Dr. Martha Hixon

Professor

Dr. Martha Hixon
615-898-2599
Room 374, Peck Hall (PH)
MTSU Box 70, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., University of Louisiana, Lafayette (1997)
  • M.A., University of Louisiana, Monroe (1980)
  • B.A., University of Louisiana, Monroe (1977)

Areas of Expertise

Children's literature, folk and fairy tales, 19th century British and American literature; children's film

Biography

Dr. Hixon earned the Ph.D. in English at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette). A specialist in children's literature, she joined the English Department in the Fall of 1999. She is a member of both the Graduate Faculty and the Honors College Faculty.

She co-directed the biennial Modern Critical Approaches to Children's Literature conference once hosted by MTSU and is also active in the Children's Literature Association, including past ser...

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Dr. Hixon earned the Ph.D. in English at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette). A specialist in children's literature, she joined the English Department in the Fall of 1999. She is a member of both the Graduate Faculty and the Honors College Faculty.

She co-directed the biennial Modern Critical Approaches to Children's Literature conference once hosted by MTSU and is also active in the Children's Literature Association, including past service on the Board of Directors and as ChLA President in 2007-2008. She is the recipient of the MTSU Foundation's Outstanding Teacher Award for 2012 and the Outstanding Honors Faculty Teaching Award in 2003.

 

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Publications

Books and articles

“’Whose Woods These Are I Think I Know’: Narrative Theory and Diana Wynne Jones’s Hexwood.” Telling Children Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature. Ed. Mike Cadden. U of Nebraska P, 2011. 251-67.

“Power Plays: Paradigms of Power in The Pinhoe Egg and The Merlin Conspiracy.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 21.2 (2010): 12-29.

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Books and articles

“’Whose Woods These Are I Think I Know’: Narrative Theory and Diana Wynne Jones’s Hexwood.” Telling Children Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature. Ed. Mike Cadden. U of Nebraska P, 2011. 251-67.

“Power Plays: Paradigms of Power in The Pinhoe Egg and The Merlin Conspiracy.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 21.2 (2010): 12-29.

“’The Lady of Shalott’ as Paradigm in Patricia McKillip’s The Tower at Stony Wood.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 16.3 (Fall 2005): 191-205.

“Under the Sea – American Adolescent Female Desire in The Little Mermaid.” Synsvinkler 32 (2005): 90-106. publication of the Center for Nordic Studies, Syddansk University. (Special issue on H. C. Andersen).

“Tam Lin, Fair Janet, and the Sexual Revolution: Traditional Ballads, Fairy Tales, and Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature.” Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies 18.1 (Spring 2004): 67-92.

Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom. Ed. Teya Rosenberg, Martha P. Hixon, Sharon M. Scapple, and Donna R. White. Studies in Children’s Literature Series. General Editor William Moebius. Peter Lang, 2002.

“The Importance of Being Nowhere: Narrative Dimensions and Their Interplay in Fire and Hemlock.” In Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom. 96-107.

"Images of Louisiana in Children's Literature." Louisiana English Journal 6.1 (1999): 71-74.


Book reviews and other published work

Review of Cinderella Across Cultures: New Directions and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed. Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère, Gillian Lathey, and Monika Woźniak. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 42. 1 (Spring 2017): 111-114.

Review of Ethics and Form in Fantasy Literature: Tolkien, Rowling, and Meyer by Lykke Guanio-Uluru (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015). Lion and the Unicorn 40.2 (April 2016): 234-237.

Review of The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre by Jack Zipes (Princeton UP, 2012). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 38.2 (Summer 2013): 243-246.

Review of The Myth of Persephone in Girls’ Fantasy Literature by Holly Virginia Blackford (Routledge, 2012). Children’s Literature 41 (2013): 255-261.

Review of Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature by Marah Gubar. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 36.2 (Summer 2011): 240-42.

“Rewriting History” (Review Essay on Ruth Bottigheimer’s Fairy Tales: A New History, SUNY P, 2009). Children’s Literature 38 (2010): 231-236.

Review of Red Riding Hood for All Ages by Sandra Beckett (Wayne State UP, 2008). The Lion and the Unicorn 33.3 (Sept 2009): 422-425.

Review of Folklore and the Fantastic in 19th Century British Fiction by Jason Marc Harris (Ashgate, 2008). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 34.1 (Spring 2009): 73-75.

