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Neverlands: Children's Literature of the Golden Age

Professor: L. Sacks


Term: Fall

Year: 2011

Course Code: FY-101-EN02

This course asks you to engage in serious study of some of the most beloved texts written in English for children in the 19th and early 20th centuries, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz. Since the field of children’s literature is too vast for us to attempt to examine it in full, we will limit ourselves to the study of representative texts of English and American literature that scholars recognize today as “Golden Age” children’s literature.
Children’s literature is not just for children. In fact, some authors argue that children’s literature is mostly about how adults view childhood and what it means to be a “grown-up.” Therefore, we will first read this literature with the goal of understanding its diverse representations of children, childhood, and the homes or domestic spheres with which they are associated.
Then we will read this literature with the goals of understanding the ways in which it provides insights into children’s imaginations, interests, and fears; raises ethical questions that are relevant today; and continues to engage readers of all ages.