Bios and Abstracts
Amanda Brian (Coastal Carolina University)
Amanda M. Brian is an assistant professor of history at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina, where she teaches a variety of classes on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history. She has published articles in modern German history, including one on modernism in the work of the quintessential Berlin artist Heinrich Zille in Central European History and another on developmental psychology in early German baby biographies in the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. Her research interests include children and childhood, colonialism and imperialism, and visual culture; therefore, her current study of early movable children’s books, in particular the work of the German paper engineer Lothar Meggendorfer, addresses all of these themes. Brian is also writing a book manuscript on baby science in Wilhelmine Germany. This research has been partially supported by a Fulbright Grant and a CCU Performance Enhancement Grant. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2009.
“Civilizing Children and Other Animals in Lothar Meggendorfer’s Movable Books”
Lothar Meggendorfer (1847-1925) was an engineering genius in industrializing and urbanizing late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Germany. Today his machines cannot be found in the structures or annals of scientific achievements but rather in the archives and catalogues of rare book collectors. He designed and modeled moving illustrations in over one hundred children’s books, producing some of the most intricate animations from paper circulating in western Europe and the United States. It is as a great paper engineer, as the “supreme master of animation,” so christened by the late renowned American illustrator of children’s books, Maurice Sendak, that Meggendorfer’s legacy has reached the twenty-first century. Antiquarians, illustrators, and scholars have focused their attention on the mechanics of his bestsellers to the neglect of the content of these works. I propose to examine the content—the interplay between verses, images, and motions—of several of Meggendorfer’s celebrated and lesser-known books in order to understand their popularity and message.
Although Meggendorfer was born and remained in Bavaria, he often depicted a wider and more “exotic” world for his young audiences. He was clearly engaged in examining connections between white Europeans and so-imagined Others, particularly Africans and Arabs. These were connections wrought by Germans’ long fascination with colonialism and new practices of imperialism in the late nineteenth century, which had tremendous cultural and social, if not economic, influence, according to recent studies of the Second German Empire. As many authors of children’s literature have done before him, Meggendorfer used animals and the natural world more broadly to present his lessons. In his works, the dictates of new imperialism were promoted in representations of domestic animals as properly civilized and exotic animals, and by extension exotic locales and peoples, as needing to be civilized. Considering his global perspective and his surprising animals, this paper focuses on how Meggendorfer’s collective menagerie interacted in the hands of children. By reading, listening to, looking at, and playing with Meggendorfer’s books, his audiences were to draw specific and fresh ideas about how to be white, bourgeois, and western.
Minjie Chen studied children's literature and library services to youth at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interest is in the representation of ethnic and racial minority cultures in children's materials, international children's literature, and the political and social contexts of children's publications. Her dissertation investigated how the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45) was represented in Chinese illustrated story books and American juvenile fiction. She is a project cataloger for the East Asian collection of the Cotsen Children's Library.
“Foreigners Not (Yet) in One Box: Discourse on Race and Foreign Nationals in Chinese Children's Reading Materials 1890-1920.”
Nina Christensen (Aarhus University)
Nina Christensen is Associate Professor at Aarhus University in the Department of Aesthetics and Communication. Since 2005 she has been Director of the Centre for Children’s Literature in Copenhagen/Aarhus. She is co-editor of the book series, “Children’s Literature, Culture and Cognition,” published by John Benjamins, and co-editor of the Nordic Journal of ChildLit Aesthetics. Her research interests include theory, history and analysis of picture books, childhood history, history of children’s literature, visual literacy and the didactics of literature. Her most recent book is Videbegær: Oplysning, børnelitteratur (2012) [Desire for Knowledge: Enlightenment, Children’s Literature, Bildung]. She has also published articles in Danish, English, French, German and Spanish.
"Education to Tolerance: Citizens of the World in Eighteenth-Century Children's Literature and Children's Literature of Today."
In eighteenth-century Denmark, magazines for children were published with the explicit aim of educating children to become valuable members of the bourgeoisie, useful citizens in the nation state, and - to a certain extent - tolerant citizens of the world. In this paper, I shall examine the ideals behind this secularized education. On the basis of texts published in Avis for Børn (Newspaper for Children 1779-1782), three central elements in a new approach to the education, or Bildung, of children in the middle of the Eighteenth century will be discussed:
- The notion of the child as a rational individual
- Tolerance and empathy as central positive qualities in a human being
- The explicit promotion of the universalistic idea that “all men are equal.”
