Literatures of Childhood

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSOL2EN3014

Course Coordinator and Team: UshaMudiganti

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: This course examines the notion of childhood through its representations in Anglo-American literature. It engages with the evolution of childhood into its contemporary forms in these cultures. The course aims at drawing the student into a critical examination of the ‘construct’ of childhood and its cultural implications. The point of departure for this course is the belief that the construction of childhood is significantly influenced by the dominant ideas of the period and is informed by the specificities of the culture within which it is being formed.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

The main texts considered include those written about children as well as those written for them. These texts are supplemented by studies of childhood conducted in the social, legal and psychological domains.

The Mill on the Floss. George Eliot

The Secret Garden. Frances Hodgson Burnett

What MaisieKnew. Henry James

“Cry of the Children”. Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

“Pied Piper of Hamelin”. Robert Browning.

“Rules and Regulations”. Lewis Carroll.

“The Rocking Horse Winner”.D H Lawrence.

“My Oedipus Complex”.Frank O’ Connor.

“The Two Concepts of Childhood”. Philippe Aries.

“Infantile Sexuality”. Sigmund Freud.

There will be a few essays for supplementary reading in the reader

Tentative Assessment schedule with details of weightage:

S.NoAssessmentDate/period in which Assessment will take placeWeightage
1AssignmentEarly February10
2Mid-TermLast week of March30
3Paper PresentationMid April20
4End TermEnd of April30
5Class ParticipationThroughout the semester10