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No Voice? Child Collaborators and the Co-Produced Picture Book

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ewa Illakowicz.

Why have theorists of childhood contended that young children have “no voice”? There are good reasons for making this argument, I allow, but also good reasons for resisting it. In this talk, I make the case for embracing what I hope is a non-naïve way of talking about children’s voices, one that attends to the genuinely vexing problems these theorists raise. I then test out this theory by applying it to picture books that young children helped to create, such as Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak’s Somebody Else’s Nut Tree and Other Tales From Children (1958) and the Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergarten’s We Are All Alike, We Are All Different (1991).

Marah Gubar is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Children’s Literature Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature (Oxford University Press, 2009). She is currently working on a second book entitled Acting Up: Children, Children’s Literature, and the Case for Childhood Studies.

This talk is part of the Children's Literature series.

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