Affect, Emotion, and Children’s Literature
Representation and Socialisation in Texts for Children and Young Adults
This volume explores the relationship between representation, affect, and emotion in texts for children and young adults. It demonstrates how texts for young people function as tools for emotional socialisation, enculturation, and political persuasion. The collection provides an introduction to this emerging field and engages with the representation of emotions, ranging from shame, grief, and anguish to compassion and happiness, as psychological and embodied states and cultural constructs with ideological significance. It also explores the role of narrative empathy in relation to emotional socialisation and to the ethics of representation in relation to politics, social justice, and identity categories including gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality. Addressing a range of genres, including advice literature, novels, picture books, and film, this collection examines contemporary, historical, and canonical children’s and young adult literature to highlight the variety of approaches to emotion and affect in these texts and to consider the ways in which these approaches offer new perspectives on these texts. The individual chapters apply a variety of theoretical approaches and perspectives, including cognitive poetics, narratology, and poststructuralism, to the analysis of affect and emotion in children’s and young adult literature.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Children’s Literature and the Affective Turn: Affect, Emotion, Empathy
Elizabeth Bullen, Kristine Moruzi, Michelle J. Smith
Section I: Affect and the Historical Child Reader
Chapter 2: From Virtue Ethics to Emotional Intelligence: Advice from Medieval Parents to Their Children
Juanita Feros Ruys
Chapter 3: Charity, Affect, and Waif Novels
Chapter 4: ‘feeling is believing’: Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and the Power of Emotion
Chapter 5: ‘She cannot smile the smile that wells up from the heart’: Beauty, Health and Emotion in Six to Sixteen and The Secret Garden
Michelle J. Smith
Section II: Theory of Mind
Chapter 6: Emotions and Ethics: Implications for Children’s Literature
Chapter 7: Simplified Minds: Empathy and Mind-modelling in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle
Chapter 8: ‘Would I lie to you?’: Unreliable Narration and the Emotional Rollercoast in Justine Larbalestier’s Liar
Section III: Place and Space
Chapter 9: Spatialities of Emotion: Place and Non-Place in Children’s Picture Books
Chapter 10: Changing Minds and Hearts: Felt Theory and the Carceral Child in Indigenous Canadian Residential School Picture Books
Section IV: Emotions of Belonging
Chapter 11: ‘Love: it will kill you and save you, both’: Love as Rebellion in Recent YA Dystopian Trilogies
Chapter 12: At the Risk of ‘Feeling Brown’ in Gay YA: Machismo, Mariposas, and the Drag of Identity
Jon M. Wargo
Chapter 13: ‘Conceal, Don’t Feel’: Disability, Monstrosity and the Freak in Edward Scissorhands and Frozen
Elizabeth Bullen is Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Australia.
Kristine Moruzi is Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Australia.
Michelle J. Smith is Senior Lecturer and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Australia.
"What has been needed is a key text that readers can depend on to give them an overview of the potential of the ‘affective turn’ in theory – and this edited collection fills that gap." --David Rudd, Director of NCRCL, University of Roehampton, UK
"Within the context of children’s culture, Affect, Emotion, and Children’s Literature offers scholars a sophisticated synthesis of those cognitive theories involved with emotions and how they are deployed. The essays in this volume demonstrate how children and teenagers learn emotionology through the texts they experience—and even more important, these essays provide clear evidence of the important role children’s literature can play in providing data for researchers interested in the connection between children, their reading, and emotional development." --Roberta Seelinger Trites, English, Illinois State University, USA