English 252 - Fall, 2018

Victorian Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Miller, Elizabeth
CRN: 43034
Time: M 3:10-6:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Later British
Focus: Genre, Method


    Children's Literature

    This seminar will be taught at the same time and place as ENL 246 and so the two will function as one team-taught seminar. Students who enroll in ENL 252 can use it to fulfill the later national requirement (British, post-1800) or as a focus course (on genre or method). Children’s Literature is a vibrant and popular genre of literary production; an important scholarly field; and an area of pedagogical need at many universities. We will include assignments that help students prepare themselves to teach Children’s Literature, a valuable asset as they approach the job market.

    Our discussions will explore the phenomenon of Children’s Literature, from oral culture, through the emergence of the printing press, to the present day, with particular density in areas of the two instructors’ expertise: the 17th century, the Victorian period, gender, the environment, and the history of print and the book. We will begin with a discussion of theories and histories of the child and childhood, as well as how that history intertwines with histories of the book, reading and writing instruction, and histories of the family, labor, and violence. We will turn to fairytales and the history of their collection, editing, and interpretation. We will then discuss the emergence of modern children’s literature in the nineteenth century, and the way that it called upon early-modern histories of (for example) forests, enclosure, and piracy. Finally, we will turn to some of the works from the so-called “Golden Age of Children’s Literature” (1865-1920) that have inspired the most intense controversy, the most ardent devotion, and/or the most interesting recent criticism. Novels read will include: Carroll’s _Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland_, Stevenson’s _Treasure Island_, Marryat’s _The Children of the New Forest_, Barrie’s _Peter Pan_, Nesbit’s _The Railway Children_, Kipling’s _The Jungle Books_, and Burnett’s _A Little Princess_. Critical texts will represent a range of approaches. Assignments will include a seminar paper and a course-planning exercise that will require students to draft a syllabus of a Children’s Literature course. We ask that you use the editions we have ordered, many of which include supplementary materials, so that we will all be on the same page. It is quite easy to find most of these books used, except for the Fifth Edition of the Broadview Folk and Fairy Tales, which is just out this summer. We will also place the Rose and Griswold texts on reserve.


    Participation and attendance; syllabus assignment; presentation; and seminar paper


    Railway Children, E Nesbit
    Peter Pan, JM Barrie
    A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
    Treasure Island, RL Stevenson
    Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
    Feeling Like a Kid, Jerry Griswold
    Folk and Fairy Tales, 5th Ed., Broadview Press
    The Children of the New Forest, Frederick Marryat
    The Case of Peter Pan, Jacqueline Rose