The Embodied Child : Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture book cover
1st Edition

The Embodied Child
Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture

ISBN 9780367346485
Published May 21, 2019 by Routledge
294 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

The Embodied Child: Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture brings together essays that offer compelling analyses of children’s bodies as they read and are read, as they interact with literature and other cultural artifacts, and as they are constructed in literature and popular culture. The chapters examine the ideology behind the cultural constructions of the child’s body and the impact they have on society, and how the child’s body becomes a carrier of cultural ideology within the cultural imagination. They also consider the portrayal of children’s bodies in terms of the seeming dichotomies between healthy-vs-unhealthy bodies as well as able-bodied-vs-disabled, and examines flesh-and-blood bodies that engage with literary texts and other media. The contributors bring perspectives from anthropology, communication, education, literary criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, physical education, and religious studies. With wide and astute coverage of disparate literary and cultural texts, and lively scholarly discussions in the introductions to the collection and to each section, this book makes a long-needed contribution to discussions of the body and the child.

Table of Contents


The Embodied Child: An Introduction

Lydia Kokkola

Chapter 1. Anne’s Body Has a Mind (and a Soul) of Its Own: Embodiment and the Cartesian Legacy in Anne of Green Gables

Janet Wesselius

Section 1: Politicizations

Chapter 2. Learning Not to Hate What We Are: Black Power, Literature, and the Black Child

Karen Sands-O’Connor

Chapter 3. "It’s my skin that’s paid most dearly": Katniss Everdeen and/as the Appalachian Body

Roxanne Harde

Chapter 4. Invisibility and (Dis)Embodiment in Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours

Heather Braun

Chapter 5. From the Kitchen to the Edges: The Politics of Hair in African American Children’s Picture Books

Michelle Martin and Rachelle Washington

Section 2: Corporealities

Chapter 6. Disciplining Normalcy: What Katy Did and Nineteenth-Century Female Bodies

Julie Pfeiffer and Darla Schumm

Chapter 7. Embodying the Healthy, Charitable Child in the Junior Red Cross

Kristine Moruzi

Chapter 8. Liberty in the Age of Eugenics: Non-normative Bodies in Fabian Socialist Children’s Fiction

Amanda Hollander

Section 3: Reading Bodies

Chapter 9. Embodied Readings of Blackfoot Place and Identity

Erin Spring

Chapter 10. The Flourishing Child: Representations of Embodied Wellbeing in Contemporary Picturebooks

Adrielle Britten

Chapter 11. The Child’s Reading Body

Margaret Mackey

Chapter 12. Hands on Reading: The Body, the Brain and the Book

Lydia Kokkola

Section 4: Commodifications

Chapter 13. "Little cooks": Food and the Disciplined Body in Nineteenth-Century Stories for Girls

Samantha Christensen and Roxanne Harde

Chapter 14. Break Dancing: Reading the Ballerina in To Dance

Jennifer Miskec

Chapter 15. Embodied Performances by Lesbian Cheerleaders and Dancers in Glee and Leading Ladies

Kate Norbury

Chapter 16. A Dolla Makes Her Holla: The 21st -Century Sexualized, Knowing Child of Reality TV

Lance Weldy

Notes on Contributors


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Roxanne Harde is Professor of English and Associate Dean (Research) at the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta.

Lydia Kokkola is Head of English and Education at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.


"Overall, the work presented in this volume provides readers with a wide range of perspectives and theories around the body and embodiment as it relates to the (mostly older) child in popular culture—offering scholars of child studies, children’s literature, and education a foundational collection through which to explore the interrelated, fluid boundaries of child, body, and text." Caroline Hamilton-McKenna, University of British Columbia, Vancouver