- Chair of Department of English
- Associate Professor of English
- Ph.D., Cultural and Critical Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2003
- M.A., Literature, University of Pittsburgh, 1998
- B.S., English/Art, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1990
Areas of Emphasis or Expertise
- Cultural and Critical Studies
- Children's Literature and Culture
- Graphic Narrative and Visual Studies
- Gender Issues
- Suspended Animation: Children's Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity (Univ Of Minnesota Press 2010) : View Book
- Little Machinery: A Critical Facsimile Edition (Landscapes of Childhood Series) (Wayne State University Press 2009) : View Book
- Suspended Animation: Children’s Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity, Best Book of 2010, Children’s Literature Association
Growing up on the East Coast, op de Beeck studied at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in English and Art. She then moved to New York, kick-starting her career as a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly. According to op de Beeck, it was her particular joy in reviewing children’s books that led to her interest in children’s studies. After continuing her review work in Washington D.C., she packed up her belongings and moved back to Pennsylvania, furthering her education at the University of Pittsburgh.
Upon receiving an M.A. in Literature and Ph.D. in Cultural and Critical Studies (her dissertation was titled Readymade Antiques: The Picture Book in America, 1924-1944), op de Beeck began work as a professor at Illinois State University. It was there that she honed her love for children’s literature and teaching, gaining plenty of experience and know-how for her current position as head of the PLU Children’s Literature program. With specialized study in both ecocriticism and gender studies, she understands the strong connection between literature and how children see the world. As interest in children’s literature classes increases, op de Beeck believes the program will eventually become a minor. Furthermore, she ultimately hopes to expand the children’s literature section at the PLU Library.
~Prism 2010 (Mark Hengstler, ’11)