Contemporary British Children's Fiction and Cosmopolitanism  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary British Children's Fiction and Cosmopolitanism

ISBN 9780367346256
Published May 21, 2019 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

This book visits contemporary British children’s and young adult (YA) fiction alongside cosmopolitanism, exploring the notion of the nation within the context of globalization, transnationalism and citizenship. By resisting globalization’s dehumanizing conflation, cosmopolitanism offers an ethical, humanitarian, and political outlook of convivial planetary community. In its pedagogical responsibility towards readers who will become future citizens, contemporary children’s and YA fiction seeks to interrogate and dismantle modes of difference and instead provide aspirational models of empathetic world citizenship. McCulloch discusses texts such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Jackie Kay’s Strawgirl, Theresa Breslin’s Divided City, Gillian Cross’s Where I Belong, Kerry Drewery’s A Brighter Fear, Saci Lloyd’s Momentum, and Julie Bertagna’s Exodus trilogy. This book addresses ways in which children’s and YA fiction imagines not only the nation but the world beyond, seeking to disrupt binary divisions through a cosmopolitical outlook. The writers discussed envision British society’s position and role within a global arena of wide-ranging topical issues, including global conflicts, gender, racial politics, ecology, and climate change. Contemporary children’s fiction has matured by depicting characters who face uncertainty just as the world itself experiences an uncertain future of global risks, such as environmental threats and terrorism. The volume will be of significant interest to the fields of children’s literature, YA fiction, contemporary fiction, cosmopolitanism, ecofeminism, gender theory, and British and Scottish literature.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. ‘We’re All Human, Aren’t We?’: Cosmopolitics in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter 2. ‘People and their Differences’: Cosmofeminism in Jackie Kay’s Strawgirl 3. ‘You Are a Team’: Reconfiguring Community in Theresa Breslin’s Divided City 4. ‘We’re all Connected’: Transnational Journeys in Gillian Cross’s Where I Belong 5. ‘Hope Amongst This Madness’: Peace Building in Kerry Drewery’s A Brighter Fear 6. ‘We Must Fight for a New Future’: Envisioning Tomorrow’s World in Saci Lloyd’s Momentum 7. ‘A New Home in the World’: Nomadic Writing and World Citizenship in Julie Bertagna’s Exodus Trilogy Conclusion

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Fiona McCulloch is currently an independent scholar and was Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor in British Literature at the University of Connecticut, 2015.


"Fiona McCulloch’s most recent book marks an important contribution to studies of contemporary literature for children and young adults (YA). It makes an especially timely and telling intervention in a specifically Scottish critical landscape that has still to give proper, sustained attention to the rich and diverse modes of writing which it encompasses. In making a highly per-suasive, compelling, and densely argued case for the ethical relevance and reach of this body of work, McCulloch’s is surely the study that can redress that limitation."

- Sarah Dunnigan, University of Edinburgh, Scottish Literary Review