Review of Four British Fantasists by Charles Butler (Scarecrow, 2006). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 32.3 (Fall 2007): 273-275.

“The Child as Father of the Man: American Childhood and Walt Disney.” (Review Essay on Nicholas Sammond’s Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960, Duke UP, 2005). Children’s Literature 35 (2007): 239-242.

Review of Folktales Retold: A Critical Overview of Stories Updated for Children by Amie Doughty (McFarland, 2006).The Lion and the Unicorn 31.2 (April 2007): 196-199.

“Tale with a Thousand Faces: ‘Beauty and the Beast.’” (Review Essay on Jerry Griswold’s The Meanings of “Beauty and the Beast”: A Handbook, Broadview P, 2004). Children’s Literature 34 (2006): 214-17.

“New Wine in Old Bottles.” (Review Essay on Elizabeth Wanning Harries’ Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale, Princeton, 2001). Children’s Literature 32 (2004): 216-221.

Review of Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale by Catherine Orenstein (Basic Books, 2002). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 29.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2004): 129-31.

Review of In Cold Fear by Pamela Hunt Steinle (Ohio State UP, 2000). ChLA Quarterly 27.3 (Fall 2002): 167.

Entries on Donna Jo Napoli, Patricia Wrede, Charles de Lint, Terri Windling, and William Brooke in The St. James Guide to Children’s Writers/Young Adult Writers. Ed. Tom and Sara Pendergrast. St.
James Press, 1999.

Entries on Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, Uncle Remus, Angela Carter, and Joseph Jacobs in The Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, Ed. Bruce Rosenberg and Mary Ellen Brown.
Garland Press, 1998.

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Presentations

“Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy and Reality: N.D. Wilson’s Boys of Blur.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Tampa, FL, June 22-24, 2017.  

“Picture This! David Wisniewski’s Sundiata, Lion King of Mali as Fantastic Epic.”  Presented at the 38th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 22-25, 2017.

“Remaking Disney Classics...

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“Blurring the Lines Between Fantasy and Reality: N.D. Wilson’s Boys of Blur.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Tampa, FL, June 22-24, 2017.  

“Picture This! David Wisniewski’s Sundiata, Lion King of Mali as Fantastic Epic.”  Presented at the 38th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 22-25, 2017.

“Remaking Disney Classics, or Disney Does Disney.” Presented at the Popular Culture Association in the South (PCAS) Conference held in Nashville, TN, October 13-15, 2016.

“Backstories and Subtexts: Disney’s Self-referentiality and the Story Behind the Story.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Columbus, OH, June 9-11, 2016.

“My Mother, Myself: Mother-Daughter Conflicts in ‘Snow White.” Presented at the 37th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 16-20, 2016.

“’Everyone and everything has a time to die’: Good and Evil, Death and the Afterlife as Represented by Zolotow, Nix, Le Guin, and Rowling.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Richmond, VA, June 18-20, 2015.

Wonderlands and Neverlands: Magical Geography in Children’s Literature.” Invited lecture for MTSU’s Honors Lecture Series on the power of place in classic hildren’s books, presented in September 2014.

“Growing Up Is Risky Business: Innocent Persecuted Heroines in Classic Fairy Tales.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Biloxi, MS, June 13-15, 2013.

“A Neverending Story: Revisions, Retellings, and Adaptations in Folktales and Children’s Literature.” Invited keynote lecture for MTSU’s English Graduate Student Organization conference, September 22, 2012.

“Fighting Snow with Fire: Power Paradigms in the Grimms’ ‘Snow White’ and Modern Retellings.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference at Simmons College, Boston MA, June 14-16, 2012.

“Conservatively Subversive: J.K. Rowling, Diana Wynne Jones, and Social Ideologies.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA, June 23-25, 2011.

“Power Dynamics in Diana Wynne Jones’ The Pinhoe Egg and Black Maria.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Ann Arbor, MI, June 10-12, 2010.

“Power Plays: Paradigms of Power in Two Novels by Diana Wynne Jones.” Presented at the inaugural Diana Wynne Jones Conference, hosted by the University of the West in Bristol, England, July 2-6, 2009.

“Power in the Land: Three Paradigms of Magical Geography.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Charlotte, NC, June 11-14, 2009.

