Chl207 lecture #1 a brief history of child lit from the 15th to 21st century


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Lecture #1. A Brief History

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  • It is important for students to know that children’s literature as we know it today has its origins in the Oral, or Traditional Literature, of the past. Rowling’s Harry Potter series uses motifs and allusions and references to a variety of myths, legends, and epics. Twilight uses vampires. It is also important for students to know that, as the next slide suggests, the oral tradition existed before the print tradition emerged in the late 15 th . In other words, as these first two slides point out that modern children’s literature, which we read and watch (on movies) has its early beginnings a long time ago in the oral tradition.
  • Slide 3 reiterates the point that modern child literature has its origins in the oral tradition, other wise known as traditional literature, and argues that there are distinct features to that oral tradition. Harry has the mark of Voldemort on his forehead for example.
  • Slide 4 makes the argument that there is a seminal moment in the history of children’s literature and the history of literature generally, and that is when William Caxton, using Gutenberg’s printing press, publishes in woodcut Aesop’s Fables in 1484.
  • Slide 5 points out that the first picture book was published in the late 17 th along with three other important texts: Pprogress, “Thoughts” and Perrault’s Mother Goose. This slide discusses each of these as significant moments in the early history of child literature.
  • Slide 6 argues that the 18 th is significant in the history of child literature, as significant as the 17thc, because of the emergence of the Robinsonnade (this is discussed in detail), the middle class (crucial to point this out to students) and Romanticism. With this last point it is important to make links to Romanticism proper as so many images of the child come from this period.
  • Slide 7 argues for the Victorian Age as the Golden Age and points out that Grimm’s Folktales and others came to prominence at this time. The 19 th c saw the publication of classics such as Alice’s Adventures and Treasure Island…hence the Golden Age.
  • Slide 8 picks up the picture book again with the mentioning of three really important illustrators: Caldecott, Greenaway, and Crane who were brought together by Evans.
  • Slide 9 points out that many classics come from this period otherwise known as Modernism. Describe these books, along with their authors and various meanings. Point out the difference between fantasy and the reality of this historical period (war)
  • Slides 10& 11 reiterates the connection between child literature and politics. Keep coming back to this as it is hard to see the connection, esp with beloved texts such as Charlotte’s Web.
  • Slides 12 and 13 bring us up todate by introducing both new realism, the term given to the shift in attitude of writers circa the 1960s and 1970s, and popular fantasy (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc)
  • Slide 14 points out the many themes we will be covering during the semester. There are others of course but these are the really important ones.
  • Slide 15, perhaps the most important of the lot, introduces the question of criticism by outlining the significant theoretical models used these days to discuss child literature critically rather than merely subjectively or anecdotally.
  • Chl207 lecture #1 a brief history of child lit from the 15th to 21st century

