In recent decades, age studies has started to emerge as a new approach to study children’s literature. This book is co-authored by several members of the CAFYR team and builds on that scholarship but also significantly extends it by exploring age in various aspects of children’s literature: the age of the author, the characters, the… Continue reading Different aspects of age in the oeuvre of David Almond
Diana Wynne Jones’s Fire and Hemlock (1984) and Ali Smith’s Autumn (2016) are two British novels that evoke an intense friendship between a girl and an older man. In this article, Vanessa Joosen explores their experimental narrative forms which include a complex chronology, unreliable narrator, dream scenes, gaps, and a rich intertextual network to frame an intergenerational friendship that… Continue reading Intergenerational friendship or desire?
In this essay, Michelle Anya Anjirbag uses Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, The Sleeper and the Spindle, and ‘Chivalry’ to examine the intersection of age and gender in his fairy-tale appropriations to consider how fantasy can reiterate stereotypical representations of older women. By drawing on the age studies work of Sylvia Henneberg and Susan Pickard to consider ageism… Continue reading No country for old women
Dreams can function in children’s books as a means to connect young characters and older figures in the story. In this article, Vanessa Joosen presents three methods to study intergenerational encounters in and through dreams in a selection of contemporary Dutch children’s books. She does this by means of a digital analysis of a corpus… Continue reading Encounters of a dreamy kind
Despite their shared interest in questions of age, prejudice and agency, the fields of childhood studies, age studies and children’s literature studies remain relatively separate. This is clear from their diverging definitions and uses of terms such as ‘ageism’, ‘aetonormativity’, ‘adultism’ and ‘childism’. In this article, Vanessa Joosen employs the concept of ‘childism’ (John Wall)… Continue reading Connecting research regarding age
In this article, Leander Duthoy discusses how child and adult readers of children’s literature use the concepts of innocence and wisdom as age norms to reflect both on their own age and the age of fictional characters. He gathered data through semi-structured interviews and focus-group discussions with readers aged nine to seventy-five. In these conversations,… Continue reading Becoming wiser over time