Alyce Miller

1:10p-2:25p D (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.

This is a class for adult readers of children's literature. What better way to spend 6 weeks in the summer than reading and enjoying ten specially selected books written for and about children? This will not be a course on teaching children's literature or teaching children how to read. Instead, we will read some of the most wonderful books ever written for children and look at the ways in which "childhood" is both imagined and constructed. Is childhood "innocent"? Is childhood "magical"? We will examine the ways adults are characterized in these books (either through their presence or absence) and explore distinctions between "adult" and "child" worlds. We will also consider the way in which non-human animals or mythical creatures are represented in many of the readings, and their relationships to the human children protagonists.

We will focus on close textual readings of the books assigned. This requires that students be ready to read carefully and interactively. The class will be primarily discussion-based, and participation will be essential to the success of our conversations. Written assignments may include some of the following: short quizzes, a couple of response papers, a longer paper, and one or two essay exams. The reading list will include an exciting combination of poetry and short prose.