English 80K

Children’s Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Wright, Katharine E.
Wright, Katharine
MWF 2-3 Note new location: 159 Mulford

Other Readings and Media

Potter, B.: Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit; MacDonald, G.: The Princess & the Goblin; Barrie, J.: Peter Pan; Nesbit, E.: The Railway Children; Curtis, C.: Elijah of Buxton; Cormier, R.: The Chocolate War; Ryan, P. Munoz: Esperanza Rising; Yolen, J.: The Devil's Arithmetic; Farmer, N.: The House of the Scorpion


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, small group work, and student presentations. Three short papers will be required and two exams.

The book list at this point is only tentative: do not buy books until the final list is announced on bSpace.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List