603-102-MQ, Children's Fantasy Fiction: Then and Now
“The only kind of fiction that is read with equal (if differing) pleasure at eight, and at 16, and at 68, seems to be fantasy,” writes Ursula Le Guin in the New Statesman in 2006. This course will explore children’s and young adults’s fantasy fiction and the evolution from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to its modern day incarnations. By examining classic children’s fantasy works, specifically Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and the modern interpretations of these classics, students will learn to locate such works within social and historical contexts and see how these classic fanciful narratives still inform and inspire the modern children’s fantasy genre. Through close readings and by learning about and implementing a variety of critical theories and approaches, we will discuss what factors influence children’s fantasy and how this reflects the culture of which these classic stories, and their modern retellings, are a product.