Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures

People

Naomi Hamer

Assistant Professor

Contact: n.hamer@uwinnipeg.ca

Mail:
Naomi Hamer
Department of English
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9
Canada

Phone: (204) 258-2926

Fax: (204) 774-4134

Twitter: https://twitter.com/naomihamertime

Naomi Hamer

Biography

Naomi Hamer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, University of Winnipeg, affiliated with the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures. She holds a Ph.D in children’s culture and media from the Institute of Education, University College London; MA in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia; and BA in English from McGill University. Her current research examines the cross-media adaptation of picture books with a focus on mobile applications, and children’s museum exhibitions that offer mediated experiences with children’s literature, and fairy-tale narratives. She received the David Almond Fellowship for Research in Children’s Literature (2013) for archival research in the collections of Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books (Newcastle, UK). Dr. Hamer is currently co-editor for two forthcoming publications, More Words About Pictures: Current Research on Picturebooks and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People (eds. Nodelman, Hamer, and Reimer) and The Routledge Companion of Fairy-tale Cultures and Media (eds. Greenhill, Rudy, Hamer, and Bosc). She is on the editorial board of the journal Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, and serves as Vice President of the Association for Research in the Cultures of Young People.

Degrees Received

Ph.D., Institute of Education, University College London, UK (2011)
M.A., University of British Columbia (2004)
B.A., McGill University (2000)

Current Projects

The Children’s Story Museum: The Design of Spaces for Interactive and Immersive Experiences with Children’s Books

This research examines the children’s story museum as a distinctive international institution focused on children’s literature, storytelling, and literacy. I was awarded the David Almond Fellowship for archival research with the picture book collections at Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle, UK, and expanded the project from this work. The primary focus is immersive and mediated engagement with children’s books at transnational exhibitions/museum sites for young audiences. The proposed second phase of this research examines how young audiences (ages 6-14) negotiate the cultural discourses of nationalism, gender, race, and sexuality within these mediated spaces.

Transmedia Storytelling and The Picture Book

This research examines the cross-media adaptation and franchising of picture book narratives across a range of modes for both adult and child readers. One segment of this research focuses on the design of picture book applications for interactive mobile platforms that adapt classic picture books and translate the visual/verbal dynamics of the picture book within a mediated format. A proposed book-length project, Transmedia Storytelling and The Picture Book, will integrate findings from this work. My chapter in the forthcoming volume, More Words About Pictures: Current Research on Picturebooks and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People, also incorporates findings from this research.

More Words About Pictures: Current Research on Picturebooks and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People

I was a co- organizer and co-applicant for an international research symposium at the University of Winnipeg from June 25-27, 2013 at the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures on the current state of research in picture books and hybrid forms such as the graphic novel (funded by a SSHRC Connections Grant 2013-2014 PI Reimer. CA Hamer). I am a co-editor of publication with Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer of a collected volume. My book chapter applies picturebook theory to mobile and interactive story applications. The symposium and the forthcoming publication represent significant contributions to the field of children’s literature for researchers and students to engage with Nodelman’s foundational work in the context of new approaches and media forms.

Fairy-tale Media and Culture

I am a co-editor for The Routledge Companion to Fairy-tale Media and Culture, with Pauline Greenhill, Jill Terry Rudy, and Lauren Bosc and as author of three chapters (under contract with Routledge) and have served as a participant in meetings and conferences related to a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2014-2017) Fairytale Cultures and Media Today (Greenhill PI; Bacchilega, Lovelace, Kohm, Kustritz, Naithani, Tosenberger, Zipes CIs). I have proposed a future project with this group of researchers that will particularly examine transcultural and transnational fairy-tale remediation at gallery and museum exhibitions across geographic and linguistic contexts.

The Story Fort Project, a Collaborative Community Action-Research Project

In 2014, I lead the coordination of an extended project around study space and interactive student programs at the University of Winnipeg library with a final report for future research and practical recommendations. Building on the first part of the project, in Winter term 2015, the students organized and held a Dr. Seuss Story time (2015) with a special reading by the Carol Shields writer-in-residence, Jennifer Still, and attendance by the UW daycare.

Featured Publications

Book and Journal Section Editor

  • "Forum. Comic Studies and Young People’s Cultures: The Challenges of Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue." Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 6.2 (Winter 2014): 90-96. Section editor for forum articles: 96-133.
  • Co-editor with Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer. More Words About Pictures: Current Research on Picturebooks and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People.
  • Co-editor with Pauline Greenhill, Jill Terry Rudy, and Lauren Bosc. The Routledge Companion to Fairy-tale Cultures and Media. Under contract.

