Member of the Month- Evelyn Arizpe

Professor of Children's literature and literacies.

Evelyn Arizpe (PhD Education, 1990)

evelyn picture
  1. How did you come to study at Wolfson College?

Living in Mexico in pre-internet days meant I had very little information about colleges. I came to Wolfson not only because I wanted to be with students who were about my age but also because I saw from the brochure that Wolfson was a modern college and therefore I thought it was more likely to have a good heating system as well as showers!

  1. What is your current occupation and how did you get into this role?

I did a PhD at the Faculty of Education, on young adult literature and reluctant readers. After that I did a bit of teaching for the Faculty and on several research projects, one of which resulted in a book co-authored with Morag Styles, Children Reading Pictures, which set me on the path of most of the research projects that followed. In 2004 I moved with my husband and children to Scotland and after a few years I was offered a part-time post as a lecturer in children’s literature in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Eventually I began working full time there and last year was appointed Professor of Children’s Literature (the first in Scotland).

  1. What do you most enjoy about your job?

I was very lucky to end up with a job which involves what I always wanted to do: study and teach children’s literature. I have the best excuse to read children’s and YA books, even now that my daughters have grown up. I can introduce students to the benefits of enjoying and working with these books in the classroom and at the moment I am involved in research projects using picture books with migrant children in different countries. I also lead an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Programme, “Children’s literature, media and culture” with five other universities; for us to be able to offer scholarships to young people from all over the world to come to this programme is a dream come true.

  1. How have your studies at Wolfson helped you in your career?

Although my life in Wolfson revolved more around social than the academic activities, it was a very supportive environment. I made good friends there from many different countries. It was also a peaceful place, with lovely gardens for sitting and reading or chatting. Activities such as the film club and salsa dancing were a welcome relief from studying.

  1. What is your fondest memory of your time at Wolfson?

Although it may sound strange, my fondest memory was when I got chicken pox (probably from doing fieldwork in schools) and as an adult I got it badly. I only told my close friends (rather than the College tutors, which of course was very irresponsible on my part). Because I had a high fever, could hardly open my eyes and definitely not leave my room, my friends (including my now husband) would bring me food and lend me cassette tapes!

  1. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

It’s more of a proverb: “Lo bailado nadie te lo quita” (what you have danced, no one can take away); in other words, carpe diem

  1. Which book has had the greatest impact on you?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I was so overwhelmed and intrigued by it that I chose Latin American literature as my undergraduate degree.



What's on

Wolfson Research Event

POSTPONED Wolfson Research Event 2020

24/04/2020 at 10.00

18 March 2020 - The 2020 Wolfson Research Event had been scheduled for 24 April. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we are currently exploring how to postpone the event until later the year, probably with an online component. Please check back regularly for updates.

man with a finger to his lips

CANCELLED Shut Up and Write

25/04/2020 at 09.30

Get a head start on the college Quiet Period (which begins on Tuesday 28th) with some serious writing time. Work silently in a supportive group, with short breaks for hot drinks and biscuits.

President Jane Clarke brunch talk

CANCELLED Wolfson in the USA

14/05/2020 at 11.00

We are looking at the possibility of re-scheduling this event for later in the year, owing to the current global coronavirus outbreak. 

President Jane Clarke will be visiting the East Coast of the USA in May. We'll keep you updated as to her itinerary, but in the meantime if you would like to see about meeting up with Jane, contact us on

lunchtime seminars

Lunchtime Seminar - Breaking Borders with Bass-lines: The import of Afro-descendant music in an English seaside town

20/05/2020 at 12.00

Wolfson hosts a series of Lunchtime Seminars on most Wednesdays during full term. Feel free to bring your lunch tray from Hall and learn while you eat. Complimentary coffee and biscuits are provided.

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CANCELLED Lee Seng Tee Distinguished Lecture - Dr Nicola Rollock

04/06/2020 at 17.30

CANCELLED. The 2020 'Lee Sing Tee Distinguished Lecture' will be given by Dr Nicola Rollock, who will share with us her thoughts and research on racial justice in education.