Photo of Julie C. Garlen

Julie C. Garlen

Director and Full Professor

Phone:613-520-2600 x 6044
Office:1308 Dunton Tower

Research Interests:

• Childhood
• Early Childhood Education
• Popular Culture
• Cultural Curriculum Studies

Current Research:

Julie C. Garlen (she/her) is a critical cultural theorist with interests in childhood, education, and curriculum studies. Previously, she worked in the U.S. South as an elementary school teacher and an early childhood teacher educator. Before she immigrated to Canada, her work on cultural studies of education and children’s popular culture led to the publication of two volumes co-edited with Jennifer Sandlin: Teaching with Disney (Peter Lang, 2016) and Disney, Culture and Curriculum (Routledge, 2016).

More recently, Dr. Garlen’s work has focused on how the Western myth of childhood innocence informs work with and understandings of children in North American contexts. Since 2018, she has been working with a team of researchers on how memories shape understandings of childhood among adults preparing for careers involving work with children. Currently, she is the primary investigator of a SSHRC-funded research project, “Girls in the Digital World,” which explores how to facilitate participatory action research (PAR) with children. She is also co-editing a book tentatively titled “Beyond Innocence: Refusing the Limits of Contemporary Childhood,” to be published in 2023 with Lexington Books.


2017: Jack Miller Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity, Georgia Southern University

2016: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellow, Georgia Southern University

2014: Jack Miller Award for Teaching, Georgia Southern University

2013: University Award for Excellence in Service, Georgia Southern University

2012: Jack Miller Award for Service, Georgia Southern University

Recent Publications:

Farley, L., Garlen, J.C., Chang-Kredl, S., and Sonu, D. (2022). The Critical Work of Memory and the Nostalgic Return of Innocence: How Emergent Teachers Represent Childhood, Pedagogy, Culture and Society.

Sonu, D., Farley, L., Chang-Kredl, S. & Garlen, J. (2022). Sick at school: Teachers’ memories and the affective challenges that bodies present to constructions of childhood innocence, normalcy, and ignorance, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies,

Chang-Kredl, S., Garlen, J.C., Sonu, D. & Farley, L. (2021). Models of possible selves: Teachers’ reflections on childhood memories of parents. Teaching Education. Advance online publication.

Garlen, J.C. (2021). The End of Innocence: Reimagining Childhood for a Post-Pandemic World. The Journal of Teaching and Learning. 15(2), 21-39.

Garlen, J. C., & Hembruff, S. L. (2021). Unboxing Childhood: Risk and Responsibility in the Age of YouTube. Journal of Childhood Studies46(2), 78-90.

Farley, L., Sonu, D., Garlen, J.C. & Chang-Kredl, S. (2021). How teachers remember their own childhoods affects how they challenge school inequities. The Conversation.

Sonu, D., Farley, L., Chang-Kredl, S., Garlen, J.C. (2020). The Dreamwork of Childhood Memory: The Futures Teachers Make from the Schooling Past, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 35:4, 15-26.

Ramjewan, N., Garlen, J.C. (2020) Growing out of childhood innocence, Curriculum Inquiry, 50:4, 281-290.

Garlen, J. and Farley, L. (2020). The Child in Question: Texts, Cultures, Curricula. London: Taylor

and Francis.

Garlen, J.C., Chang‐Kredl, S, Farley, L, Sonu, D. Childhood innocence and experience: Memory, discourse and practice. Child Soc. 2020; 00: 1– 15.

Garlen, J.C. (2020). Coronavirus isn’t the end of ‘childhood innocence,’ but an opportunity to re-think children’s rights. The Conversation, April 6, 2020 

Garlen, J. C. (2018). Interrogating innocence: “Childhood” as exclusionary social practice. Childhood, 26(1), 54–67.