Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Michaelmas Term 2010 Programme

Hello and welcome to the new academic year at CLYCC! We are still meeting in the English Faculty (directions here), though we've switched rooms (now in Room 11). Details of our exciting programme this term below:

October 25 (Week 3): Reading Other People's Minds: Literary Cognitivism and Children's Literature. Prof. Maria Nikolajeva, Professor of Education and Director of the Cambridge/Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children's Literature, University of Cambridge
Literary cognitivism is a relatively recent direction of inquiry that pursues the question of whether works of literature can convey knowledge, and if so, how this happens. Children's literature has throughout history been employed as an educational vehicle, yet its actual mechanism of providing knowledge has not been properly discussed. The epistemic value of children's literature can be considered on different levels, including knowledge of the world, knowledge of society, knowledge of other people, knowledge of self, aesthetic knowledge, ethical knowledge and metaphysical knowledge. Professor Nikolajeva will in this talk focus on the issue of whether fiction can be used as a source of knowledge and understanding of other people's minds, taking as a point of departure some recent studies at the crossroads of literary theory and cognitive science.

November 8 (Week 5): Words of Violence: Savages, Monsters and (Neo)colonial Writing. Alice Nuttall, Oxford Brookes University
Alice will present on her doctoral research at Oxford Brookes, which considers the portrayal of American Indians in children's literature and culture. Her paper examines the establishment of the savage stereotype in colonial children's literature about American Indians, and how that stereotype has continued into children's literature in the postcolonial period.

November 22 (Week 7): Do-It-Yourself Drama: Nineteenth-Century English Boys and Toy Theatre Play. Dr Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, Associate Professor of Education and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University
In early nineteenth-century England, toy theatres (known as juvenile drama) were one of the most popular toys with middle-class children, especially boys. Toy theatres are elaborate paper artifacts that enable a child to stage a complete theatrical production in miniature by providing paper sheets of characters, scenes, wings, as well as a model stage and play script. In this talk Dr Reid-Walsh will discuss several boy consumers of the artifacts in terms of their purchasing and play strategies. She will examine first-person retrospective accounts and one child’s toy theatre set reassembled by a young Victorian boy in relation to the emerging consumer culture of the period.

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