Some texts in Newspaper for Children are informed by notions of freedom, equality and brotherhood that draw on the American Declaration of Independence (1776), and the French declaration on human rights (1789). I will examine and discuss these texts in relation to gender, ethnicity and nationality, demonstrating how they represent a possible conflict between ideals of how people should act towards each other ‘in the spirit of brotherhood’ and examples of less than ideal behavior, e.g. descriptions of violent, aggressive and intolerant children, and narratives about the inhuman treatment of slaves.
Formal characteristics significant in terms of their attempt to address and educate a new ideal citizen will also be addressed. Predominant types of texts in the magazines are Socratic dialogues, fictive letters and stories with exemplary characters. Examples from Eighteenth-Century magazines show that fictive characters and actual readers are supposed to engage in informed and sometimes critical dialogues. Child characters can defend an action or a point of view in both conversation and in writing. A final focus will be on both the perseverance and the transformation of the representation of concepts such as universalism and equality in the present-day Danish weekly newspaper for children Faktisk ( Actually, 2010ff).
Gabriele von Glasenapp (University of Cologne)
Gabriele von Glasenapp is Professor of German Literature and Director of the ALEKI (Arbeitsstelle für Kinder- und Jugendmedienforschung/Centre for Children’s Media Research) at the University of Cologne. Her research focuses on the theory and history of children's literature and German Jewish Literature from the 18th until the early 20th centuries. She has been member of numerous judging panels for major German children’s literature awards. Her publications include Zur Entstehung und Ausprägung deutschsprachiger Ghettoliteratur (1996); Das jüdische Jugendbuch: Von der Aufklärung bis zum Dritten Reich (with Michael Nagel, 1996), Geschichte und Geschichten: Die Kinder- und Jugendliteratur und kulturelle und politische Gedächtnis (ed. with Gisela Wilkending 2005); Kriegs- und Nachkriegskindheiten:Studien zur literarischen Erinnerungskultur für junge Leser (ed. with Hans-Heino Ewers 2008) and Kinder- und Jugendliteratur (with Gina Weinkauff, 2010).
“Information or Exoticisation?: Constructing Religious Difference in Children’s Non-Fiction.”
Non-fiction, whether addressed to children, adolescents, or adults always has the same intention and function: to communicate information about the different scientific fields in an objective and understandable manner. In non-fiction for children which presents and describes different religions in texts and illustrations, there is a striking difference between the information given in the texts and in the pictures (in drawings as well as in photos): While in the texts the effort is made just to explain the character of the religions, in the pictures very often the representatives of the various religions are reduced to types, in a way that emphasizes their otherness, their strangeness or rather their exotic character. In my paper I will focus the difference between text and illustrations to ask how the illustrations construct the image of children as representatives of a strange religion, while at the same time the texts try to minimize the differences between the readers’ own and the other religions. I will focus on non-fiction for children on the different religions of the world which were published in Germany during the last few decades. Special attention will be given to the numerous translations into German to ask whether these processes of exoticisation are specific to German non-fiction or whether they are not rather a transnational phenomenon.
Margaret R. Higonnet (University of Connecticut, Storrs)
Margaret R. Higonnet, who received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. from Yale University, also studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Tübingen University, and University College London. She is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an affiliate of Harvard University’s Center for European Studies; she has taught at Munich University and the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. She has served as President of the American Conference on Romanticism and the American Comparative Literature Association. In addition to publications on German Romanticism, Thomas Hardy, British women poets, suicide, and the literature of World War I, she edited the journal Children’s Literature for five years coedited Girls, Boys, Books, Toys with Beverly Clark and has published numerous articles on children’s literature. In some essays she considers formal issues such as the fragment, margins, the paratext, and metatextual play in moveable books. She has also tackled the literature of war for children in the PMLA, The Lion and the Unicorn, La Revue des livres pour enfants, Under Fire: Childhood In the Shadow Of War, and Children and Armed Conflict. She is currently working on the debates over realism in nineteenth-century literature for children.
Travel is a way of making and remaking the self and one’s social identity. Catherine Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie (1827), a little-read early girls’ book, wittily weaves travel narratives together with myths about American identity: the Puritans seeking religious freedom, the Pequots fleeing white settlers, and two heroines, who transgress social rules and break out of prisons in their quest for justice. In a time of travel by foot, decoding tracks and penetrating disguises serve as analogies to the necessary work of deconstructing the myths perpetrated by historical records.
