GETR 345 | CPLT 345
TR 2:00-3:15 p.m., New Cabell Hall, 234
HOW TO GET INTO THE CLASS: LETTER TO INTERESTED STUDENTS
Teaching Resource Center, 24
Office hours: Thursday, 3:30-4:30 p.m. and by
This comparative inquiry into children's and young adult literature explores
topics such as the construction of the child reader, the world of fantasy,
gender and race relations, and the changing role of children's literature
in the age of globalization and consumerism. Drawing from different approaches
such as literary theory, sociology and psychology, we will discuss selected
works in their specific historic contexts and analyze their underlying
cultural values and assumptions. We will also examine the usefulness of
studying children's and young adult books in an academic setting and explore
such questions as: What do we gain when we expose these readings to critical
thought? How does "knowledge" affect the "inspirational
value" of an intensely private reading experience? Investigating
the tension between the naïve and the educated reader, students are
asked to develop their personal vocabulary to articulate the connection
between their persuasions and scholarly pursuits.
This discussion based, reading-intensive seminar is cross-listed
in the Comparative Literature Program and German Department and most texts
come from the Western tradition. The sessions will be held in English.
German majors are encouraged to read German texts in the original and
to write their papers in German. All students must be prepared to participate
actively in discussion, critically engage the readings and each other,
to write regularly, to develop their independent thoughts, and to work
together on a team project. Students from a variety of academic backgrounds and interests are
encouraged to apply.
Readings will range from fairy tales and poetry, to didactic
tales such as Struwwelpeter, to multi-cultural children's literature including Nappy Hair and All of a Kind Family, to fantasy such The
Golden Compass and the most recent blockbuster Harry Potter.
Secondary works include: Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood;
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantments; Gilbert and Gubar, Snow White and her Wicked Stepmother; Kleist, The Puppet Theater.
Writing requirements include: reading
responses, two 5-page papers, a team project, and a learning portfolio.
This course fulfills the Second Writing Requirement.
Advice from former students on how to suceed in this course.