English 80K

Children's Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2011 Wright, Katharine E.
Wright, Katharine
TTh 2-3:30 note new room: 160 Kroeber

Other Readings and Media

Potter, B.: The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit; Barrie, J. and Zipes, J.: Peter Pan: Peter and Wendy and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens; Nesbit, E.: The Story of the Treasure Seekers; White, E. B.: Stuart Little; Dahl, R.:  The Witches; Ryan, P. M.:  Esperanza Rising; Pullman, P.:  The Golden Compass; Kadohata, C.:  Kira-Kira; Yang, G.: American Born Chinese; Reading Packet


Children's Literature is a complex subject of intersecting concerns. Ideas about childhood and about what is good or bad for children rub up against commercial interests and the interests of educators and parents, not to mention those of the (supposed) child reader. The study of children's literature is thus an active field of inquiry in academics, drawing on cultural studies, educational theory and literary analysis.

This class will concern itself with:

1. the cultural dynamics around a literature named after its supposed audience

2. an overview of the history of literature for children

3. the literary features of these texts

4. the field itself and the critical work being done within it

We will be reading folktales and fables, novels from the Victorian to the current era, picture books and young adult titles. We will also be examining literary criticism on these subjects. The reading will at times be heavy. Class format will include lectures, class discussion, small group work, and a student project. Three short papers will be required and one final project, as well as regular journal entries on bSpace.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List