1st Edition

Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children's Literature

Edited By Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, Anja Muller Copyright 2017
    266 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on the (de)canonization processes in children’s literature, considering the construction and cultural-historical changes of canons in different children’s literatures. Chapters by international experts in the field explore a wide range of different children’s literatures from Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Eastern and Central Europe, as well as from Non-European countries such as Australia, Israel, and the United States. Situating the inquiry within larger literary and cultural studies conversations about canonicity, the contributors assess representative authors and works that have encountered changing fates in the course of canon history. Particular emphasis is given to sociological canon theories, which have so far been under-represented in canon research in children’s literature. The volume therefore relates historical changes in the canon of children’s literature not only to historical changes in concepts of childhood but to more encompassing political, social, economic, cultural, and ideological shifts. This volume’s comparative approach takes cognizance of the fact that, if canon formation is an important cultural factor in nation-building processes, a comparative study is essential to assessing transnational processes in canon formation. This book thus renders evident the structural similarities between patterns and strategies of canon formation emerging in different children’s literatures.



    List of Figures

    Series Editor’s Foreword


    Introduction: Canon Studies and Children’s Literature

    Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Anja Müller

    Prelude: A Tale of Canons and Classics – Definition Impossible?

    Peter Hunt


    Part I

    Canons, Cultural Capital and Policies of Community Building

    Chapter 1 Nation Building and Children’s Literary Canons: The Israeli Test-Case

    Yael Darr

    Chapter 2 Canon Formation and Social Imaginaries in British Children’s Literature

    Anja Müller, Simone Herrmann and Franziska Burstyn

    Chapter 3 Firing the Canon! Geoffrey Trease’s Campaign for an Alternative Children’s Canon in 1930’s Britain

    Kimberley Reynolds

    Chapter 4 Canon Formation in the Soviet Union: The Case of Swift as an Author of a Children’s Classic

    Michael Düring

    Chapter 5 Historical Twists and Turns in the Polish Canon of Children’s Literature

    Anna Maria Czernow and Dorota Michułka


    Part II

    The Challenges of the Canon: Genre, Gender, Avant-garde

    Chapter 6 The Origins of Modernism in Fairy Tale: Hans Christian Andersen’s Authorship and Canon Studies

    Helene Høyrup

    Chapter 7 Canon and German Avant-garde Children’s Literature of the 1920s and 1930s: A Paradoxical Relationship

    Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

    Chapter 8 Genre, Gender and Canon Formation: The Case of Laura Richards

    Etti Gordon Ginzburg


    Chapter 9 "Girls Like it Most": Challenging Gendered Canons and Paracanons in the Case of The Secret Garden

    Alison Waller


    Part III

    Keeping the Gate – Agents in Canon Formation

    Chapter 10 The Perks of Being Talked About: Norms of Evaluation Informing the Canonization of Astrid Lindgren’s Oeuvre in the Dutch Language Area

    Sara Van den Bossche

    Chapter 11 The Junior Literary Guild and the Making of New Canonical Works: The Case of Waterless Mountain

    Anne Morey

    Chapter 12 Visions and Values: The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Prizing of Picture Books in the Twenty-First Century

    Erica Hateley

    Chapter 13 Finally Coming Together? The Bridging Role of the Adolescent Novel in the Netherlands

    Helma Lierop-Debrauwer


    Editors and Contributors



    Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer is Professor in the German Department at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

    Anja Müller is Professor of English Literature and Culture at the University of Siegen, Germany.

    "This is a fascinating situation, and one cannot help but wonder if similar processes can be seen elsewhere, or how often it is the case that international classics also become the most enduring national children’s texts." -- Björn Sundmark, Malmö University, Sweden