TTh, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
“Down the Rabbit Hole’: Child and Nation in British Fantasy Literature for Children”
Much fantasy literature for children focuses on a child or adolescent’s quest to gain ascendancy in the battle between good and evil. Instead of attempting a survey of world literatures in English, which will not allow us to explore in depth, the literature we will explore in this course will focus on British children’s fantasy literature, which relies on British and European national myths of adventure, religion and selfhood. As we examine these quest narratives, we will trace the ways in which patterns and continuities of history and memory, the force of nostalgia in creating an idealized past, and the reliance on an assumed framework of common cultural community combine to form potent ideological perspectives about nationhood, which are both maintained and challenged by the authors we will study.