Comparative Children's Literature
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Comparative Children's Literature
Taking in issues of children's 'classics', the canon and world literature for children, Comparative Children's Literature reveals that this branch of literature is not as genuinely international as it is often fondly assumed to be and is essential reading for those interested in the consequences of globalization on children's literature and culture.
In her article "Aboriginal Australian and Canadian First Nations Children's Literature" Angeline O'Neill discusses Canadian First Nations and Australian Aboriginal children's picture books and their appeal to a dual readership. Inuit traditional storyteller and writer Michael Kusugak, Nyoongar traditional storyteller and writer Lorna Little, and Wunambal elder Daisy Utemorrah are cases in point. Each appeals to Indigenous and non-Indigenous, child and adult readerships, thus challenging two assumptions in Western scholarship on literature that 1) the picture book genre is necessarily the domain of children and 2) that traditional Indigenous stories are, similarly, best suited to children. O'Neill considers the ways in which Indigenous children's picture books represent the interaction between text and culture and challenge notions of literariness.
With the approval of the graduate adviser, 15 units selected from other English and comparative literature departmental graduate offerings. At least six of these elective units must be taken outside of specialization and from other specializations within the English M.A. program. A maximum of six units of courses acceptable for graduate credit in other departments (when appropriate) may be used toward satisfying this requirement.
Linda SalemLibrarian, Love LibraryEmail: [email protected]Areas: Children's literature illustration; Rare books and special collections; Comparative Literature/children's literature; Edward Gorey Personal Library; Equity, diversity, and inclusion in children's and young adult book collections; World children's literature
"Emer O'Sullivan traces the history of comparative children's literature studies, from the enthusiastic internationalism of the post-war-period - which set out from the idea of a supra-national world republic of childhood - to modern comparative criticism. Drawing on the scholarship a...
At last Emer O'Sullivan's scholarly, state-of-the-art study of comparative children's literature is available in an English version by Anthea Bell, whose commitment to children's books makes her an excellent choice as translator. O'Sullivan addresses here, and in the more comprehensive German original (Kinderliterarische Komparatistik, 2000), the history of children's literatures across the world, the intercultural exchange of children's books, and the intriguing cross-cultural transformation of individual texts. She places her enterprise firmly within the tradition of comparative literature by listing a number of constituent areas, ranging from research into contact and transfer of children's books to image studies, comparative genre studies (the development of girls' stories or the school story in particular countries, for example), and the comparative historiography of children's literature.
O'Sullivan sets the historical context for her study by presenting a critical summary of global perspectives on children's literature, starting with the idealistic internationalism of pioneers Paul Hazard in the 1930s, and Jella Lepman in the post-war period. Hazard's 'universal republic of childhood' was one dominated by western children's literature, an untenable position today. O'Sullivan also challenges recent theories that all children's literatures follow a similar pattern of development from didacticism to diversity (Zohar Shavit, Maria Nikolajeva), citing as counter examples the children's literatures of the Irish Republic and black Africa. Since each postcolonial children's literature has a unique history and may follow a very different trajectory from that familiar in Nor