Children and Cultural Memory in Texts of Childhood

Author: Heather Snell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 236

View: 976

The essays in this collection address the relationship between children and cultural memory in texts both for and about young people. The collection overall is concerned with how cultural memory is shaped, contested, forgotten, recovered, and (re)circulated, sometimes in opposition to dominant national narratives, and often for the benefit of young readers who are assumed not to possess any prior cultural memory. From the innovative development of school libraries in the 1920s to the role of utopianism in fixing cultural memory for teen readers, it provides a critical look into children and ideologies of childhood as they are represented in a broad spectrum of texts, including film, poetry, literature, and architecture from Canada, the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, India, and Spain. These cultural forms collaborate to shape ideas and values, in turn contributing to dominant discourses about national and global citizenship. The essays included in the collection imply that childhood is an oft-imagined idealist construction based in large part on participation, identity, and perception; childhood is invisible and tangible, exciting and intriguing, and at times elusive even as cultural and literary artifacts recreate it. Children and Cultural Memory in Texts of Childhood is a valuable resource for scholars of children’s literature and culture, readers interested in childhood and ideology, and those working in the fields of diaspora and postcolonial studies.

The Early Reader in Children's Literature and Culture

Theorizing Books for Beginning Readers

Author: Jennifer Miskec

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 715

This is the first volume to consider the popular literary category of Early Readers – books written and designed for children who are just beginning to read independently. It argues that Early Readers deserve more scholarly attention and careful thought because they are, for many younger readers, their first opportunity to engage with a work of literature on their own, to feel a sense of mastery over a text, and to experience pleasure from the act of reading independently. Using interdisciplinary approaches that draw upon and synthesize research being done in education, child psychology, sociology, cultural studies, and children’s literature, the volume visits Early Readers from a variety of angles: as teaching tools; as cultural artifacts that shape cultural and individual subjectivity; as mass produced products sold to a niche market of parents, educators, and young children; and as aesthetic objects, works of literature and art with specific conventions. Examining the reasons such books are so popular with young readers, as well as the reasons that some adults challenge and censor them, the volume considers the ways Early Readers contribute to the construction of younger children as readers, thinkers, consumers, and as gendered, raced, classed subjects. It also addresses children’s texts that have been translated and sold around the globe, examining them as part of an increasingly transnational children’s media culture that may add to or supplant regional, ethnic, and national children’s literatures and cultures. While this collection focuses mostly on books written in English and often aimed at children living in the US, it is important to acknowledge that these Early Readers are a major US cultural export, influencing the reading habits and development of children across the globe.

Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children’s Literature

Author: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 254

View: 635

This volume focuses on the (de)canonization processes in children’s literature, considering the construction and cultural-historical changes of canons in different children’s literatures. Chapters by international experts in the field explore a wide range of different children’s literatures from Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Eastern and Central Europe, as well as from Non-European countries such as Australia, Israel, and the United States. Situating the inquiry within larger literary and cultural studies conversations about canonicity, the contributors assess representative authors and works that have encountered changing fates in the course of canon history. Particular emphasis is given to sociological canon theories, which have so far been under-represented in canon research in children’s literature. The volume therefore relates historical changes in the canon of children’s literature not only to historical changes in concepts of childhood but to more encompassing political, social, economic, cultural, and ideological shifts. This volume’s comparative approach takes cognizance of the fact that, if canon formation is an important cultural factor in nation-building processes, a comparative study is essential to assessing transnational processes in canon formation. This book thus renders evident the structural similarities between patterns and strategies of canon formation emerging in different children’s literatures.

The Nation and the Child

Nation building in Hebrew children’s literature, 1930–1970

Author: Yael Darr

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 200

View: 771

The Nation and the Child – Nation Building in Hebrew Children’s Literature, 1930–1970 is the first comprehensive study to investigate the active role of children’s literature in the intensive cultural project of building a Hebrew nation. Which social actors and institutions participated in creating a Hebrew children’s literature? How did they envision their young readership and what new cultural roles did they prescribe for them through literary texts? How tolerant was the children’s literary field to alternative or even subversive national options and how did the perceptions of the “national child” change in the transition from the pre-state Jewish settlement in Palestine to a sovereign state? This book seeks to provide answers to such questions by focusing on the literary activities of leading taste-setters and writers for children, from the most intense period of Israeli nation building – the 1930s and 1940s, the two last decades of the pre-state era, and the 1950s, the first decade following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 – through the 1960s, when the nation-building fervor gradually waned.

War and Childhood in the Era of the Two World Wars

Author: Mischa Honeck

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page:

View: 749

The histories of modern war and childhood were the result of competing urgencies. According to ideals of childhood widely accepted throughout the world by 1900, children should have been protected, even hidden, from conflict and danger. Yet at a time when modern ways of childhood became increasingly possible for economic, social, and political reasons, it became less possible to fully protect them in the face of massive industrialized warfare driven by geopolitical rivalries and expansionist policies. Taking a global perspective, the chapters in this book examine a wide range of experiences and places. In addition to showing how the engagement of children and youth with war differed according to geography, technology, class, age, race, gender, and the nature of the state, they reveal how children acquired agency during the twentieth century's greatest conflicts.

The Child in World Cinema

Author: Debbie Olson

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 518

View: 102

This volume offers compelling analyses of children and childhood in non-Western films.

Fantasy and the Real World in British Children's Literature

The Power of Story

Author: Caroline Webb

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 190

View: 728

This study examines the children’s books of three extraordinary British writers—J.K. Rowling, Diana Wynne Jones, and Terry Pratchett—and investigates their sophisticated use of narrative strategies not only to engage children in reading, but to educate them into becoming mature readers and indeed individuals. The book demonstrates how in quite different ways these writers establish reader expectations by drawing on conventions in existing genres only to subvert those expectations. Their strategies lead young readers to evaluate for themselves both the power of story to shape our understanding of the world and to develop a sense of identity and agency. Rowling, Jones, and Pratchett provide their readers with fantasies that are pleasurable and imaginative, but far from encouraging escape from reality, they convey important lessons about the complexities and challenges of the real world—and how these may be faced and solved. All three writers deploy the tropes and imaginative possibilities of fantasy to disturb, challenge, and enlarge the world of their readers.

Children's Literature and the Posthuman

Animal, Environment, Cyborg

Author: Zoe Jaques

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 284

View: 859

An investigation of identity formation in children's literature, this book brings together children’s literature and recent critical concerns with posthuman identity to argue that children’s fiction offers sophisticated interventions into debates about what it means to be human, and in particular about humanity’s relationship to animals and the natural world. In complicating questions of human identity, ecology, gender, and technology, Jaques engages with a multifaceted posthumanism to understand how philosophy can emerge from children's fantasy, disclosing how such fantasy can build upon earlier traditions to represent complex issues of humanness to younger audiences. Interrogating the place of the human through the non-human (whether animal or mechanical) leads this book to have interpretations that radically depart from the critical tradition, which, in its concerns with the socialization and representation of the child, has ignored larger epistemologies of humanness. The book considers canonical texts of children's literature alongside recent bestsellers and films, locating texts such as Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Pinocchio (1883) and the Alice books (1865, 1871) as important works in the evolution of posthuman ideas. This study provides radical new readings of children’s literature and demonstrates that the genre offers sophisticated interventions into the nature, boundaries and dominion of humanity.

Discourses of Postcolonialism in Contemporary British Children's Literature

Author: Blanka Grzegorczyk

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 136

View: 398

This book considers how contemporary British children’s books engage with some of the major cultural debates of recent years, and how they resonate with the current preoccupations and tastes of the white mainstream British reading public. A central assumption of this volume is that Britain’s imperial past continues to play a key role in its representations of race, identity, and history. The insistent inclusion of questions relating to colonialism and power structures in recent children’s novels exposes the complexities and contradictions surrounding the fictional treatment of race relations and ethnicity. Postcolonial children’s literature in Britain has been inherently ambivalent since its cautious beginnings: it is both transgressive and authorizing, both undercutting and excluding. Grzegorczyk considers the ways in which children’s fictions have worked with and against particular ideologies of race. The texts analyzed in this collection portray ethnic minorities as complex, hybrid products of colonialism, global migrations, and the ideology of multiculturalism. By examining the ideological content of these novels, Grzegorczyk demonstrates the centrality of the colonial past to contemporary British writing for the young.