Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
creees masthead
Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Julia Mickenberg

Associate Professor Ph. D.

Julia Mickenberg



Julia Mickenberg is the author of Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, The Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (2006), which won the Grace Abbott Book Prize from the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the Children's Literature Association's Book Award, the Pacific Coast Branch Award from the American Historical Association, and the Hamilton Book Award. She is also co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature (2008) and The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature (2011). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her A.B. from Brown University.

Research Interests

Professor Mickenberg's current book project, for which she was awarded a Humanities Research Award from UT and an NEH fellowship, is tentatively entitled "The New Woman Tries on Red: Russia in the American Feminist Imagination, 1905-1945." Chapters in the book will look at topics such as suffragettes and Soviets, the relationship between the sexual revolution in the U.S. and "revolutionary tourism" to the Soviet Union, U.S. colonies in Soviet Russia, Soviet influence on U.S. creative expression, women journalists as travelers and eyewitnesses, and pro-Soviet children's literature published during World War II. She is also working on a talk/article about radical children's literature in the twenty-first century.

Courses Taught

Main Currents in American Culture, 1865-present; U.S. Cultural History; Society, Culture, and Politics in the 1960s; Women Radicals and Reformers; Children's Literature and American Culture; The Culture of the Cold War; Modernism, Feminism, and Radicalism; Cultures of U.S. Radicalism; The Cold War and American Childhood; Childhood Studies; and Practicum in Teaching American Studies


History of the Left/Radical Cultures, Children's Literature, Women's History, History of Childhood, Russian Studies, Americans abroad, utopia



Leaning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (Oxford U.P., 2006). Winner of the Children's Literature Association Book Prize, the Grace Abbott Prize from teh Society for the HIstory of Childhood and Youth, the Pacific Coast Branch Prize from the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch, and a $3,000 Hamilton Book Award.

Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature, edited with Philip Nel (New York U.P., 2008). Selected amonth the "best of the best" books for school and public libraries by the American Association of University Publishers.

The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature. Edited with Lynne Vallone. (Oxford U.P., 2011).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Radical Children’s Literature Now!” (co-authored with Philip Nel). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, forthcoming, fall 2011.

“The New Generation and the New Russia: Modern Childhood as Collective Fantasy.” American Quarterly 62:1 (March 2010): 103-134.

“Nursing Radicalism: Some Lessons from a Postwar Girls’ Series.” American Literary History 19:2 (summer 2007), 491-520.

“Of Funnybones, Steam Shovels, and Railroads to Freedom: Juvenile Publishing, Progressive Education, and the Politicization of Childhood, 1919-1935,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 28:3 (Fall 2003), 144-57.

“Civil Rights, History and the Left: Inventing the Juvenile Black Biography.” MELUS (Multi Ethnic Literature of the United States) 27:2 (Summer 2002), 65-93.

“Communist in a Coonskin Cap? Meridel Le Sueur’s Books for Children and the Reformulation of America’s Cold War Frontier Narrative.” The Lion and the Unicorn 21 (1997), 59-85.

“Left at Home in Iowa: ‘Progressive Regionalists’ and the WPA Guide to 1930s Iowa.” Annals of Iowa 56 (Summer 1997) 233-56. *Honorable Mention, Throne-Aldrich Award for best Annals article of 1997.

bottom border