Despite the fact that “the representation of gendered bodies and behaviours” within children’s literature is an issue that is “highly significant” and “frequently addressed, […] the application of gender studies to children’s texts […] is still very much a work in progress” (Flanagan 2010). In this article, my main aims are, firstly, to argue the importance of children’s literature as literature, and secondly, to show why gender does matter within children’s literature and its criticism, even within those books not tackling the issue at first glance. The article is divided into three sections : Dilemmas in Children’s Literature : Performativity Matters, in which I introduce the perspective on children’s literature I endorse, the framework I propose to understand children’s literature and show that what it does is performative ; Gender Dilemmas, in which I claim that gender is a fundamental category to understand children’s literature and what it does ; Subversions, Agency Attributions, Desires : Non-normative Representations, in which I individuate three different narrative strategies children’s books may employ in order to question gender norms. Children’s literature representations of non-normative behaviours, desires, and agencies make non-normative existences conceivable, and, as such, real.

Gender Matters: What Is at Stake in Dealing with Children’s Literature?

Zanfabro, Giulia
2017

Abstract

Despite the fact that “the representation of gendered bodies and behaviours” within children’s literature is an issue that is “highly significant” and “frequently addressed, […] the application of gender studies to children’s texts […] is still very much a work in progress” (Flanagan 2010). In this article, my main aims are, firstly, to argue the importance of children’s literature as literature, and secondly, to show why gender does matter within children’s literature and its criticism, even within those books not tackling the issue at first glance. The article is divided into three sections : Dilemmas in Children’s Literature : Performativity Matters, in which I introduce the perspective on children’s literature I endorse, the framework I propose to understand children’s literature and show that what it does is performative ; Gender Dilemmas, in which I claim that gender is a fundamental category to understand children’s literature and what it does ; Subversions, Agency Attributions, Desires : Non-normative Representations, in which I individuate three different narrative strategies children’s books may employ in order to question gender norms. Children’s literature representations of non-normative behaviours, desires, and agencies make non-normative existences conceivable, and, as such, real.
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http://journals.openedition.org/trans/1440
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2915793
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