2016 - 2017
|FACULTY OF HUMANITIES | Child and Youth Culture Research|
Under the Cover of Marginality: The Subversive Potential of Children’s Literature (2 Academic Points)
Children’s literature is often seen as inferior to adult literature – a late and conservative respondent to the poetic trends and innovations of its "older sister”. Its official readership is perceived as “limited” and “naïve”, thus offering its adult writers an inherent poetic advantage and a unique potential for manipulation. Another generational benefit is attributed to the adults who convey the texts to the children. These adults are considered “full” and “intelligent” readers.
The course’s premise is that the marginality of children’s literature and the patronizing position of adult writers and readers lend children’s literature a unique subversive position. Another assumption is that this subversion – its language, contents and interpretation – is time- and place-specific. In the course, we will analyze various expressions of subversive Western children’s literature, while addressing the cultural contexts in which they were created. The reading of primary texts will be supported by relevant secondary sources.