Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children's Literature  book cover
1st Edition

Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children's Literature

ISBN 9781138930544
Published December 27, 2016 by Routledge
266 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents



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


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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.