Laura Hakala teaches courses in American literature, women’s literature, and composition. Because she enjoys helping students make connections between historical/cultural contexts and literature, much of her research takes a historical approach. Her research focuses on American children’s literature written in the nineteenth century, and her recent projects have examined the ways children’s literature represents southern girlhood. Her articles on southern girlhood have appeared in Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and The Southern Quarterly. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi, her M.A. from Georgia Southern University, and her B.A. from Jacksonville University.