The central theme of the girls’ cross-racial friendship prepares the great cross-racial friendship in Twain’s national epic, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). Huck effectively maps aspects of American society in his idyllic trip with Jim on a raft down the Mississippi, only to face Jim’s imprisonment. Huck cannot survive alone on the raft: he needs Jim to understand his own transitional status and to grow into moral judgment and social understanding. Floating southward, Huck famously retraces the historical conflicts that define America. The dark core of violence in their journey wrestles uneasily with the slapstick. Ultimate homelessness in both works points to the instability of American identity.
Just as the travels of Twain’s characters define America, so too the child travelers in G. Bruno’s Le Tour de la France par deux Enfants (1877) map out France in economic transition, as they seek a home after losing their father and choosing to leave German-occupied Lorraine. Their travels create a new geographically extended family, teaching them at each stop about the industries, agricultural production, and microcultures that make up France as a whole. In this patriotic portrait of a nation, as the children work, study, and trade goods, they themselves grow at each stage of their travels, first on foot, then in wagons, trains, and boats—vehicles that afford very different insights to these little observers.
Travel narratives engage the reader in explorations of the self as well as the larger world; one question this paper will ask is whether the modes of travel correlate with the symbolisms of the journey. Modes of transportation become moving worlds within worlds: thus in Jules Verne’s Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870) the submarine of Nemo both projects outwardly an inner, psychological realm and also traverses history by visiting its monuments under water. Verne’s prophetic technologies of modernity (e.g. rockets, balloons, the submarine) like a movie screen open up fascinating sights for the reader floating below the surface of the conscious world.
Verne’s science-fiction seems to stand in sharp contrast to the more realistic, vernacular worlds of Twain and Bruno; it also breaks out of the national frame that my other texts inhabit. At the heart of Nemo’s invention lies a dark memory of the injuries of imperialism, as the empire strikes back. Exploration itself, then, becomes the narrative problem.
Andrea Immel (Princeton University)
Andrea Immel has been Curator of the Cotsen Children’s Library. Since 1997, she has co-organized with distinguished colleagues Cotsen’s series of international invitation conferences. She has also co-edited monographs based on three of those conference proceedings: Childhood and Children’s Books in Early Modern Europe (with Michael Witmore); Under Fire: Childhood in the Shadow of War (with Elizabeth Goodenough); and The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature (with M. O. Grenby). She also contributed the essays on children’s books in the fifth and sixth volumes of the Cambridge History of the Book, volumes 5 and 6, and The Oxford Companion to the Book. Her most recent publication is a scholarly facsimile edition of Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song-Book, the first collection of English nursery rhymes (with Brian Alderson).
Eric J. Johnson (Ohio State University)
Dr. Eric J. Johnson is the Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts at the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at The Ohio State University. He teaches widely across the University's interdisciplinary humanities curriculum, with particular emphasis on manuscript studies and book history. He holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York (UK), as well as a M.L.I.S. from Rutgers University. His research interests extend widely across the fields of medieval and renaissance studies, codicology and bibliography, book history, the pedagogical uses of primary source materials in K-12 and university classrooms, and children's literacy and culture (particularly in the areas of military propaganda and religious-themed writings).
“Teaching How to Hate: Oncle Hansi’s Pedagogical Polemic and the Question of Alsatian Nationalism”
Located along the west bank of the Rhine on France’s extreme eastern frontier, the territory of Alsace has been a contested land for centuries. Although firmly a part of France today, a century ago it was a region undergoing profound social crisis as competing parties struggled to impose their own ethnic, political, military, educational, and linguistic ideologies on the area’s culturally-mixed population. On one side was the Pan-German alliance that, in pursuit of its goal to create a unified state that would encompass all traditional German-speaking territories, had taken control of Alsace (and neighboring Lorraine) from France after the signing of the Treaty of Frankfurt ending the 1871-71 Franco-Prussian War. On the other side were the French who, in the wake of their humiliating defeat by the Germans, were determined to reclaim the territory that they had governed since Louis XIV’s reign and the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648. In between these two powerful national antagonists was a smaller, but still significant, group: those who advocated for Alsatian independence.
Jean-Jacques Waltz, better known to the world as Oncle Hansi, was born into this charged political and cultural atmosphere and became sensitive from an early age to the ongoing conflict between Alsace’s German occupiers and those who wanted to see the region either gain independence or once again become a part of France. Waltz strongly identified with the pro-French cause and, as he explains in many personal asides sprinkled throughout his works, his hatred for Alsace’s German occupiers first emerged in response to the frequent verbal and physical abuse handed out by his “barbaric” German teachers and their ongoing and systematic assassination of Alsatian culture. This constant debasement, Waltz would later declare, inspired him to vow that one day he would write a “true history” of Alsace, one that would refute the lies taught to him in his youth and make clear to all Alsatian children the proud heritage from which they sprang.
