ENGL 468A (3 cr): Children’s Literature


Course Description

ENGL 468A-98A: Genre and Gender in Children’s Texts – Dr. Gisele Baxter

Not surprisingly, children’s literature has long been the focus of both fascination and controversy, and only more recently of full-on academic (theorizing) attention. In this course, we will study a broad selection of texts, most specifically through a literary/cultural studies lens, exploring their (sometimes) evolving genre features and the ways assumptions about audiences have shifted over time and according to various theorists. We’ll start with familiar (and not-so-familiar) oral-tradition folk/fairytales, to consider how their recurring devices establish tropes still commonly used in children’s adventure-quest stories. Then we will stray from the path and consider how texts that assume a mostly young readership might challenge or subvert perceived boundaries and conventions, especially in representing discovery or peril. The core text list includes an anthology of folk/fairy tales; a Custom Course Materials package of readings; Rilla of Ingleside; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The Subtle Knife; Rite of Passage; and Skim.

Evaluation will be based on two short papers, a term paper, and an essay-based final examination, all focused on literary textual analysis, as well as contribution to online discussion.

Please check my blog at http://blogs.ubc.ca/drgmbaxter/ for a fuller description of the course, its texts, and its requirements.

Text List

Please see the Textbook Order Form for the readings for this course: ENGL468A Textbook Order Form.

For more information, please visit: http://english.ubc.ca/