Jonathan Padley is a researcher in English children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the present day. His work explores margins; in particular, the marginalisation of authors, characters, and texts. His PhD argued that the child protagonists of children’s literature can be understood, etymologically and theoretically, as monsters. He serves on the Editorial Board of 'Children’s Literature in Education' and regularly peer-reviews for journals in the field.
In addition to children’s literature, Jonathan is interested in interdisciplinary dialogues between literature, media, music, science, and theology. He has published broadly, including on transgressive creation in Shelley’s 'Frankenstein', bibliographical anomaly in Tennyson’s 'English Idyls', and Christological imaging in Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythos.
As one of Churchill’s Admissions Tutors, Jonathan is responsible for undergraduate admissions and recruitment to the College. He is also a College Tutor; Director of Studies in Education at Lucy Cavendish, Newnham, and St Edmund’s; an Honorary Member of the English Faculty; and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, where he supervises undergraduates in children’s literature. Jonathan is Chair of the University’s Schools Liaison Officers’ Group, a Trustee of the Chapel at Churchill College, and a member of numerous College and University committees. In 2020, he was the Admissions Forum representative to the University's Strategic Review of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach. Previously, Jonathan has been an Honorary Research Associate of the Department of English Language and Literature at Swansea University, and a Lecturer and Tutor at Gorseinon College and Coleg Sir Gâr.
Alongside academic work, Jonathan is committed to widening participation in higher education and is the University’s Area Link representative to his native South Wales. From 2013 to 2015, he was seconded to the Welsh Government to co-lead the research and policy implementation which gave rise to Wales’ Seren Network, to which he still regularly contributes.