This book offers a variety of approaches to children's literature from a postcolonial perspective that includes discussions of cultural appropriation, race theory, pedagogy as a colonialist activity, and multiculturalism.
The eighteen essays divide into three sections: Theory, Colonialism, Postcolonialism. The first section sets the theoretical framework for postcolonial studies; essays here deal with issues of "otherness" and cultural difference, as well as the colonialist implications of pedagogic practice. These essays confront our relationships with the child and childhood as sites for the exertion of our authority and control. Section 2 presents discussions of the colonialist mind-set in children's and young adult texts from the turn of the century. Here works by writers of animal stories in Canada, the U.S. and Britain, works of early Australian colonialist literature, and Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess come under the scrutiny of our postmodern reading practices. Section 3 deals directly with contemporary texts for children that manifest both a postcolonial and a neo-colonial content. In this section, the longest in the book, we have studies of children's literature from Canada, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Table of Contents
General Editor’s Forward Preface Contributors Introduction Roderick McGillis Section I: Theory 1. Rethinking the Identity of Cultural Otherness: The Discourse of Difference as an Unfinished Project Shaobo Xie 2. "We are the world, we are the children": The Semiotics of Seduction in International Children’s Relief Efforts Nancy Ellen Batty 3. The View from the Center: British Empire and Post-Empire Children’s Literature Peter Hunt and Karen Sands 4. Continuity, Fissure, or Dysfunction: From Settler Society to Multicultural Society in Australian Fiction John Stephens 5. Text, Culture, and Postcolonial Children’s Literature: A Comparative Perspective Jean Webb Section II: Colonialism 6. Saved by the World: Textuality and Colonization Nineteenth-Century Texts for Children Clare Bradford 7. Making Princesses, Remaking A Little Princess Mavis Reimer 8. Colonial Canada’s Young Adult Short Adventure Fiction: The Hunting Tale Jean Stringam 9. Lies my Children’s Books Taught me: History Meets Popular Culture in "The American Girls" Books Daniel Hade Section III: Postcolonialism and Neocolonialism 10. Bedtime Stories: Canadian Multiculturalism and Children’s Literature Louise Saldanha 11. Multiculturalism in Canadian Children’s Books: The Embarrassments of History Dieter Petzold 12. "Initiation for the Nation": Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Writing for Children Oliver Lovesey 13. Wrestling with the Past: The Young Adult Novels of Buchi Emecheta Alida Allison 14. "And the Celt Knew the Indian": Knowingness, Postcolonialism, Children’s Literature Roderick McGillis 15. Reviving or Revising Helen Bannerman’s The Story of Little Black Sambo: Postcolonial Hero or Signifying Monkey" Jan Susina Afterword: The Merits and Demerits of the Postcolonial Approach to Writings in English Victor J. Ramraj Index
Roderick McGillis is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Calgary, Canada.