This section of the course is titled “Who’s There? Critically Engaging Issues of Diversity in Children’s Literature.” The concept of diversity will be deeply grappled with in this course and we will consider a broad range of diversity including: social class, language, race/ethnicity, learning styles, age, geographic location, religion, learning ability, family type, physical ability, location on the gender spectrum, nationality, and sexuality
All of the text selections, in-class materials, and assignments were crafted to enable to students to deeply consider who is (and isn’t) visible in Children’s Literature published in the United States and to engage in conversations about the impact of the presence and absence of groups and individuals within Children’s Literature.
At the start of this term, as a class, we will be reading/watching a range of theoretical sources focused on providing a framework for thinking about the role and importance of diversity in the field of Children’s Literature. Students will select three of the theoretical pieces that we’ve discussed and engaged together to incorporate into their presentations which will focus on children’s T.V. shows and films, an important aspect of contemporary Children’s Literature. These theoretical pieces will also be engaged throughout the term during in-class discussions and other assignments. The continued engagement with these sources throughout the term will allow students ample practice in applying theoretical texts.
The Children’s Literature texts we’ll be reading together this term are: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Ramona and Her Father, My Many Colored Days, Out of My Mind, We Are in a Book, As Brave As You, and The Only Road. I think the selection of texts will raise a variety to thoughts/ideas about the role of diversity in Children’s Literature and will also really help to demonstrate how the ideas in the theoretical pieces we’ll examine together at the start of the course play out in the reality of Children’s Lit.