“ChLA: Entering the Third Generation.” Presidential Address presented to the Children’s Literature Association General Membership during the annual conference in Bloomington/Normal, IL, June 14, 2008.

“The Presence of the Past: Bridging Time in Twentieth Century British Fantasy for Children.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Newport News, VA, June 14-16, 2007.

“Story, Time, and Timelessness: Narrative Transformations in Diana Wynne Jones’s Hexwood.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Manhattan Beach, CA, June 6-8, 2006.

“Under the Sea: American Adolescent Female Desire in Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” Presented at the “Hans Christian Andersen: A Celebration and Reappraisal” conference hosted by the British Library, the University of Newcastle, and the Institute of English Studies at the University of London in London, England, August 8-10, 2005.

“Utopian Visions in Animal Land: Brian Jacques’ Redwall Novels and Their Debt to Kenneth Grahame.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Fresno, CA, June 10-12, 2004.

“Mirrors, Towers, Dragons, and Wise Women: “The Lady of Shalott” as Paradigm in Patricia McKillip’s The Tower at Stony Wood.” Presented at Mythcon 34, Conference of the Mythopoetic Society, Nashville, TN, July 25-28, 2003.

“The Postmodern Fairy Tales of Donna Jo Napoli.” Presented at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in El Paso, TX, June 5-8, 2003.

“Inner World and Other World: The Use of Folklore in the Fantasies of Mollie Hunter.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Wilkes-Barre, PA, June 12-16, 2002.

“The Hero’s Journey: Brian Jacques’s Redwall.” Presented at the 23rd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 20-24, 2002.

“Bridging Traditions: Turning Fairy Tale into Fantasy Story—Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Buffalo, NY, June 6-10, 2001.

“A Close Look at the Narrative Structure of Fire and Hemlock.” Part of a panel on Diana Wynne Jones at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Roanoke, VA, June 21-23, 2000.

“Bayou Belles and Sons of the Swamp: Images of Acadiana in 20th Century Children’s Fiction.” Presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Roanoke, VA, June 21-23, 2000.

“Sex and the Schoolgirl: The Fairy-Tale Patterns of Adele Geras’ Tower Room Trilogy.” Presented at the 3rd Biennial Modern Approaches to Children’s Literature Conference, MTSU, March 24-27, 1999.

"Sir Galahad and the Victorian Spiritual Ideal: The Opposing Views of Tennyson and Morris." Presented to the Christianity and Literature Section of the South Central Modern Languages Association Conference in Dallas, TX, October 30-November 1, 1997.

"Sleeping Beauty Awakens: Modern Revisions of an Old Tale." Presented at the Children's Literature Association Conference at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, June 19-22, 1997.

"Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the Land of Faery." Presented to the Folklore Section of the South Central Modern Languages Association in San Antonio, TX, October 31-November 1, 1996.

"Myth, Magic, and Missing Parents: Fantasy and the Problem Novel." Presented to the Children's Literature Section of the South Central Modern Languages Association in Houston, TX, October 26-28, 1995.

"Of Enchanted Frogs and Princesses: Re-visioning 'The Frog Prince.'" Presented at the Children’s
Literature Association Conference at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, June 1-4, 1995.

"Traditional Ballad and Plot Structure, or When Is a Ballad Not a Ballad?" Presented at the American Folklore Society Conference in Lafayette, LA, October 12-15, 1995.

"Samuel G. Goodrich, American Romancer?" Presented at the Children's Literature Association Conference at Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, June 2-5, 1994.

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Awards

MTSU Foundation's Outstanding Teacher Award for 2012

MTSU Outstanding Honors Faculty Teaching Award in 2003

Research/Scholarly Activity

Research interests include contemporary revisions of fairy tales and classic children’s texts, as well as fantasy literature in general for children and young adults.  Her publications include articles in The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and Marvels and Tales: A Journal of Fairytale Studies, and Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature (U of Nebraska P, 2011), plus numerous book reviews. She co-edited ...

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Research interests include contemporary revisions of fairy tales and classic children’s texts, as well as fantasy literature in general for children and young adults.  Her publications include articles in The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and Marvels and Tales: A Journal of Fairytale Studies, and Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature (U of Nebraska P, 2011), plus numerous book reviews. She co-edited Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom (Peter Lang, 2002).  She presents regularly at national and international academic conferences.

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