Children's Literature: A History, Spring 2021 Dashboard


Tenniel and Alice

An exploration of children’s literature as it evolved over the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. The course will examine the relationship between ideologies of childhood and literature for children and young adults. Students will learn how to evaluate and interpret a children’s text and its accompanying illustrations. Attention will be given to the socio-political context of each work, the rise of gender-specific fiction, and the ways children’s literature and young adult fiction in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have responded to child development, race, religion, and alternative parenting and sexuality. Students will help to shape the curriculum by proposing a children’s book to be added to the syllabus, voting on these selections, and leading class discussion.  Our class exhibition  will focus on the history of children’s literature. We will collectively decide on an approach to the exhibit. Each student will design a virtual “case” of 3-5 images and write headers and captions as well as an introduction.

Galleries, Timelines, and Maps

Gallery Exhibit
Posted by Catherine Golden on Friday, January 29, 2021 - 18:34







                               "Drink Me," by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll's Alice (1865), colorized for The Nursery Alice (1890)

The nineteenth century witnessed a gradual shift in ideologies of childhood--from sin to innocence.  The doctrine of sin dates to Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden in Genesis.  This view--dominant in the literature given to children in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries--aims to cleanse sinners of innate wickedness. Didactic texts, often called “awful example” stories, teach Christian virtues and contain tales of children making mistakes and facing consequences,... more

Individual Entries

Chronology Entry
Posted by Ben Freeman on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 14:37
Chronology Entry
Posted by Ben Freeman on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 15:13
Posted by Sara Mahoney on Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 10:14
Posted by Annabelle Aber on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 19:21
Posted by Maalik Dunkley on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 07:04
Posted by Ben Freeman on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 11:44
Posted by Maria Langford on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 11:43
Posted by Rowan Bradlee on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 11:41
Posted by Emilka Jansen on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 11:22