Between 1912 and 1919, Waltz would keep this promise by publishing a range of lavishly illustrated and sophisticated pseudo-historical and satirical books that attacked the Germans on all fronts by countering German aggression, barbarism, corruption, and greed with examples of French-Alsatian civility, innocence, and charity. At the heart of Waltz’s rhetoric is his consistent focus on Alsace’s youth through countless illustrations of children in traditional Alsatian dress along with accompanying descriptions of their lives in the shadow of German occupation. These combined visual and textual representations of Alsace’s children recall an idealized past, one Waltz identifies as a “tricolor paradise,” in which French-Alsatian unity forever keeps the specter of German hostility and savagery at bay. This paper will consider how Waltz employed this child-centric rhetoric in some of his most seminal propagandistic works, such as Mon village (1913), L’histoire d’Alsace (1915), Le paradis tricolore (1918), and L’Alsace heureuse (1919), to excise and exorcise the German “other” from Alsace’s landscape and culture in order to prepare the way for his land’s predestined reunification with France.
Cynthia Koepp (Wells College)
Cynthia J Koepp is Professor of History and Chair of the Humanities at Wells College, where she specializes in early modern European cultural and intellectual history. She is the co-editor (with Steven L. Kaplan) of Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization, and Practice (1986) and has published articles on eighteenth-century political economy, artisans and the poor, Diderot’s Encyclopédie, and the Spectacle de la nature by the Abbé Pluche. Her current research project focuses on pedagogy and the popular Enlightenment.
“An Anthropologist Shows Children a World of Difference: The Pedagogical Imagination of Louis-François Jauffret”
Louis François Jauffret (1770-1840) may be best known for bringing the Wild Boy of Aveyron to Paris. Or perhaps it is for helping to establish in France the first scholarly organization devoted to anthropology. As an “observer of man” and expert in deaf mute children, Jauffret was extremely interested in the scientific study of human diversity, in geography, and in the relationship between environments and human development around the world.
But Jauffret was also a prolific author of children's literature. By age 26, responding to the call of the National Assembly for new school books, he was putting out extremely popular magazines, books, and games for children and adolescents —many of which appeared in multiple editions and were soon translated into English, German, and Dutch (texts that so far have received very little scholarly attention.) All told he wrote more than 50 books for children at a time of great upheaval in France and much change around the world. In this paper, I will focus my analysis primarily on several of his most popular texts, hoping to address some of the following questions: What did a learned social scientist (who had just experienced the French Revolution) think children should know in this new world? How much should they understand about conflict and injustice? What should they learn about human difference and similarities around the globe? What are the most effective ways to present these global diversities and nationalities? Can we find evidence of the anthropologist’s perspective in this literature? What about Jauffret’s texts were so appealing? What would a child have taken away from his books? Given his commitment to enlightenment pedagogy, idealized sense of childhood and family, and his scientific sensibilities, Jauffret's writings and their popular success should reveal much about complex attitudes toward children and the transmission of knowledge about diverse national identities at this moment of unsettling social, economic, and political transformation.
Gillian Lathey (Roehampton University)
Gillian Lathey is Reader in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University London, where she was for many years Director of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature prior to her present semi-retirement. She continues to teach children’s literature at Masters level; to supervise PhD students undertaking children’s literature projects, and to give guest lectures on the translation of children’s literature, for example at the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester in February 2013 and at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland in May 2013. Research interests include comparative children’s literature; the practices and history of translating children’s literature, and representations of national identity in children’s literature. She is also co-founder and judge of the biennial Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation and a member of the judging panel for the 2013 Award. Publications include The Impossible Legacy (1999), a comparative study of English and German language autobiographical children’s literature set in WW2; The Translation of Children’s Literature: A Reader (2006),and a monograph on the neglected role of translators and translations within the history of English-language children’s literature, The Role of Translators in Children’s Literature: Invisible Storytellers (Routledge, 2010). Recently she has been working with colleagues from universities and children’s literature centers in Portugal, Denmark, Germany, France and Switzerland on a project on representations of national identity in children’s picture books from the nineteenth century to the present. Gillian Lathey’s next publication, co-edited with Vanessa Joosen of the University of Antwerp, will be Grimms’ Tales around the Globe: The Dynamics of their International Reception,which isto be published by Wayne State University Press in 2014.
