Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw

Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
Phone: 8148658921
Office Address:
255 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: Language, Culture and Society
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 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. 

Her research and scholarship centers on children’s and young adult literature/texts and is informed by theories of critical multiculturalism, postcolonialism, and reader response.  She publishes and presents primarily on topics related to social justice and the representation of populations that have been historically marginalized and under-represented in children’s texts and culture (with particular concern toward race, class, gender, and disabilities).  Her work has appeared in Journal of Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Sankofa:  Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Bookbird:  A Journal of International Children’s Literature, Language Arts, and English Journal.  She is the author and/or co-editor of numerous books including Adolescents Rewrite their World:  Using Literature to Illustrate Writing Forms, with Teresa Sychterz; Fairy Tales with a Black Consciousness:  Adaptations of Familiar Stories, with Ruth McKoy Lowery, and Laretta Henderson; African Youth in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture:  Identity Quest, with Lindah Mhando, African and African American Children’s Literature in the Classroom:  A Critical Guide, with Mary Napoli; and has reviewed manuscripts for Children’s Literature, The Lion and the Unicorn, Marvels and Tales:  Journal of Fairy Tale Studies, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, and Journal of Negro Education.   Additionally, she has served, or is currently serving on the editorial review boards of Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Language Arts.  A former high school teacher of English, she is passionate about literature, literacy, learning and how these intersect with culture!

Representative Publications

Yenika-Agbaw, V. (Forthcoming).  “From Orality to Print:  Constructions of Nso Identity in Folk Tales.” In Stephens, J., Curry, A., Lifang, L. & Motawy, Y (Eds.).   The Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature.  New York:  Routledge. (pp.)

Yenika-Agbaw, V.  (2015).  “Literature Responses and Academic Writing.”  In Yenika-Agbaw, V. and Teresa Sychterz  (Eds.)   Adolescents Rewrite their Worlds:  Using Literature to Illustrate Writing Forms.  Lanham, MD:  Rowman and Littlefield.  (pp. ).

Yenika-Agbaw, V. & Mhando, Lindah (2014).  “African Youth:  Cultural Identity in Literature, Media and Imagined Spaces.”  In Yenika-Agbaw, V. & Lindah Mhando (Eds.)  African Youth in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture:  Identity Quest.  New York, NY:  Routledge.  (pp.1-16).

Yenika-Agbaw, V.  (2013).  "Black Cinderella:  Multicultural Literature and School Curriculum.”  Pedagogy, Culture, and Society.   21(3), 1-19.

Yenika-Agbaw, V.  (2011).  “Reading Disability in Children’s Literature:  Hans Christian Andersen’s Tales.”  Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies5(1), 91-108.

Yenika-Agbaw, V. with Richard Beach, Patricia Enciso, Jerome Harste, Christine Jenkins, Rebecca Rogers, Seemi Raina, Kathy Short, Yoo-Kyung Sung, Melissa Wilson (2009).  “Exploring the ‘Critical’ in Critical Content Analysis.”   In Leander, K, Rowe, D., Dickinson, D., Hundley, M., Jimenez, R., & Risko, V.  58th Yearbook of the National Reading Council.  Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference. (pp. 129-142). 

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

Yenika-Agbaw, V.   (1998).   "Images of West Africa in Children's Books:  Replacing old stereotypes with new ones?"   The New Advocate.   11(3),  203-218.  (Reprinted four times)*