L390 1986 ADAMS
Children's Literature

Lecture:
10:10a-11:00a MW (143) 3 cr.
Discussions:
1987 8:00a-8:50a F (36)
1988 9:05a-9:55a F (36)
1989 10:10a-11:00a F (36)
1990 11:15a-12:05p F (35)

This is a historical study of literature in Europe and America written principally for children, in which we will explore not only the importance of literature and language in childhood development, but the varieties of narrative and lyric form, as well as the ways in which story-telling gives shape to forms of individual and cultural identity. Drawing on works produced from the late 17th century to the present, we'll be especially concerned with: 1) the contrast between realistic and fantastic (especially fairy-tale) modes of story-telling; and (2) how the changing forms of children's literature embody changing understandings of children and childhood, which are in turn responsive to changing social and cultural norms.

The reading will include poetry and nonsense verse; fairy tales (Perrault, the Grimms, Andersen); and a series of novels: Alcott, Little Women; Stevenson, Treasure Island; Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Burnett, The Secret Garden; Barrie, Peter Pan; White, Charlotte's Web; Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Greene, The Summer of My German Soldier. As a means of refining our understanding of written and oral narrative, we'll also look at some film versions of the stories we read. Requirements include two short interpretive essays, an hour exam, a final exam, and frequent exercises designed to stimulate participation in class discussion. Two lectures and one discussion section per week.