ENMCHN-North American Children's Literature

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Sue Walsh

Email: s.a.b.walsh@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module aims to raise questions about the 'Americanness' of 'American children's literature' through the reading of a wide range of texts labelled 'American children's literature': what constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of 'literary history' or genre? How are ideas of 'society', 'culture', or 'history' used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and 'read' texts as relevant to such identities?

Aims:
This module aims to raise questions about the 'Americanness' of 'American children's literature' through the reading of a wide range of texts labelled 'American children's literature': what constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of 'literary history' or genre? How are ideas of 'society', 'culture', or 'history' used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and 'read' texts as relevant to such identities?

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students must produce a 2500-3000 word essay considering a selection of texts and/or issues in relation to ideas of national and cultural identity and children's literature. The essay must demonstrate an awareness of relevant theoretical issues and questions, and of how these issues might be included and formulated in the writing of the essay. The essay must therefore demonstrate too the student's ability to reflect on their own critical practices and assumptions, and their ability to revise and adjust their thinking and writing in the light of this reflection.

Additional outcomes:
In addition to the above, students will:
1)be able to formulate questions and recognise relevant problems and complexities.
2)be able to examine and question their own assumptions, arguments and choices of critical languages.
3)be able to analyse arguments made by others in terms of their assumptions and claims, including those of their tutor.
4)be able to read any text - fictional, critical, or non-fictional - closely and be able to analyse its precise use of language.
5)be able to think out loud and engage in peer-group discussion and debate.
6)be able to question notions of authority and think in an independent manner relevant to their own development.

Outline content:
The module looks at the work of 'Mark Twain'; family stories and Louisa M. Alcott's Little Women; American fantasy and The Wizard of Oz; and domestic realism and the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Post-World War II writing is examined through works by such writers as Robert Cormier, Nancy Bond, Elaine Koningsburg, Louise Fitzhugh, Virginia Hamilton, Paula Fox, E.B. White, Maurice Sendak, Walter Dean Myers, Lois Lowry, Cynthia Voigt, Katherine Paterson, Patricia MacLachlan and Chris Van Allsburg. The final selection of post-war writing is partly determined by current availability of texts in the UK

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of ten once-weekly classes of one hour's duration. Classes consist of seminars, which students introduce through pre-prepared presentations on a chosen text.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study: 89
       
Total hours by term 10
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One 2500-3000 word piece of written work (submission date is subject to staff-student committee confirmation every year).

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessment consists of feedback on seminar participation and extensive feedback on all written work

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
If the student submits an unsatisfactory coursework essay or assignment, the student will be allowed to re-submit the piece once more after tutorial consultation.
If the student is required to be re-examined on the coursework essays, they may be permitted one calendar month's extension for the subsequent submission of the dissertation.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 29 October 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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