The title of this
course, Children’s Literature, is problematic as it is not defined by a period
or genre but rather by an audience. The
literature written for children is not produced by its audience but is
constructed by the adults who control it.
This semester we will look at the ways in which issues of morality,
nationalism and socialization are intimately bound to folk and fairy tales as
well as the tension between didacticism and imagination. We will look closely at literary terms and
theory to enhance and deepen our understanding of the texts. This course
explores children’s literature from the seventeenth century to the present,
addressing such topics as the transition from oral to literate culture, the
folk and the fairy tale, and the 18th and 19th century
popular press and its cultural contexts.
In addition, we will move to contemporary children’s
literature, paying particular attention to rites of passage and coming of age
stories as well as other worlds and narratives of survival. We will begin the
class with “Little Red Riding Hood” and its variations and end with The Golden Compass.
There will be quite a lot of writing in terms of reading responses,
responses to reading responses, drafts, essays and exams. In addition, there
will be two formal presentations–one group and a solo.
By the end of the semester, as a reader and writer you
will demonstrate the following abilities:
Integration of complex ideas from academic and public writing with own
experience and knowledge.
2) Understanding of research as a complex and
3) Proper use of sources ranging from the library to
personal interviews, including documentation
of such sources.
of complex ideas in various genres appropriate for various audiences.
of writing in a social context, as part of a larger academic or public discourse.
6) Use of logic to analyze and effectively argue a
writing as a process involving reflection, response from others, self-analysis,
control of such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
9) MLA formatting.
The Water Babies by
Charles Kingsley, The Princess and the
Goblin by George MacDonald, Goldilocks
and the Three Bears: A Little Golden Classic by F. Rojankosky, The Berenstain Bears “Learn About Strangers”
“Forget Their Manners” and “Chores” by Stan Berenstain, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Holesby Louis Sachar, Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Golden Compass by Philip
Pullman. In addition, students will also
download materials from the Laulima website.
Books will be available at Revolution Books, 2626 South King, #201. The number is 944-3106. Pick up all
assigned texts at the same time.
Fairy tale chart, two shorter essays and a research essay, a
midterm and a final exam, quizzes (if necessary), reading responses and two
oral presentations – one group and one solo.