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The figure of the child is striking for its ability to exemplify the competing demands of the culture which invents it. At once, children embody both our most precious fantasies and our worst fears; as "blank slates," children are particularly suited--at least fictively--to serve as proxies in our cultural debates. Recent scholarship in children's literature is increasingly interested in the ways that representations of childhood participate in, but also resist, our very ideas about childhood itself. In this course, we will examine the ways that children's literature is central to the ways that cultural values are disseminated, but also the ways that literature--like poorly behaved children--can fail to be contained by the constraints of the genre which aims to normalize it.
In addition to reading widely in the genre and participating in class discussion, students will be expected to write a short reflection essay, three short critical essays, and a final research paper.
Prerequisite skills and knowledge: the introductory level Children’s Literature course is not a prerequisite for the course at the advanced level, though students who have taken the introductory course may take it for credit at the advanced course as well. Students may find an introductory study in literature such as Introduction to Literature or its equivalent and a study in academic writing helpful. This course assumes that students can construct substantiated and rhetorically effective arguments about literature, produce clear and correct prose appropriate to advanced-level studies, and document sources correctly.
This online course is offered through the Center for Distance Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.
Other Areas: The Arts | Business, Management & Economics | Community & Human Services | Communications, Humanities & Cultural Studies | Educational Studies | Historical Studies | Human Development | Labor Studies | Nursing | Science, Math & Technology | Social Science
Meets General Education Requirement In: Humanities-Full
Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1. Spring 2. Summer. Fall 1.
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