Description - Girls, Boys, Books, Toys by Beverly Lyon Clark
"Girls, Boys, Books, Toys is a sampler ...that gathers theoretically informed new feminist criticism of children's literature and culture. Like feminism itself, it is a coat of many colors. Although our focus is on children's literature and culture in the English-speaking world, contributors come from around the globe ...Experts in American studies, cultural studies, history, and photography variously illuminate films, dinosaurs, comic strips, and boys' toys, and their exciting approaches to cultural texts suggest new approaches to literary texts as well ...From literature to film and back again, from schoolgirls to mill girls to Riot Grrrls, from devils to dinosaurs to Disney--the essays gathered here illuminate the vibrant intersection between children's literature and feminist criticism and spark new questions for scholarship."--from the Introduction Once considered a time of innocence and mirth, childhood now seems to be a battleground involving everything that adults fight about: values and religion, types and stereotypes, family and society, work and play.
Children's play and children's literature have been subjected to philosophic scrutiny, political quarrel, economic analysis, historical description, literary theorizing, and polemics of all kinds. In Girls, Boys, Books, Toys, Beverly Lyon Clark and Margaret R. Higonnet bring together twenty-two scholars to look closely at the complexities of children's culture. Chapters focus on a variety of issues, many of which are hotly disputed--from what it means to be a child to the pace by which a childhood is left behind. Girls, Boys, Books, Toys asks questions about how the gender symbolism of children's culture is constructed and resisted. What happens when women rewrite (or illustrate) nursery rhymes, adventure stories, and fairy tales told by men? How do the socially scripted plots for boys and girls change through time and across cultures? Have critics been blind to what women write about "masculine" topics? Can animal tales or doll stories displace tired commonplaces about gender, race, and class?
Can different critical approaches--new historicism, narratology, or postcolonialism--enable us to gain leverage on the different implications of gender, age, race, and class in our readings of children's books and children's culture? Today, as parents work longer hours and the traditional family structure becomes fragmented, it is more important than ever to understand children's culture. But until now, no collection of criticism has focused on gender in the broad range of children's literature or embraced both children's literature and material culture. "Girls, Boys, Books, Toys is an indispensible text for anyone engaged with the cultural and postfeminist analysis of literature. It is also an effectively developed meditation on a postfeminist hermeneutic, and a full-bodied, big-hearted and brazen insistence upon the genius of children's literature."--Michael Joseph, Rutgers University "This book is extremely valuable to newcomers to the fields of children's literature and cultural studies, and no scholar of children's literature will want to be without it."--Elizabeth Keyser, Hollins University, editor of Children's Literature
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(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
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Author Biography - Beverly Lyon Clark
Beverly Lyon Clark is a professor of English at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She is the author of Regendering the School Story: Sassy Sissies and Tattling Tomboys. Her essays have appeared in New Literary History, Philological Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Women's Review of Books, and other journals. Margaret R. Higonnet is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut. She is the former editor of Children's Literature. Her articles have appeared in Poetics Today, Enfance, Revue des livres pour enfants, and other journals.