Courtney Weikle-Mills specializes in early American literature and children’s literature. Additional research and teaching interests include citizenship, Atlantic and early Caribbean studies, readership and literacy, the novel, and the history of the book.
Her first book, Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2013), won the Children's Literature Association's Honor Book Award for an outstanding book published in 2013. In it, she investigates how early Americans addressed the complications that children posed to the civic ideals of independence, reason, and consent by representing children as "imaginary citizens." Her most recent essay, "The Obscure Histories of Goosee Shoo-shoo and Black Cinderella: Seeking Afro-Caribbean Children's Literature in the Nineteenth Century," appeared in volume 47 of Children's Literature. Her work can also be found in Who Writes for Black Children?: American Children'sLiterature Before 1900, The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature, Early American Literature, and American Periodicals.
She is currently working on a new book tentatively titled Little Hands and Mouths: Children’s Literature, Commerce, and Relationality in the Early Atlantic World, which traces the children's literature's relationship to Atlantic trade, the circulation of British and American children's literature in the early Caribbean, and the early development of Caribbean children's culture.