Menu Close

Joe Sutliff Sanders

Associate Professor in Children's Literature in Education, University of Cambridge

Joe Sutliff Sanders joined the Faculty of Education after more than a decade teaching in literature departments at universities across the United States. He is a former junior high school English teacher at a small town in Japan and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Luxembourg.

Joe’s research tends to begin with questions about form and genre—How can a work of nonfiction signal a lack of authority? What does the shape of a picture book invite? How does the formula of best-selling novels about orphan girls shift over time?—and extend then to explorations of ideology. His approach to children’s literature is therefore primarily textual, historical, and theoretical.

He is especially passionate about children’s literature’s ability to examine differences and contest marginalisation.

He has written extensively on comic books and published the chapter A Walking Shadow: Life as a Reader and Author of Neil Gaiman in the academic book The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows, edited by Joe M. Sommers and Kyle Eveleth.


  • 2021–present
    Associate professor, University of Cambridge
  • 2018–2021
    Lecturer, University of Cambridge


  • 2005 
    University of Kentucky, PhD


  • 2021
    Batman: The Animated Series,
  • 2019
    “’A Walking Shadow’: Life as a Reader and Author of Neil Gaiman.”, The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows
  • 2018
    “Sandman, the Ephemeral, and the Permanent.”, The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel
  • 2018
    A Literature of Questions: Nonfiction for the Critical Child,
  • 2016
    Good Grief! Children and Comics (editor),
  • 2016
    The Comics of Hergé: When the Lines Are Not So Clear (editor),
  • 2011
    Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden: A Children’s Classic at 100 (editor),
  • 2011
    Disciplining Girls: Understanding the Origins of the Classic Orphan Girl Story,

Grants and Contracts

  • 2013
    Fulbright Fellowship
    Funding Source:
    Fulbright Commission