University of Cambridge > > Faculty of Education Special Events > Inaugural Lecture: 'The Power of Language: Literacy, (mis)communication and oppression in literature for young readers'

Inaugural Lecture: 'The Power of Language: Literacy, (mis)communication and oppression in literature for young readers'

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Susannah Lacon.

Please contact Susannah Lacon: 01223 767626/12 if you would like to attend.

In literature for young readers, language is frequently used as an instrument of power, both in communication between the implied author (adult) and the implied reader (child), and in communication between fictive characters. In the latter case, communication between adult and child characters can be employed to educate, socialize and oppress the child. This specific function of language reflects the insurmountable dilemma of any children’s writer, the tension between the striving to educate the child and the wish to take the child’s side. The unequal power hierarchies, especially tangible in children’s literature, affect the use of language in texts for young readers. The way literacy is portrayed in children’s books reveals the historical and educational context, the view of the child and childhood, and the individual author’s power position. In the lecture, that adheres to my current research on power and alterity in literature for young readers, I will investigate language as a power vehicle in some famous children’s novels, including Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, and Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking.

Professor Nikolajeva is a leading scholar in children’s literature. Her academic honours include a Fulbright Grant and a research fellowship at the International Youth Library, Munich. In 2005 she received the International Brothers Grimm Award for a lifetime achievement in children’s literature research and has recently been awarded the 2009 Distinguished Scholarship Award by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.

This talk is part of the Faculty of Education Special Events series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity