Courses » ENGL 415: Children's Literature after 1900


In this class, students will be introduced to the scholarly field of children's literature and culture while considering books written for children during the golden age of Children's fiction (1890-1939). The dominant paradigm of Children's literature written before World War Two is instruction and delight, a schema that implies the juxtaposition of politics and pleasure in children's texts. Children's literature is unique in English and cultural studies because it is a genre written for children by adults. As such, children's texts reveal a great deal about the assumptions adults make about what children ought to read, think, and know. This class will revolve around three overriding questions: What does it mean to say that a book is for children? What pleasures do Children's books offer their implied readers? How do these texts address ideologically fraught topics like gender, belonging, and colonialism?