1st Edition

Reinventing Childhood Nostalgia Books, Toys, and Contemporary Media Culture

Edited By Elisabeth Wesseling Copyright 2018
    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    While Romantic-era concepts of childhood nostalgia have been understood as the desire to retrieve the ephemeral mindset of the child, this collection proposes that the emergence of digital media has altered this reflective gesture towards the past. No longer is childhood nostalgia reliant on individual memory. Rather, it is associated through contemporary convergence culture with the commodities of one's youth as they are recycled from one media platform to another. Essays in the volume's first section identify recurrent patterns in the recycling, adaptation, and remediation of children's toys and media, providing context for section two's exploration of childhood nostalgia in memorial practices. In these essays, the contributors suggest that childhood toys and media play a role in the construction of s the imagined communities (Benedict Anderson) that define nations and nationalism. Eschewing the dichotomy between restorative and reflexive nostalgia, the essays in section three address the ethics of nostalgia in terms of child agency and depictions of childhood. In a departure from the notion that childhood nostalgia is the exclusive prerogative of narrative fiction, section four looks for its traces in the child sciences. Pushing against nostalgia's persistent associations with wishful thinking, false memories, and distortion, this collection suggests nostalgia is never categorically good or bad in itself, but owes its benefits or defects to the ways in which it is brought to bear on the representation of children and childhood.



    List of Figures

    Introduction, Elisabeth Wesseling

    Part I: The Cultural Dynamics of Cross-Generational (Re-)appropriation

    1 Historical Roots of Consumption-Based Nostalgia for Childhood in the US., Gary Cross

    2 Nostalgia or Innovation? The Adaptation of Dutch Children’s Books into Films,

    Helma van Lierop,

    3 Superheroes and Identity: The Role of Nostalgia in Comic Book Culture, Carol Tilley

    4 (Re-)Constructing Childhood Memories: Nostalgia, Creativity

    and the Expanded Worlds of the Lego Fan Community, Lincoln Geraghty

    Part II: Childhood Nostalgia and Memorial Politics

    5 Nostalgic Panoramas of Childhood: Toy Objects in Ireland (1851-1909), Vanessa Rutherford

    6 Making Children’s ‘Classics’: Making Past Childhoods Children’s ‘Classics’ as Sites for Memory Politics and Nostalgia, Helle Strandgaard Jensen

    7 Propaganda and Nostalgia: Constructing Memories about the German Democratic Republic for Secondary School Children, Luke Springman

    8 Communist Childhoods and Nostalgia: A Cultural Analysis of Online Remembrance Strategies (2006-2011), Codruta Pohrib

    9 Lost in Nostalgia: Images of Childhood in Photo Books for Children,

    Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

    Part III: Modalities of Nostalgia

    10 Looking for Asymmetries: A Theoretical Approach to Childhood Nostalgia in Pre-Figurative Culture, Mariano Narodowski

    11 Perverse Nostalgia: Child Sex Abuse as Trauma Commodity in Neo-Victorian Fiction,

    Mel Kohlke

    12 "Scared Straight" and Beyond: The Presumption of Teenaged Guilt and the Perpetuation of Defeated Paradigms, Joshua Garrison

    13 Teenage Nosta


    Elisabeth Wesseling is Director of the Centre for Gender and Diversity at Maastricht University, The Netherlands.