Studies in Children's and Adolescent Literature and Culture

The Department of Literature and Languages offers a Certificate in Studies in Children’s and Adolescent Literature and Culture. The certificate, consisting of 18 hours of graduate study, provides students with a solid foundation for analyzing children’s and adolescent literature and will enhance their understanding of and capacity to teach the cultural, ideological, and historical nature of children’s and adolescent literature in primary, secondary, and post-secondary settings.

To pursue this certificate, students must be registered as either an M.A. or M.S. candidate or as a Non-Degree student or as a Certification Student.

The individuals who will most likely be interested in this program include the following: English K-12 educators who are required to engage in graduate work for professional development or who desire to enhance their understanding of the literature produced for their students; post secondary educators who are interested in teaching or initiating courses in children’s and adolescent literature in community college settings; students who already have a graduate degree but would like to further specialize in the study of children’s and adolescent literature and culture; adults who do not necessarily wish to enroll in a traditional graduate program but who nonetheless want to engage in intellectual activities that contribute to their understanding of children’s and adolescent literature and culture.

In order to earn the certificate, students students must be registered as either an M.A. or M.S. candidate or as a Non-Degree student or as a Certification Student and successfully complete the following courses.

Required Coursework

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Eng 520: Approaches to Literary Theory. Three semester hours.

A study of major trends in literary theory from Plato and Aristotle to the present. Primary focus is on various approaches to analyzing literature, including formalist, psychological, Marxist, structuralist, feminist, reader-response, and new historicism.

Eng 504: Picture Books, Graphic Narrative, and the Art of Images: Three semester hours.

An examination of the historical, cultural, ideological, aesthetic, material, and critical contexts that influence and produce picture books and graphic narratives written for young readers, including a study of how words, images, and institutions shape our response to those texts'.

Eng 505: The Invention of Children's Literature and Childhood: Three semester hours.

A survey of the historical development of children's literature in relation to its cultural, intellectual, and political contexts. Could include how British and American writers changed paradigms for and perceptions about "childhood" and "children's literature" by developing literature that entertained and instructed young readers, as well as how conditions of print culture, political change, and social status influenced the delivery and reception of the genre.

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Eng 506: Problems in Adolescent Literature: Three semester hours.

An overview of the various problems associated with adolescent literature including the "problem novel" and "new realism," how adolescent literature is defined, issues associated with censorship, and the problems adolescents experience in the texts.

Eng 507: Narrative Transformations in Literature for Children and Adolescents. Three semester hours.

A study in the adaptation or appropriation of familiar or traditional story forms such as folk and fairy tales into more contemporary narrative forms including novels and film.

Eng 508: Constructing Reality and Reconstructing History in Children's and Adolescent Literature: Three semester hours.

An overview of historical fiction and realistic literature that emphasizes the cultural and social milieu that produced the texts as represented by the genres. Particular attention will be paid to the construction of history and the social realities addressed in the texts, including ethnic, racial, and global considerations.

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Book-It Blogspot

Also be sure to visit: Book-It Blogspot & Zine: A Refuge for Young (And Young-at-Heart) People Who Love Books and Reading

Illustrations on this page are by W.W. Denslow for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. From top to bottom: "A Little Cowardice in Everyone", "Oiling the Tin Woodman", and "And Away We Go!"