“Figuring the World: Representing Children’s Encounters with Other Peoples and Cultures at the 1851 Great Exhibition.”
A vogue for travel narratives in the early nineteenth century, from Mrs. Hofland’s Young Northern Traveller (1813) to the Reverend Isaac Taylor’s series for ‘little tarry-at-home travellers’, introduced children to a variety of images of inhabitants of the four corners of the globe. Evidence also exists in contemporary artwork and in memoirs that at least a few privileged children enjoyed visits to the ethnological exhibitions staged in London from the late eighteenth century onwards. From Thomas Rowlandson’s depiction of children watching Sir William Bullock’s troupe of Laplanders parade their sledge around the Egyptian Hall in 1822, to Edmund Yates’ recollection of the wax figures at the Chinese Exhibition at Hyde Park Corner in the late 1840s as a ‘youthful amusement’, it seems that children occasionally had access to life-like representations or living examples of other peoples. The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace that ran for six months in 1851, although designed for commercial rather than ethnographic purposes, continued this tradition of bringing unfamiliar cultures to the attention of the general public. Visual and written material in, for example, The Illustrated London News and the Illustrated Family Paper indicates that children were present in large numbers, particularly on the designated ‘family’ or ‘shilling’ days, and that they were likely to catch sight of intriguing overseas visitors as part of an Exhibition visit. Exhibits that provided an eye-level focus for young viewers included sets of dolls in ethnic costume, as well as miniature figures and models representing different trades in the Indian Pavilion. Publications for children arising from the Great Exhibition, however, sought intentionally to direct the child’s response to living or manufactured human wonders, and to situate such figures and artefacts within imperial and scientific discourse. Some publishers seized upon the Great Exhibition to promote contemporary theories of racial genealogy to a child audience, while the very first Routledge toy book series couched the entire affair in period whimsy on the one hand, and the ideology of empire and political expediency on the eve of the Crimean War on the other. This paper sets the context for children’s encounters with visions of difference embodied in the human figure in an era that saw both the consolidation of the British Empire, and the establishment of the science of anthropology.
Farah Mendlesohn (Anglia Ruskin University)
Farah Mendlesohn is Professor of Literary History at Anglia Ruskin University. She has an MA in Peace Studies, and her PhD was on Quaker relief work in the Spanish Civil War. Having written on children’s sci-fi in The Inter-Galactic Playground (2009) and fantasy in the Cambridge Introduction to Children’s Fantasy Literature (2014), she is finally putting her history degrees to some use and writing a book about the children’s historical novelist, Geoffrey Trease.
“National Characters, National Character: Children in Pacifist and Anti-Militaristic Publications for Children Between the Wars.”
George Orwell notoriously slammed the literature for children produced between the wars as mindlessly patriotic and reminiscent of a previous era of Jingoism. Owen Dudley Edwards, in British Children's Fiction in the Second World War (2007) was scathing, suggesting that Orwell regularly ignored the anti-war messages of much children's fiction and the shifting values of many of the classic genres. Geoffrey Trease, writing in 1949 in his ground breaking Tales out of School concurred with Orwell, yet he, and many of his contemporaries were already changing the way literature for children considered national character, the relationships between nations, and the responsibilities which children were expected to bear.
Beginning, unexpectedly I imagine, with Captain Marryat’s The Children of the New Forest, and pausing to consider Kipling’s Stalky and Co, Puck of Pook’s Hill and the work of Edith Nesbit, this paper will consider first the counter-narratives of peace and consensus which existed in the work of some very popular writers for children. It will then consider the role of jingoism and identity in the works of Henty and his emulators, and on the effect of the Great War on internationalist narrative. It will then turn to focus on authors writing specifically between the wars: Geoffrey Trease himself, Dorita Fairlie Bruce and Eleanor M. Brent Dyer, T. H White, Esther Boumphey and Wyke Smith and other authors whose works offered subversive readings of Empire and of Nationalism.
These new works emerged in the context of an increasingly child centered attitude to education brought from European and Soviet educators, and from the radical step which the League of Nations took in the 1930s of turning its attention to children’s education.
Silke Meyer (University of Innsbruck)
Silke Meyer studied folklore, cultural anthropology, art history and English literature at the universities of Tübingen, Sheffield and Münster. After having completed a Master’s degree in English Literature, she received her PhD in Folklore and Cultural Anthropology for a study of national stereotypes in eighteenth-century popular prints. It was published as a monograph in 2003 by Waxmann: Die Ikonographie der Nation. Nationalstereotype in der englischen Druckgraphik des 18. Jahrhunderts (The Iconography of Nations: National Stereotypes in Eighteenth-Century Prints).
