21st Century Children's and Young Adult Gothic

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Credits

10

Module code

EN12009

  • Level 1
  • Semester 2
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • Evening classes, Thursday 1800-2000

Description

This module will act as both a stand-alone course, and also a continuation of the Introduction to Children’s Literature module. Whilst the framework for this module will remain the same as the introductory course, there will be a sharper focus on Gothic tropes in literature intended for a younger audience, particularly with the introduction of Children’s Gothic in 21st Century texts. Contemporary Children’s and Young Adult literature is a highly sought after, yet widely under-theorised genre. The aim of this course is to offer students the chance to examine the most contemporary texts of this genre in a critically analytical manner. This will enable students to develop a unique insight into the rapidly developing and prominent field of Children’s Literature.

Convenor

Lauren Christie

Teaching

There will be eleven two-hour evening seminars for this module.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows:

  • 2 x essay (2 x 45%)
  • 5 Minute Presentation (10%)

Reading

The module will isolate texts from the 21st Century that represent different themes important to the genre. This will enable students to analyse and debate the most contemporary issues in society as reflected in literature for both children and adults. Key studies from this course consist of children’s Gothic, political tension, Eco-Gothic and Bibliotherapy. Literary theory in the form of Eco-Criticism, adaptation and psychoanalysis will strengthen the development of understanding for this genre. Secondary reading will introduce students to the most current debates in the field of contemporary children’s fiction. This will urge students to consider ways in which the genre has developed from the 1800s, and can continue to adapt and develop for future readers. This combination of critical and textual analysis, literary theory and background research will equip students for further study in both children’s literature and English studies.

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Module Aims

This module will act as both a stand-alone course, and also a continuation of the Introduction to Children’s Literature module. Whilst the framework for this module will remain the same as the introductory course, there will be a sharper focus on Gothic tropes in literature intended for a younger audience, particularly with the introduction of Children’s Gothic in 21st Century texts. Contemporary Children’s and Young Adult literature is a highly sought after, yet widely under-theorised genre. The aim of this course is to offer students the chance to examine the most contemporary texts of this genre in a critically analytical manner. This will enable students to develop a unique insight into the rapidly developing and prominent field of Children’s Literature.

Intended learning outcomes

  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Upon completion of the module students will be able to:
    • Recognise shifting historical, political and cultural issues present in the critical study of contemporary children’s literature. In contemporary fiction, many of these issues also reflect upon future scenarios.
    • Demonstrate an ability to isolate issues in texts that are intended for children, and those that are simultaneously addressing an adult audience as a critique of wider political or cultural tensions.
    • Possess an introductory understanding of bibliotherapy and children’s Gothic, and highlight ways in which both forms are positive developments in children’s literature.
  2. Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes
    Upon completion of the module students will be able to:
    • Critically identify and analyse political, social and cultural concerns as reflected in children’s literature. This will include techniques present in YA fiction, fantasy fiction, eco-concerns and bibliotherapeutic texts.
  3. Transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes
    Upon completion of the module students will be able to:
    • Write a compelling and analytical close reading essay based on themes identified on the course.
    • Contribute to peer support and group work activities.
    • Work sensitively with material that can potentially be traumatic or upsetting to readers.