Spring 2014 Course Descriptions
English 3405 Children's Literature (2 Sections)
English 3405 Section 001 CRN 31613
Children’s Literature 1300-1350 MWF
This course will introduce you to the exciting world of literature for children (focus will center on infants through fifth/sixth grade students) as well as provide you with a variety of critical tools for reading, discussing, and writing about the literature. Through readings, film, lecture, and discussions (both in small and large groups) we will develop our multicultural and social justice awareness, our ability to write and perform thoughtful, insightful prose, and our ability to read texts for both their literary merit and aesthetic value. (Group 5)
English 3405 Section 002 CRN 31614
Children’s Literature 1400-1515 TR
The editors of Classics of Children's Literature, John Griffith and Charles Frey, note that "The great children's stories and poems. . . . Perhaps more than any other writers . . . constitute our real mythology." In this course we will be looking closely at this "mythology," a mythology that embodies many of our culture's ambiguous attitudes about children and childhood. The course will consider the love and hatred of childhood, the manipulation, the idealization, the mystification of childhood, as reflected in a literature which is, finally, created mainly by adults. Students will examine this literature in terms of its history and the history of childhood itself. We will explore the rich complexity and archetypal significance that makes children's literature an important cultural inheritance and links it to the literature that we customarily reserve for adults.
Finally, this survey course stresses the development of more astute evaluation of the literature. Students will be encouraged to think more cogently and purposefully about what goes into a serious judgment of literature for children and to think carefully about the validity of various critical methods of analysis and evaluation.
Two major papers, an oral presentation, brief written responses, midterm and final exam. (Group 5)