She taught German literature and culture at Nottingham University before returning to Germany in order to take up an assistant professorship at the Department of Folklore/European Ethnology at Münster University. In 2010, she was appointed assistant professor (tenured) at the Department of History and European Ethnology at Innsbruck University where she specializes in economic anthropology, narratology, visual studies and the process and functions of stereotyping. Her current research focuses on the moral economy of debts: how is the economic transaction of going into debts turned into a moral state? In 2012, she won the Innsbruck University prize for excellence in teaching for her study project, “Money Matters: Monetary Transactions as Cultural and Social Practice.”
“Politics in the Children’s Perspective: National Stereotypes in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Prints. “
In museum and library collections, children’s prints are often listed under the name of ephemera. The category shows that those bundles that we look at today, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the print production in the eighteenth century. The reason is simple: the sheets were swapped and used in games, pinned onto walls or stuck into scrapbooks, in other words: their life expectancy was a short one. Correspondingly, only a few examples made their way into the collections, although they were originally published in vast amounts. In the first part of my paper, I will briefly reconstruct this context of production, usage and reception of children’s prints by analyzing visual and literary sources, printsellers’ catalogues and probate inventories.
Having established their “location in life” (Nils-Arvid Bringéus), I will turn to the iconography of English children’s prints with a special focus on national stereotypes. My material comprises mainly broadside ballads, children’s lotteries, scrapbooks and history and geography books for the young. Next to everyday and street scenes, portraits, images of games, animals, landscapes and professions, we can find a surprising amount of politics in the depiction of the French fop, the clumsy Dutchman, the poor Italian singer, the old-fashioned Spaniard and, of course, in the self-image of the wealthy and healthy Englishman.
These stereotypes are cultural expressions in essence. By examining their mechanisms of selecting, reducing, contrasting and repeating, we can arrive at strategies of inclusion and exclusion and draw conclusions about their social efficacy. As the organizers have pointed out, it would be short-sighted to interpret the images merely as a downsized version of mainstream politics and culture. On the contrary, the visual discourse can serve as an example of imagining sameness and difference, for it puts a powerful figure on the mental map of society: the Other. And only by apprehending this – ever changing - figuration of the Other, we can begin to understand the structures of historic and contemporary identity.
Setsuko Noguchi (Princeton University Library)
Emer O'Sullivan (Leuphana University)
Emer O'Sullivan is Professor of English Literature at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. She has published widely in both German and English on comparative literature, image studies, children's literature and translation and has received international recognition for her pioneering work in comparative children's literature studies. Kinderliterarische Komparatistik ( Universitätsverlag C. Winter 2000) won the biennial IRSCL Award for outstanding research in 2001, and Comparative Children's Literature (Routledge 2005) won the Children's Literature Association 2007 Book Award. Her Historical Dictionary of Children’s Literature (Scarecrow Press) came out in 2010, and a book on children's literature in foreign language teaching, Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Fremdsprachenunterricht (co-authored with Dietmar Rösler), in 2013.
“Picturing the World for Children: Early Nineteenth-century Images of Foreign Nations”
In the early nineteenth century, when education in Britain took what we would now call a “pictorial turn”, a substantial market for educational prints and aids was generated. Looking at how foreign nations were represented in recreational and educational material for children on foreign countries at that time, this paper will pay special attention to prints produced for one of the new educational aids developed in the 1830s, the so-called Rudiment Box. As Jill Shefrin shows in her magisterial volume The Dartons (2009), William Darton became one of the first to specialize in educational prints, and his Rudiment Box with its glass-paneled doors and moveable rolls of prints displayed a veritable curriculum in pictures. One of the ten subjects covered by them was ‘Geography’, and the material, beyond being part of the educational arena, reflects the social and political discourses of its time. In the centre of my deliberations is the print “Costumes of Nations for Infant Schools” which presents the costumed representatives of 12 nations.
My approach is founded in Image studies, or Imagology, which investigates the ways in which an image and its historical context are expressed in texts rather than its pretended reference to empirical reality. Observing the context of contemporary history as well as conventions of discourse such as intertextuality, I will look at “Costumes of Nations” as a whole, probing the criteria for selection of these 12 nations rather than any others, at individual images and the traditions of representation of that specific nation, and at pairs of pictures, considering the principle of contrast behind the portrayals. My analysis is of the material itself; how it might have been presented by teachers in the classroom - taken at face value to teach about differences between foreign nations or used as an entertaining and exotic diversion or (most likely) a mixture of both - or how the children responded to them we do not know.
