Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
english masthead
english masthead
Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 379N • Children's Literature and American Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

This course will trace the history of American childhood through children's literature. Using selected texts from the colonial era to the present, we will use children's texts as lenses for understanding American culture and American cultural history more generally. Understanding how childhood and children's literature have changed over time tells us a great deal about the ways in which the broader culture and society have evolved. It is easy to take children’s literature for granted: we’ve all read it, and, indeed, we all read it as kids. What could be simpler, more obvious, or less worthy of critical examination? This class will ask students to think critically about children's literature and to think about how these texts are informed by and also contribute to a broader cultural context.

Grading Policy

1. Participation (25%): Includes: attendance, active and informed participation in class discussions, two presentations, in-class writing and short (one page) out of class assignments. 2. Two 4-5 page papers (20% each) and on 8-10 page research paper (35%).


Ann Scott MacLeod, American Childhood: Essays on Children's Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries; Steve Mintz, Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood; Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Norton Critical Edition); Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who; Ann Petry, Tituba of Salem Village; Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are; Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War; Jean Luen Yang, American Born Chinese


bottom border