Children's Literature: A Comparative Study
A study of contemporary literature for children by major Australian, American and British writers. The unit explores a range of modes, including humour, fantasy, picture story books, realistic and historical novels. Specific issues examined include the construction of national identity, cultural variations in thematic and formal emphasis, changing notions of childhood and the child figure, and the notion of the implied child/adolescent reader. Students will be encouraged to consider the ideological implications of the adult interests vested in the production of texts for children.
It is intended that students undertaking this course should develop:
Knowledge and an understanding of the historic context of the development of the main genres of children's literature, and of contemporary trends and issues.
Knowledge and an understanding of the ways in which different cultures construct different ideas of childhood, and of implied child readers.
A critical understanding of the ways in which adult and child readers learn to construct cultural paradigms, particularly of national identity, through their reading.
Critical skills pertaining to narratology, deconstruction and discourse analysis.
An understanding of the crucial significance of childhood reading, and a desire to explore beyond the text's parameters.
Written work (3750 words): 80%