The paper will conclude with two examples of stories for children from a different educational tradition which contested these kinds of images and perspectives on ‘foreignness’. The tale "Travellers' Wonders" from John Aikin and Anna Barbauld's Evenings at Home (1792-1796) and The Little Enquirer. or, Instructive Conversations for Children from Five to Six Years of Age, (Anon 1830) illustrate how children’s literature informed by the Enlightenment ideal of tolerance of different cultural perspectives challenges stereotypical images of nations based on difference.
Lara Saguisag (CUNY-College of Staten Island)
Lara Saguisag has been appointed Assistant Professor in English at the City University of New York-College of Staten Island, where she will begin teaching courses in children's and adolescent literature in Fall 2013. In May 2013, she completed her Ph.D. and became one of the first graduates of Rutgers University-Camden's highly-regarded doctoral program in Childhood Studies. She is currently writing a monograph on representations of childhood in Progressive Era comic strips, a multidisciplinary project that draws from and builds on theories and histories of childhood, comics, humor and visual culture. Her research has been supported and recognized by various fellowships and awards, including a Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship, a Library of Congress Swann Foundation Fellowship and a Lent Award for Graduate Study in Comics. Her articles have appeared in The International Journal of Comic Art, Children's Literature Association Quarterly and The Horn Book. She has also published several children's books in her home country, the Philippines. Her book Children of Two Seasons: Poems for Young People received the New School Writing Program Chapbook Award. She serves on the International Committee of the Children's Literature Association.
“Foreign Yet Familiar: Theorizing the Immigrant Child in Progressive Era Comic Strips, 1896-1912.”
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period marked by the massive influx of immigrants into the United States, many foreign children found themselves on the shores of America. The proliferation of fictive immigrant children in the pages of newspaper comic supplements not only reflected the very visible presence of real immigrant children in the streets of American cities but also expressed the anxiety and fascination that white, middle-class Americans felt for young immigrants.
In this paper, I examine the intersection of Progressive Era discourses on immigration, ethnic difference and childhood, as played out in several comic strips. Through the analysis of series such as R.F. Outcault's “Hogan's Alley” (1895-1896), L.M.G.'s “On the Sidewalks of New York” (1897), Clarence Rigby's "Little Ah Sid, The Chinese Kid" (1904, 1905-1907) and Rudolph Dirks's "The Katzenjammer Kids" (1897-1912), I demonstrate that the comic strips served as a space in which the essence and role of young immigrants were theorized. More particularly, I argue that the strips reveal Anglo-Saxon ambivalence over the figure of the immigrant child. In these humorous, visual-verbal texts, immigrant child characters were depicted as simultaneously foreign and familiar, suspect and sympathetic; the strips encouraged readers to view immigrant children as both aliens and future citizens. On the one hand, these series gestured toward the challenge of assimilating child immigrants. Highlighting and making laughable immigrant child characters' state of otherness, the strips suggested that these children were “too strange” to truly belong in the United States. Moreover, these texts implied that immigrant children were disruptive forces who posed a threat to social order and undermined Anglo-Saxon ideals of childhood. On the other hand, the strips also expressed fascination and admiration for the vigor, resourcefulness and independence of young immigrants. Immigrant child characters emerged as sympathetic figures who could effectively subvert the enemies of the “American” values of democracy and hard work. The characterization of immigrant children as malleable and open to acculturation also reveals a white, middle-class faith that young arrivals bore the potential to become productive American citizens.
I also focus on particular episodes in these series in which relationships and encounters between white native-born children and immigrant children were imagined and interrogated. The strips encouraged white American children to view “small strangers” from a distance, to apprehend them as their inferiors. Yet these texts also suggested that white, middle-class children, who were generally perceived as “softened” by modern life, had much to learn from these energetic, self-sufficient young new arrivals.
Martina Seifert (Lüneburg)
Martina Seifert graduated from Leipzig University, Germany, in English, German, and German as a Foreign Language. During an academic year at York University, Toronto, she studied Canadian literature and culture and started researching the literature of Newfoundland as well as Canadian children’s literature. She worked as an assistant teacher in Cork, Ireland, and participated in a major research project on intercultural encounters in German children’s literature since 1945 at the University of Leipzig. From 2005 to 2011, Martina was the DAAD-lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast; she also served as a board member of the ISSCL and became a founding member of the Irish Postgraduate Children’s Literature Network. After returning to Germany in 2011, she completed her teacher training (PGCE) in Lüneburg, where she currently works as a high school teacher at Gymnasium Bleckede. She is the author of Rewriting Newfoundland Mythology (2000) and co-author of Ent-Fernungen (2006), a two-volume study on interculturality in German children’s literature. For her PhD thesis, which analyses images of Canada in German children’s literature, she was awarded the research scholarship of the IRSCL; it will be published in German in 2013. Her main research interests are the translation of children’s literatures and the interconnection of image studies and intercultural transfer.
