literary Web Zine,   March 2003. 

“Love or hate this season, Mr. Dickens is the cause,” Fredericksburg Freelance Star, Sunday, December 22, 2002.  (Syndicated in Knight-Ridder newspapers.) 

“I (Don’t) Remember Mama,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers 3:1 (Spring 2002). 

“Baby Talk,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers 2:2 (Summer 2001), 9-11. 

“Telling Tales,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers 2:1 (Spring 2001), 10-11. 

The Wonder Years: Three Writers Talk about the Time that Leaves Most of Us Speechless,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, 1:3 (Winter 2001), 62-65. Reprinted in LiteraryMama, Nov. 2003. 

“‘Mom-Brain’ Explained,” Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, 1:2 (Fall 2000), 8-9.

M.A., UCLA English
A.B., Brown University
Modern Literature and Society
Contact Information
352 Humanities Building
(804) 289-8298
(804) 289-8313 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Children's and Young Adult Literature
Fairy Tales and Retellings
Victorian Fiction
Writing & Writing Pedagogy
Assessment of Student Learning
Learning from Student Feedback