Department of English
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9
Phone: (204) 258-2926
Fax: (204) 774-4134
I am thrilled to be joining the English Department to teach a number of courses in the area of Young People’s Texts and Culture including: picture books for children, fairytale and culture as well as an Individual Author course on the young adult author S.E. Hinton (2009-2010). I completed my doctorate at the Centre for Children, Youth and Media, Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. My PhD research applies an interdisciplinary framework to examine the role of cross-media franchising and digital cultures in the texts and reading practices of ‘tween’ girls. I am interested in expanding this research through further work on recent cross-media adaptation and franchising of children’s books, particularly picture books, for both adult and child readers. I also hold a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from McGill University. My MA thesis investigated the visual and written representations of urban childhoods in contemporary picture books.
My interest in children’s texts and cultures is also rooted in my background as a drama, creative arts and writing instructor for children and adolescents in schools, libraries and recreational settings. I have also been involved as a reviewer, consultant and advisor for a variety of non-profit educational projects as well as a participant on the TVOntario children’s programming (TVOKids) education advisory council. A published chapter rooted in my doctoral research (Eds. Booth, Jupiter, and Peterson, in press 2009) uses Narnia as a model for how to use cross-media phenomenon to jump-start literacy teaching and learning.
Ph.D., Institute of Education, University of London, UK (2010)
M.A., University of British Columbia (2004)
B.A., McGill University (2000)
My doctoral dissertation presents an examination of cross-media franchising and digital cultures in the contemporary texts and reading practices of preadolescent girls. The study employs a multi-layered critical discourse analysis that addresses the design of associated texts across a franchise (book, DVD, official website etc.); online fan cultures related to these texts; and the reading practices of 8 and 9 year old students during fieldwork in Toronto, Canada and London, UK. The work reveals how textual discourse around preadolescent identity is translated across media by both readers and producers of texts. Moreover, the analysis explores how the cross-media design of contemporary texts works to negotiate competing histories of discourse in Anglo-American literary and popular culture texts for and about preadolescent girls. The analysis exemplifies the application of an interdisciplinary critical approach to contemporary books for young people that directly addresses cross-media cultures and practices. The study also proposes the development of literacy curricula in elementary schools that aims to address the multimodal design of children’s texts and the cross-media practices of preadolescent readers.
I am interested in expanding this research through further work on recent cross-media adaptation and franchising of children’s books (to film, graphic novels, stage plays and plush toys etc.) for a mix of both adult and child readers, audiences and fan cultures. Key examples include multiple adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (particularly Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers’ recent film adaptation and Eggers’ affiliated novel The Wild Things).
- Hamer, Naomi (chapter in press, 2009). “The Lion, The Witch and the Cereal Box: Reading children’s literature across multi-media franchises.” Books, Media, and the Internet: Children’s Literature for Today’s Classrooms. Eds. David Booth, Carol Jupiter and Shelley Stagg Peterson. Portage & Main Press.
- Hamer, Naomi (in press, 2009). “Coming of age for boys in fiction and film.” Boy Culture: an encyclopedia. Eds. Shirley R. Steinberg and Michael Kehler. Greenwood Press.
- Cornish, Lindsay and Naomi Hamer (2007). “Girl-specific cross merchandising.” Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia. Eds. Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
- Hamer, Naomi (2003). “The City as Liminal Site in Children’s Literature: Enchanted Realism with an Urban Twist.” The Looking Glass, 7 (1). http://www.the-looking-glass.net/.
- Hamer, Naomi (2002). “The Voice of the Adolescent Girl in Young Adult Fiction: Gender Resistance and Empowerment in Melvin Burgess’ Junk.” YaYa, Young Adult Services Interest Group publication, British Columbia, Spring: 4-5.
Current Papers in Progress
- “The multiple identities of Lucy Pevensie: cross-media interactions between preadolescent readers and their favourite fictional protagonists.” Originally presented at the United Kingdom Literacy Association International Conference. Identities, Cultures and Literacies Liverpool University, UK. July 10-13 2008.
- “From Little Women to gossip girl: A discursive history of the texts and reading cultures of the preadolescent girl.”
- “Hana’s suitcase: multimodality and the cross-media adaptation of historical texts for young Canadian audiences.”
6 credit hours
Tu 6:00 - 9:00 TBA
This course is an introduction to the scholarly study of children's literature. The course will deconstruct the cultural representation of childhood and adolescence from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, particularly in Anglo-American texts. We will use a diverse range of texts to discuss the history of children’s and Young Adult literature as defined genres, as well as the often disputed place of these texts in literary criticism. We will also explore issues around the censorship of children’s texts and assumptions around ‘appropriateness’ of texts for young readers. A wide range of texts will be examined including religious texts, young adult fiction, illustrated children’s books, children’s literature ‘classics’, poetry, short stories, plays, films, franchised merchandise, and series books. In addition, the course will introduce students to research on young children’s literacies as well as psychoanalytic, feminist, and other critical perspectives. We will also address recent cross-media adaptations of children’s texts, and the changing roles of young people as both consumers and producers of these texts. In addition to written assignments and a final examination, course work will involve individualized research papers, in-class written responses, and group presentations. Please see the course outline for finalized list of required texts and film screenings.
6 credit hours
W 6:00 - 9:00 TBA
This course will focus on the critical examination of films for young people as well as distinct representations from films about children for adult audiences. The course will provide a context for a historical overview of films produced specifically for young people, particularly in North America and Europe. We will closely examine a number of key films, applying critical approaches from the areas of film studies, narrative theory, children’s literature criticism, semiotics and visual culture, and audience reception studies. In addition, we will highlight key issues around cross-cultural, linguistic, multimedia, and commercially driven adaptations of popular children’s books, fairytale and folktales in films for young viewers. The final section of the course will address the role of young people as film producers themselves. Students will engage in the focused study of specific films and sub-genres through essays, evaluative written responses, and group presentations. Although the emphasis will be on English-language films, this course will address several international films in other languages (with sub-titles). Please see the course outline for a finalized list of required texts and film screenings.