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Barnlitteraturforskningens arkeologi
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas.
2011 (Swedish)In: Barnboken, ISSN 0347-772XArticle in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Criticism of children’s literature is not, although it to often may seem so, a phenomenon of the later half of the 20th century. The contradiction between didactics and aesthetics, for many established as an axiom in modern children’s literature research, has been contra productive when it comes to differences between older and modern literature. While older has become representative for the didactic, the simple and the single-minded, modern has become representative for the aesthetic, the complex and the multifold (the ambiguous).

On basis of an extensive material of texts, theories and pictures (comparisons with pictorial art are taken in) the article analyses from a constructional perspective long lived assumptions and paradigms and argues for a new methodology – the archaeology of children’s literature research - that includes both the research itself and the researcher. Examples from recent research (Penny Brown, Beverly Lyon Clark, Marah Gubar) clearly show that contextualising literature within history, criticism and debate may result in new and corrective approaches. Motifs, passions and goals of the researcher are all part of the research. Self-reflection is the central keyword.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, 2011.
Keyword [en]
criticism of children’s literature, history of children’s literature, childhood, didactics, aesthetics, research, paradigm, context, self-reflection
National Category
Research subject
History of Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-46004OAI: diva2:370873
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2011-12-23

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Westin, Boel
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