Robert Bittner is the 2011 recipient of the Ronald Jobe Children’s Literature Scholarship in UBC’s Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program.
A first class student in the MACL Program, Rob received a BA in English from Simon Fraser University and intends to pursue a PhD in the area of children’s literature following his Master’s degree. His research interests are in gender and queer theory in children’s/YA literature. Just last month, he defended his MACL thesis – “Queering Christianity: The Journey from Rigid Doctrine to Personal Theologies in a Selection of YA Literature with LGBTQ Content.”
Rob has been active in volunteering with children’s literature conferences and committees, including the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable and the UBC Graduate Student Children’s Literature Research Conference (Co-chair, May 2012). He is on the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Awards Committee and was co-convenor of the ALA Young Adult Library Services Association’s Student Interest Research Group. He reviews for CM: Canadian Review of Materials, and the Keen Readers website.
Rob has made many academic presentations beyond Simon Fraser University, including the Children’s Literature Association Conference and the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference. Next year he will present at the Modern Languages Association Conference.
As the 9th student to receive this scholarship, Rob reflects the quality of students involved in the MACL program and indicates the value of this unique program.
Thank you to all those who supported the Jobe Scholarship fund this year, thus making it possible for talented students to be recognized and rewarded. (www.supporting.ubc.ca)