Dr. Linda Parsons is an associate professor at The Ohio State University campus in Marion, Ohio, where she specializes in middle childhood literacy and young adult literature. Her research interests comprise two intersecting strands. One strand documents the personal styles, orientations, and stances that shape engagement with text and the reader’s ability to construct meaning. This research recognizes how unpredictable, complex, and powerful the act of reading may be. The second strand focuses on the analysis of children’s and young adult literature. Beyond providing pleasure, literature conveys cultural values and assumptions. Analyzing it as both a construction of and a purveyor of the culture in which it is situated is a politically charged act.
Through her research, Dr. Parsons seeks to make visible the complexity of engaged reading, to examine readers’ responses to texts that challenge cultural norms, to examine literary constructions of reality and their relationship to lived realities, and to consider literature’s potential to deconstruct binary thinking. Dr. Parsons is an active member of the American Library Association, the International Literacy Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the United States Board on Books for Youth.