Papers in Preparation or Under Review

  • "Stella and Sam: A Canadian case study of transmedia storytelling with picture book narratives." 22 pages. (Under review; paper presented at MLA 2015)
  • "Growing Up with the Olsen Twins: A twenty year case study of cross-media play." 20 pages. (Under review)
  • "Curating the story museum: the absences and negotiations of dark material in children's book and art exhibitions for young people" (In preparation; paper presented at ChLA 2015)

Courses 2016-2017



PICTURE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

ENGL-2113/6-001 (FW)

6 credit hours

2016-2017:

W 2:30 - 5:15

In this course, we will explore the evolution of the contemporary picture book as a popular genre for children. We will survey historical and contemporary trends in content and design, influential and ground-breaking picture book texts, as well as the role of picture books in theories of early childhood education and literacy learning. We will also address the adaptation of popular children’s picture books to television, film, digital games, and toys. We will apply a number of critical approaches for the analysis of picture books from the areas of literary theory, children’s literature criticism, semiotics, visual studies, communication and media studies, and art history criticism. We will discuss how theories related to visual art, performance, graphic novels, and film may be used to examine the complex relationship between words and pictures in picture books. We will have the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with a large range of picture books throughout the course with more focused study of specific authors, texts and analytical approaches through essays, critical written responses, and group presentations.



PRACTICUM IN LITERACY, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

ENGL-3120/6-001 (FW)

6 credit hours

2016-2017:

Tu 2:30 - 5:15

This course blends the theory and practice of community service and experiential learning, helping students initiate and complete volunteer placements within existing literacy, literary, cultural, peace, justice and human rights organizations and projects. It promotes creative, collaborative working relationships, sustaining interests in community-university partnerships and lifelong learning. Weekly seminars assist students as they identify areas of engagement and learning goals, design the terms of their commitment and accountability, and provide opportunities for reflection, assessment, and the sharing of developing expertise. Students are required to contribute at least three hours a week beyond class time, or the equivalent, to the placement during Winter Term (some placements begin earlier). Students arrange volunteer work placements with organizations that support literature, literacy, and language development in Manitoba. In 2016-2017, practicum students will participate in a collaborative group project in partnership with the University of Winnipeg library. Please see the course outline and/or contact the instructor for details regarding required course texts, group projects, and assignments.



THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: CROSS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO YOUNG AUDIENCES AND PARTICIPATORY CULTURES

ENGL-4160/3-001 (F)

3 credit hours

2016:

M 6:00 - 9:00

The children’s museum has evolved internationally since the early twentieth century as a non-profit public institution focused on informal family-oriented education, and interactive play environments. These museum sites often combine the curatorial practices of art galleries with the participatory environments of science-oriented museums. Children’s museums are significant cultural sites for the intersections of educational, entertainment, and policy discourses of modern and post-modern childhoods. The proposed course will explore existing critical studies of children’s museums including theoretical and methodological approaches from the fields of Cultural Studies particularly Audience Studies, Museum and Curatorial Studies, and New Literacies Studies. Key topics include: theories of the participatory museum; the history of young people in museum studies; the role of entertainment, and pedagogy in children’s museum exhibitions; issues of identity politics (i.e. gender, race, sexuality, socio-economic class, ability and mobility), nationalism, civic engagement and museum cultures. Critical readings will aim to expand beyond the Canadian and North American context with research case studies from the UK and Japan among other contexts. There will be opportunities to evaluate and potentially work with local museums as part of the course curriculum.



TOPICS IN CULTURES OF CHILDHOOD: The Children's Museum: Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Young Audiences and Participatory Cultures

ENGL-7160/3-001 (F)

3 credit hours

2016:

M 6:00 - 9:00

The children’s museum has evolved internationally since the early twentieth century as a non-profit public institution focused on informal family-oriented education, and interactive play environments. These museum sites often combine the curatorial practices of art galleries with the participatory environments of science-oriented museums. Children’s museums are significant cultural sites for the intersections of educational, entertainment, and policy discourses of modern and post-modern childhoods. The proposed course will explore existing critical studies of children’s museums including theoretical and methodological approaches from the fields of Cultural Studies particularly Audience Studies, Museum and Curatorial Studies, and New Literacies Studies. Key topics include: theories of the participatory museum; the history of young people in museum studies; the role of entertainment, and pedagogy in children’s museum exhibitions; issues of identity politics (i.e. gender, race, sexuality, socio-economic class, ability and mobility), nationalism, civic engagement and museum cultures. Critical readings will aim to expand beyond the Canadian and North American context with research case studies from the UK and Japan among other contexts. There will be opportunities to evaluate and potentially work with local museums as part of the course curriculum.



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