    1. 1. <ul><li>A Brief History of Children’s Literature from the 15 th to the 21 st Century: Some Important Dates, Writers, Texts, and Themes/Issues </li></ul>08/16/11
    2. 2. Oral Tradition: Before Print <ul><li>Consists of various major genres: Folktales, Myths, Legends, Epics, </li></ul>08/16/11
    3. 3. Oral Tradition <ul><li>General Features of the Oral tradition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to be heard not read </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to be memorized and passed on orally, not through printed texts/editions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authors generally unknown/ambiguous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often violent, concerned with good versus evil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hero/Heroine is marked in some way </li></ul></ul>08/16/11
    4. 4. Late 15 th Century: After Print <ul><li>1484. Aesop’s Fables printed by W Caxton on Gutenberg’s printing press </li></ul>08/16/11
    5. 5. 17 th Century <ul><li>1658. Jon Amos Comenius’s Orbis Sensualium Pictus ( The Visible World ). First picture book whose introduction and content is designed to entertain and instruct bored school children. </li></ul><ul><li>1678. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progre ss </li></ul><ul><li>1693. John Locke’s Thoughts Concerning Education </li></ul><ul><li>1697. Charles Perrault’s Tales of Mother Goose </li></ul>08/16/11
    6. 6. 18 th Century <ul><li>Adventure Story </li></ul><ul><li> 1719. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe . Robinsonnade. </li></ul><ul><li>1726. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of the Middle Classes </li></ul><ul><li>1744. Newbery’s A Little Pretty Pocket Book. (Medal/ Modern Child Lit). </li></ul><ul><li>1789 . Romanticism and William Blake </li></ul>08/16/11
    7. 7. 19 th Century <ul><li>Victorian/Golden Age of Child Lit . </li></ul><ul><li>Folktales . 1812. Grimm Brothers. Household and Nursery Tales . Trans into English. 1823. HCA’s The Little Mermaid in 1846. Collodi’s Pinocchio in 1883. </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasy . 1865. Carroll/Dodgson/Alice </li></ul><ul><li>Adventures stories continued with Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island 1883 </li></ul>08/16/11
    8. 8. 19 th Century <ul><li>Domestic Stories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>L. M. Alcott’s Little Women. 1868. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Susan Coolidge’s What Katy Did. 1872 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Animal Stories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. 1877 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R Kipling’s The Jungle Books. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Picture Books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R. Caldecott, K Greenaway, E Evans, Walter Crane </li></ul></ul>08/16/11
    9. 9. 20 th Century: From Alice to Modernism <ul><li>1900. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oz </li></ul><ul><li>1908. Kenneth Grahame. Wind in the Willows </li></ul><ul><li>1911. J.M Barrie. PeterWendy, FHBurnett’s Secret Garden </li></ul><ul><li>1926. A A Milne. Winnie the Pooh </li></ul><ul><li>1927. Eleanor Porter. Pollyanna </li></ul><ul><li>1932. L I Wilder. The Little House </li></ul><ul><li>1934. P Travers. Mary Poppins </li></ul><ul><li>1937. Seuss. And To Think/Mulberry St </li></ul>08/16/11
    10. 10. 20 th Century: 1950s & the Politics of Children’s Literature <ul><li>U.K: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>C.S.Lewis and Narnia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Narnia as Religious Allegory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>See Bunyan (PP), Spielberg (LBT), & Pullman (GC) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>William Golding and Lord of the Flies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lord/Flies as Political Allegory </li></ul></ul></ul>08/16/11
    11. 11. 20th Century: 1950s and the Politics of Children’s Literature <ul><li>USA: </li></ul><ul><li>E. B White </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Charlotte’s Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stuart Little </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth Speare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Witch of Blackbird Pond </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Macarthyism and Witch Hunts </li></ul></ul>08/16/11
    12. 12. 20 th Century: Realism <ul><li>1950s/60/70s. New Realism in Child Literature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S E Hinton’s The Outsiders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are </li></ul></ul>08/16/11
    13. 13. 20 th Century: 1950s/1960s Fantasy <ul><li>Lord of the Rings 1954 </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>08/16/11
    14. 14. Late 20/Early 21 st Century <ul><li>1990s. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, inc The Golden Compass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lemony Snickett </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Twilight </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advent of Children’s Electronic Media </li></ul></ul></ul>08/16/11
    15. 15. Issues and Topics in Children’s Literature <ul><li>Themes: Dualism, Good Versus Evil, Human and Nonhuman characters, Hero, Heroines </li></ul><ul><li>(Leit) Motif: Secret Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>History of Childhood </li></ul><ul><li>Images of the Child: Innocence, Blank Slate, Tabula Rasa, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction/Entertainment: inform, amuse or both </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Media Studies and Visual Literacy: </li></ul>08/16/11
    16. 16. Criticism <ul><li>Traditional Elements of Literature: plot, character,etc </li></ul><ul><li>Feminist Theory: gender </li></ul><ul><li>Myth/Archetypal criticism: hero’s journey </li></ul><ul><li>Reader Response: contexts that effect reader’s </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoanalytic Criticism: oedipal drama, </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist criticism: social class, ideology, </li></ul><ul><li>Postcoloniual Criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural/Media studies: film, television, video games, </li></ul>08/16/11