Passings: Professor Carole Carpenter founded York’s Children’s Studies program

Faculty, staff and students in York University’s Children’s Studies program are mourning the death of Professor Emerita Carole Carpenter. Prof. Carpenter died on Oct. 18.

Carole Carpenter

Prof. Carpenter, who was the founder of the program, was born in Vancouver. She earned a BSc in psychology at Dalhousie University and a PhD in folklore-folklife at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Carpenter joined the Department of Humanities at York University in 1971 and contributed more than 40 years of dedicated teaching, research and service to the University. She began her academic career with a book about folklore and British Canadian identity, but went on to explore many other areas, in both her teaching and her scholarly work. In particular, she moved into the area of children’s studies and founded the Humanities Department’s very popular Children’s Studies program, which is one of the few humanistically inspired programs in North America.

Over the course of her career, she published seven books, including Many Voices: A Study of Folklore Activities in Canada and Their Role in Canadian Culture (National Museums of Canada) and an internationally published children’s book, Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint, as well as numerous articles.

Prof. Carpenter had a great energy for life and was an active volunteer with the Canadian Breast Cancer Society. She served as coordinator of the Children’s Studies program, director of undergraduate studies in humanities and was chair of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. She was also a long-serving master of Vanier College.

She will be remembered for her unwavering commitment to children’s rights and their cultures, and for her mentorship and dedication to the Children’s Studies program and her students.

Prof. Carpenter requested that a magnolia tree will be planted at Vanier College in her memory. The Master’s Office in Vanier College and the Department of Humanities are collaborating to fulfill this request. Notice of the tree planting and memorial service will be announced once these details are finalized.