Professor Explores Literary Inspirations of Disney

01-23-2015

In a work that explores the influence of literature on Walt Disney and his creativity, Virginia Wesleyan College Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson has co-edited the recently released Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations (McFarland & Company, Inc.). The book addresses Disney as a reader and how his “responses to literature fueled his success,” wrote Merlock Jackson and her co-editor, Mark West. “In his work, he tapped into the audience by selecting stories that they might have known but transformed these to suit other sensibilities.” The collection of essays consider Disney’s reading as a child and as an adult, the authors who influenced him and the literary connections to his live-action and animated films, his theme parks, documentaries and creative vision. Including this most recent publication, Merlock Jackson is the author or editor of six books. Her other works include Images of Children in American Film: A Socio-Cultural Analysis (1986), Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography (1993), Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives (2005), and Walt Disney: Conversations (2006), Disneyland and Culture:  Essays on the Parks and Their Influence (with Mark West) (2011), as well as numerous articles and reviews. She is a 1989 recipient of VWC’s Samuel Nelson Gray Award and was named to the first class of the College's Batten Professors (2004-2007). Her main areas of interest are children's culture and animation. More