Children’s Literature

This course surveys the prolific field of children’s literature. We will read folk and fairy tales, picture books, novels and verses, examining the role of storytelling in the development of personhood, as it both teaches and delights. What challenges are depicted and lessons learned in this literature? We will approach a wide range of traditions, understanding how the construction of childhood is inextricably bound to particular cultural contexts. At the same time, we will analyze symbolic and mythical patterns common to the folk tale and myth, and found in contemporary children’s literature. We will study diverse representations of children and consider utopian, dystopian, fantastic, realist, anthropomorphic, and mythical worlds.