Meet the Pod Squad

Kate Capshaw, Anna Mae Duane, and Victoria Ford Smith – the hosts of The Children’s Table – are professors in the University of Connecticut’s English Department. We would be lost without the technical and creative expertise of Carly Wanner-Hyde.

Our credits are read with gusto by Tommy Lynch.

Our music is by Ken Cormier.

We enjoy the support of Greenhouse Studios and
UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Kate Capshaw

Kate is interested in race and social justice, particularly focusing on the experiences of Black American youth. Her books include Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks (University of Minnesota Press 2014) and Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Indiana University Press 2004). With Anna Mae, Kate co-edited Who Writes for Black Children? African American Children’s Literature before 1900 (University of Minnesota Press 2017).

She is the past President of the Children’s Literature Association and has published widely on visual culture, drama, and periodicals.

Childhood favorites: making God’s Eyes from sticks and yarn, sing-alongs, and Free to Be You and Me

Anna Mae Duane

Anna Mae is interested in exploring how children show up in history both as political pawns and as political actors. Her books include Educated for Freedom: The Incredible Story of Two Fugitive Children who grew up to Change A NationSuffering Childhood in Early America: Violence, Race and the Making of the Child-Victim; The Children’s Table: Childhood Studies and the Humanities; and Child Slavery before and After Emancipation: An Argument for Child-Centered Slavery Studies. With Kate, Anna Mae co-edited Who Writes for Black Children? African American Children’s Literature before 1900Anna Mae has written about childhood, race, disability and zombies in both academic and public venues.

Childhood favorites: watching The Electric Company, riding horses, desperately trying to make her stuffed animals come to life

Victoria Ford Smith

Victoria specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British childhood. Her book, Between Generations: Collaborative Authorship in the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2017. You can read her work on child-produced culture, nonsense, and Victorian and modernist literature and culture in Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Journal of Juvenilia Studies, Victorian Poetry, Dickens Studies Annual, Journal of Victorian Culture Online, and Public Books. She is a book review co-editor for The Lion and the Unicorn, a children’s literature and culture journal.

Childhood favorites: elementary school Scholastic book orders, her strawberry-themed snowsuit with a secret pocket, and parachute day in gym class

Carly Wanner-Hyde

Carly graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2020 with a BFA in Digital Media and Design with a concentration in 3D Animation. She currently works as a Design Technologist at Greenhouse Studios. She is passionate about using her creative platform to amplify the voices and experiences of others through the art of storytelling. Carly finds that using art as a vehicle to jumpstart social change can greatly benefit our current social climate and initiate conversations that are difficult yet necessary. She hopes her work encourages people to view problems from different perspectives, spark empathy, engage with their communities, and inspire. In her free time, Carly enjoys drawing, woodworking, rock climbing, longboarding, and playing outside.

Childhood favorites: playing outside til the streetlights came on, getting lost in the “Eragon” series, and catching bugs

The Children’s Table enjoys the support of: