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Our Home on Native Land: Adapting and Readapting Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie

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Drawing on recent work on adaptation and translation, this paper traces the complexities of adapting Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie (1935), a bestselling book for children, for television audiences of 1974 and 2005. While the adapted text’s major plot about an Anglo-American family settling in “Indian Territory” in the postbellum period is retained, the book’s racist and patriarchal elements are reconsidered in explicit and subtle ways. This reconsideration is especially necessary given that a similar story recently came to life in the Native protest against a proposed new subdivision in Caledonia, Ontario.

Benjamin Lefebvre is a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the International Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, Literacy and Creativity at the University of Worcester. He is conducting research on the ways in which corporations transform texts for young people into multimedia franchises.

This talk is part of the Centre for Research in Children's Literature at Cambridge series.

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