2014 - 2015

  Between Past and Future: Historical Fiction for Children  
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES | Child and Youth Culture Research
Rima ShikhmaterGilman-humanities362Wed1200-1400 Sem  2
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description
Between Past and Future: Historical Fiction for Children
Dr. Rima Shikhmanter
Children’s historical fiction plays a central role in shaping the national identity and collective memory of the next generation, engagement with the nation’s past turning this type of literature into an arena for the struggle over political views and perceptions of the past. Not being regarded by its readers as learning material, historical fiction can serve as a powerful tool for disseminating historical images. At the same time, it also contains the possibility for ambivalence, opacity, and even the presentation of historical narratives of marginal political groups.
Focusing on Israeli children’s and young adults’ texts that describe historical events, we shall examine the picture of the past such books present to their readers and the ways in which this presentation has changed over the years. We shall also discuss the essential problems of historiography, the features of historical fiction for young readers, and the link between historical fiction and the ideo-political conditions in which it is created. The uses made of representations of the past in order to mould the readers’ national and political identity will also be addressed. Finally, we shall look at the ways in which historical fiction shapes its readers’ views regarding a range of topics—including the family, intergenerational relations, gender roles, the nature of the maturation process, etc.
We shall analyze the works of Dvora Omer, Esther Streit-Wurzel, Israel Lerman, Galila Ron-Feder-Amit, Uri Orlev, Nava Macmel-Atir, Ora Morag, and others.

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