Our most loved books are often those we read in childhood; they stay with us through later life. This module provides a space to think differently when addressing often beloved texts.
George Orwell once wrote that ‘many people who would consider themselves extremely sophisticated and “advanced” are actually carrying through life an imaginative background which they acquired in childhood.’ This module examines the political lessons children’s books encode about what childhood is, and about which children matter and why. We will read children’s texts from a range of genres and forms—including fantasy, school stories, picturebooks, and domestic fiction—written between the late eighteenth century and the present day. Key focuses include agency, gender, race, class, and the environment. The final assessment optionally involves creative writing for children.
We will consider the role of illustration, watch classic film adaptations, and read seminal works by authors which may include Lewis Carroll, Neil Gaiman, C. S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and J. K. Rowling. These works will be illuminated in discussions in small group seminars.
Restrictions permitting, we will also conduct two fieldwork trips, which may include the ‘Making of Harry Potter’ tour at Warner Bros.
This module is ideal for students with a background in the Humanities, English, Art, or History, as we study at a variety of mediums.
- To understand the history of children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the present day
- To critically evaluate how children’s texts encode political messages, including messages about gender, race, and social class
- To gain experience in analysing word-image texts, including picture books
- To effectively communicate detailed analyses of children’s books through creative and critical writing
Credits info: 15 EC
GBP 2420: The full cost of one 3-week Undergraduate Summer School session will be £2420. If you wish to study for both sessions then you can do so.
This is made up of:
Tuition fees of £1655 per session include:
- All teaching and assessment for one module of study. Where field trips or course excursions are required then the cost of this is included in the tuition fee, however travel costs may be required
- A minimum of 150 study hours, with a minimum of 40 hours class/teaching contact hours
- Modules formally approved for 15 Sussex credits, equivalent to 7.5 ECTS or 3 – 4 US credits
- A transcript of studies upon successful completion of the module (including meeting all attendance and assessment requirements).
The accommodation and campus programme fee of £765 per session include:
- Your own bedroom in on-campus East Slope student village. These are a mixture of en-suite flats and standard flats with shared facilities
- Bedding pack of duvet and duvet cover, sheet, towel, pillow and pillowcase
- Programme of free campus social events and activities throughout each session. Excursions and social programme trips will be provided on Fridays and weekends.
If you are applying from one of our partner institutions, you will be entitled to a reduction in tuition fees. Please contact your study abroad office or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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