Week One – Seminar

What is children’s literature? Is it different from literature for adults?

Who reads it? What issues does this raise?

What does children’s literature do? What are its functions?

Who writes it? What issues does this raise?

How do we define a child? Are constructions of the child affected by historical and cultural contexts? Who decides what a child is?

What forms, genres and mediums do we find children’s literature in?

How can we study it?

What approaches can we take to studying children’s literature? What critical / theoretical perspectives can we apply?

Could literary histories of children’s literature be problematic? Why?

Why should we study children’s literature?

Which texts should we study?

What benefits are there to studying canonical works? Alternatively, what advantages are there to considering marginalised authors and texts?

What is a ‘good’ children’s text (and what is a ‘bad’ one?) What makes a classic?

What are your favourite children’s books and why?

Laura Jones


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