Perry Nodelman's Bibliography. A large and up-to-date resource

J-Store. Online access to major critical journals about nineteenth-century literature and culture

Encyclopaedia of British History Education 1750-1950. A wealth of useful contextualizing information

Henk van Stetton's excellent History of Education and Childhood site provides a European perspective

This graduate seminar focuses on the origin and development of concepts of childhood, reflected in children's literature, that we continue to use today. Ultimately the class aims to provide enough context for students to become life-long users of the wealth of the Opie Collection of Children's Literature, available on microfiche in Hale Library.

My goals for the seminar:

* To study influential theories of childhood
* To study childhood in England in the nineteenth century as it is reflected in literature written for children
* For each seminar student to develop a publishable idea about a selection of the offerings of the Opie collection and to get as close as possible to a publishable paper in the time available this semester

Because this is a seminar, active participation by all students is absolutely crucial.

Each week a series of readings will be assigned (no more than 400 pp). The copies of the readings will be left in the copy room 1 week before the meeting at which they will be discussed. The books from which they are drawn will then be put on reserve in the Library. Each student will write a short (1-3 pp.) reaction paper to the readings and present that paper on Tuesday's meeting. Students should make one copy for me and retain one copy for themselves. Students should begin reading through the Hunt anthology looking for interesting threads to pursue and browsing in the Opie Collection as soon as possible.

Mid-semester, each student will choose a focus for her or his final writing project based on the most successful short papers or a new idea inspired by class discussion or independent research. In connection with this writing project, each student will lead one day of class discussion including the selection of readings for that particular class. This will also result in the final writing project, the publishable article-length essay (20-25 pp.).

Text: Children's Literature: An Anthology 1801-1902, ed. Peter Hunt. Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 2001

Date, Topic Proposed Readings (Subject to change)
I August 26
Introduction to Class
Field trip to the Opie Collection
II September 3
Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood
Lloyd DeMause, The History of Childhood
Lawrence Stone, Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800

First short paper, on the history of childhood, due
Lots drawn for end-of-semester presentation

III September 10

Elisabeth Jay, Religion of the Heart
Mary Martha Sherwood, The History of the Fairchild Family (Hunt 17-23); Mary Louisa Charlesworth, Ministering Children (Hunt 110-15); A.L.O.E. The Rambles of a Rat (Hunt 135-38); Hesba Stretton, Jessica's First Prayer (Hunt 186-91)
Second short paper, on childhood and evangelicalism, due
IV September 17
Harvey Darton, Children's Books in English Society
Mitzi Meyers, "Rational Mothers and Moral Dames"
Maria Edgeworth, "Frank" (Hunt 1-4)
Third short paper, on childhood and rational moralism, due
V September 24

Carolyn Steedman, Strange Dislocations
Judith Plotz, Romanticism and the Vocation of Childhood
John Ruskin, The King of the Golden River (Hunt 98-103); Jane Ingelow, Mopsa the Fairy (Hunt 226-28)
Fourth short paper, on childhood and romanticism, due
VI October 1

Joseph Bristow, Empire Boys
Mawuena Kossi Logan,
Narrating Africa
Peter Childs, Post-Colonial Theory and English Literature: a Reader
Charlotte Barton, "Anecdotes of the Aborigines of New South Wales" (Hunt 55-59); R.M. Ballantyne, The Coral Island (Hunt 151-54); Mary Anne, Lady Barker Boys (Hunt 230-35)
Fifth short paper, on childhood and empire, due
VII October 8
James Kincaid, Child-Loving
Jacqueline Rose, The Case of Peter Pan
Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays (Hunt 139-44); Frederick Farrar, Eric; or Little by Little (Hunt 155-60); Martha Finley Elsie Dinsmore (Hunt 192-98)
Sixth short paper, on childhood and sexuality, due
VIII October 15 Mid-semester conferences about short papers, plans for presentation and final writing project
IX October 22 TBA--possibly childhood and nonsense
X October 29 Student-led Discussion: Mel
XI November 5 Student-led Discussion: Wendy
XII November 12 Student-led Discussion: Courtney
XIII November 19 Student-led Discussion: Jo
XIV December 3 Student-led Discussion: Carrie
XV December 10 Final writing project due

Evaluation will be based upon class participation and the writing assignments (a combination of the weekly response papers and the final essay); 30% participation, 70% writing.

I welcome chances to talk with you about your ideas and your writing. Please take advantage of my office hours, make appointments if the office hours don't fit your schedule, and discuss your plans with me.
Deadlines for writing assignments are firm and should not be treated cavalierly. Tardiness will be penalized.

This page last updated Sunday, May 23, 2004. Other pages may have been updated more recently.