ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Section: 020 Children's Literature and the Invention of Modern Childhood
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

What accounts for the persistent and pervasive popularity of figures such as Peter Pan, Peter Rabbit, Harry Potter and the Cat in the Hat? How do stories featuring such characters reflect and challenge our understanding of the meaning of childhood? In this class, we will explore how popular literature for and about children has contributed to the invention of modern childhood. You will gain an understanding of childhood as a phase of life that is invested with different meanings at different times and in relation to broader phenomena such as the rise of industrialization, new theories of human nature from the biological and social sciences, and the advent of new legislation limiting child labor and enforcing school attendance. The class is organized around key trends in the history of childhood, the history of children’s books and the history of children’s book illustration. Our readings of children’s literature encourage you to reflect on your own experiences as a child reader and to cultivate an awareness of our culture’s understanding of and assumptions about childhood.

Over the course of the semester, this class will curate an online and physical exhibition of historical works of children's literature in collaboration with librarians from Special Collections in Hatcher Graduate Library. Students will select works to exhibit, and they will conduct research to help them create captions for the works they select. In order to complete this project, the students must attend three exhibit curation workshops in the library. This library project will help students to gain a deeper understanding of the histories of childhood and children's literature that this course tracks.

Course Requirements:

Reading journal, library project, special collections essay, final exam.

ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
010 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
020 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
F 11:00AM - 1:00PM
F 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: Students will be required to attend two library sessions. One on Friday, January 26, 2018, 11a-1p, and the other on Friday, February 9, 2018, 11a-1p.
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780142437933
Peter Pan, Author: J. M. Barrie ; edited with an introduction and notes by Jack Zipes., Publisher: Penguin books Penguin cl 2004
ISBN: 9781580893091
Rickshaw girl, Author: Mitali Perkins ; illustrated by Jamie Hogan., Publisher: Charlesbridge 2008
ISBN: 9780142410370
Matilda, Author: Roald Dahl ; illustrated by Quentin Blake., Publisher: Puffin Books 2007
ISBN: 9780486280554
Goblin market, and other poems, Author: Christina Rossetti., Publisher: Dover Publications 1994
ISBN: 9780440414124
The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963 : a novel, Author: by Christopher Paul Curtis., Publisher: Random House Children's Books 1997
ISBN: 0393602974
The classic fairy tales : texts, criticism
ISBN: 0316038636
Where the mountain meets the moon, Author: Grace Lin., Publisher: Little, Brown 1st pbk. e 2011
ISBN: 9780451532008
Alice's adventures in wonderland ; &, Through the looking-glass, Author: Lewis Carroll ; illustrations by John Tenniel ; with an introduction Martin Gardner and a new afterword by Jeffrey Meyers., Publisher: Signet Classic 2012
ISBN: 0439064872
Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, Author: J.K. Rowling., Publisher: Scholastic Inc. 1st Schola 2000
ISBN: 0375869026
Wonder, Author: R.J. Palacio., Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers First edit 2012
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 313 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)