This course is a survey of the history, sociological import, and various forms of children’s literature within the larger canon of English literature. We will look at the underlying tensions between meaning and method, the historical background, and the rhetorical techniques unique to the genre. Along the way we will touch on larger topics such as critical approaches to children’s stories, the history of childhood as a concept, and perspectives on child rearing and education.
What is Children's Literature?
The History of Children's Literature
An introductory lecture tracing the roots of children's literature from the oral tradition through the "Golden Age."
The Songs of Infancy: Nursery Rhymes
The Stories of Childhood: Picture Books
The Velveteen Rabbit
"Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Nearly Catch a Woozle"
Video: Disney "Tortoise and Hare" (1934)
Video: "Peter Rabbit" Trailer
Video: "The Secret Life of Pets" Snowball Highlights
Origins: Folk and Fairy Tales
The "Golden Age" of Children's Literature
Introduction to the Golden Age of Children's Literature
Coming of Age Stories: "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett
Adventure Stories: "White Fang" by Jack London
Magical Realism: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Literature for Young Adults
Introduction to Modernism
Modernist Short Stories: William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"
Memoir: "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
New Directions in Children's Literature
Midterm Exam Instructions
Google Form: "Children's Literature Midterm Exam
Sample Essay: AdvCompS20 - Lee Dae Ho - 8675309 - Midterm Exam Essay
Final Exam Instructions
The texts for the class will be distributed by the instructor. There is no need to purchase these expensive books. I merely display them here for your information.
Zipes, Jack, et al. The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature: The Traditions in English. New York: Norton, 2005.
Horning, Kathleen T. From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books. New York: Harper-Collins, 1997.
Lukens, Rebecca J. et al. A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature. Ninth Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2012.