Professor Margot Hillel - Office of the Vice-Chancellor (Non-Faculty Areas)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor

Chair of Academic Board

Constructions of childhood; children's literature; children's literature and history; social and cultural issues in and of literature for young people; values education through literature for young people; children's literature and visual media.


Phone :(03) 9953 3238 (Melbourne)
URIs :

Research Interests

Childhood ; Constructions of Childhood ; Children's Literature ; Visual Media ; Social and Cultural Issues ; Literature ; Young People ; History ;

Methods Expertise

cultural studies discourse theory ;

Research Projects

Completed Projects

  • The Gift Impossible:Representation of Child Removal in Australian Children's Literature 1841-941 (Master) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Harry Potter and the Quest for Values: How the boy wizard can be used to teach personal values (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Imagination for better not worse: the hobbit in the primary classroom (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)

Current Projects

  • Sexuality and gender in recent and contemporary Australian fiction (PhD) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Exploitation to autonomy in representations of the Botswana San. (PhD) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Origins and absence: "The imaging of the invisible" in the poetry of Charles Wright (PhD) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Violence and ritual in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century British children's books from the Nolan collection: exploring the figure of the child and the place of childhood from a framework of Culture Geography. (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)

Selected Publications


Iconic Australia in Alison Lester's Are we there yet?, in Looking Out and Looking In - National Identity in Picturebooks of the new Millennium


"Help make the world a better place to live in. Young people as redemptive conscience in Australian books for young adults", in History of Education & Children's Literature (print version)

"'She faded and drooped as a flower': Constructing the Child in the Child-Rescue Literature of Late Victorian England", in The Child in British Literature: Literary Constructions of Childhood, Medieval to Contemporary


"'She makes them tingle all over': eroticising the child in twentieth-century Australian picture books", in History of Education & Children's Literature

"'Give us all missionary eyes and missionary hearts': Triumphalism and missionising in late-Victorian children's literature", in Mousaion: library science contributions

"'Some of these books are for mature readers': Australian young adult literature and the CBC Awards", in Proceedings of the International Conference on Adolescent Literature


Welcoming Strangers: The politics of 'othering' in three Australian picture books, in The Sands of Time: Children's Literature: Culture, Politics & Identity

The Sands of Time: Children's Literature: Culture, Politics & Identity

Child, Nation, Race and Empire: Child Rescue Discourse, England, Canada and Australia, 1850-1915


Orphans at the Beach: revisiting Michael Noonan's The December Boys, in Foreign Literature Studies/ Wai Guo Wen Xue Yan Jiu

Befriending Sea Creatures and Journeying through Life: Images of the Ocean in Australian Children's Literature, in Marine Literature Study

Where is the mother in all this? Representations of mothers and mothering in popular Australian and South African books for young adults, in Mousaion: library science contributions

'Being thankful for their birth in a Christian land': Interrogating intersections between whiteness and child rescue, in Re-Orienting Whiteness


The Shaping of Childhood through the Victorian Government Readers, in Chongqing Social Sciences

As though his face had been white: Child rescuers, Whiteness and the Empire, in Historicizing Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity


Picturing Parenting in the Words and Illustrations of Bob Graham, in CREArTA: the international journal of the education in the arts


The Same but different: the dynamics of local and global in Australian; Canadian & South African Children, in Children's Literature Global and Local: Social and Aesthetic Perspectives


Voyeurism and Power: Change and Renewal of the Eroticized Figure in Australian Books for Teenagers, in Change and Renewal in Children's Literature

Race and Redemption: Images of Empire in Children's Literature, in Exploring the British World

Performing Politics: Children as Conscience, in Seriously Playful: Genre; Performance and Text

Ignorance is not innocence, in Sexual Pedagogies: Sex Education in Britain; Australia & America


A Little Child Shall Lead Them : The Child as Redeemer, in Children's Literature and the Fin de Siecle

He Was Ready to Prove Himself a Man : The Heroic in Australian Children's Literature, in Journal of Curriculum Theorizing

Other information

Short-list judge on the panel for the inaugural ACU Literature Prize
Judge Crichton Award for new illustrators
Board Member Children's Book Council of Australia