“Appropriating the ‘Wild North:’ The Image of Canada and Its Exploitation in German Children's Literature.”
The presentation is based on a longitudinal study of images of Canada in German children’s literature from the mid-nineteenth century until the millennium. Over 500 texts were examined to trace the genesis, development and appropriations of German hetero-images of Canada in the context of culturally and historically changing auto-images.
A study of German images of Canada provides a particularly striking insight into the possible homogeneity of intercultural discourse and the unaltered re-narration and re-mediation of images – in this case of Canada as an endless northern wilderness far beyond the reach of ‘civilization’, populated only by Noble Savages, wild animals and the occasional hardy white male. The presentation will illustrate the striking solidity and perpetuity national images can acquire within literary discourse: Historical changes, even entirely divergent socio-political systems, did not lead to a revision or even challenge of these perennial images. It will, however, also demonstrate the immense variety of interpretations the very same image can be subjected to over the course of time – depending on the changing needs and self-images of the producing culture.
Focusing on those periods in German history which have especially turned to Canada in their literary products, the paper will first trace the growing presence and popularity of Canada as the setting of a new frontier in German juvenile fiction at the end of the nineteenth century, in particular in the aftermath of the Yukon Gold Rush. Given the proclamation of German authors that the Wild West was “gone, but there is the Wild North” (Ross), the paper will apply Leerssen's 'grammar of images' theory by showing that images once attributed to the USA were simply transported north. In the Weimar Republic, Canada was celebrated as one of the major playgrounds for male adolescents, trying to escape the constraints of civilized life. After 1933, this image was readily and effectively functionalized by the National Socialists for their radically different ideological agenda. Proclaimed as a ’forge for healthy human material‘, the appropriation of Canada changed from a place of regression to one of aggression, from an adventure playground to a drill ground, from a hymn of unbound individualism to unconditional subordination. Immediately after 1945, the image of Canada was again reinterpreted by German authors. It seems almost ironic that after just having been functionalized as a military training ground for a ruthless Arian race and a trial battlefield, Canada was now appropriated for the imaginary ‚new start‘ of a traumatized post-War society and thus projected as a haven of purity, a tabula rasa, a place without history and thus without guilt. Such escapist projections, which debunk Canada as a much-needed counter-image to the German self-image, prevail today: Canada is currently appropriated in German children’s literature (and public discourse) as a place of spiritual healing and self-discovery, an ecological paradise.
Jill Shefrin (Trinity College, University of Toronto)
Jill Shefrin (MLS, University of Toronto; FRHisS) is an independent scholar, consultant and rare book librarian specializing in historical children’s books and their bibliography, printed pastimes, and the history of education. Her research focuses on the use of printed pastimes & teaching aids in early modern & nineteenth-century education, particularly for girls, & she has published & lectured extensively on educational ephemera. A librarian with the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books from 1980 to 1996, she is currently a Senior Research Associate in Arts at Trinity College, University of Toronto (2011-14) and an Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Play & Recreation, University of Greenwich. She has taught the Children’s Books course at the University of London Rare Books Summer School since 2008 and is both a member of the Advisory Committee for and Editorial Consultant to, the Grolier Club’s 2014-15 exhibition “One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature.”
She co-edited Educating the Child in Enlightenment Britain (Ashgate 2009) with Mary Hilton (Faculty of Education, Cambridge University) after they had organized a conference of the same name at Cambridge in 2005. She also co-organized the 2011 conference at Princeton University, “Enduring Trifles: Writing the History of Childhood with Ephemera” with Andrea Immel, Curator, Cotsen Children’s Library, as well as “Rethinking the History of Childhood: Narratives, Sources, Debates” with Mary Clare Martin, the latter held at the Centre for the Study of Play & Recreation, University of Greenwich, in January of 2012. Her most recent book, The Dartons: Publishers of Educational Aids, Pastimes & Juvenile Ephemera, 1787-1876 (Cotsen Occasional Press, 2009), has been awarded the Justin G. Schiller Prize (Bibliographical Society of America) and the F. J. Harvey Darton Award, (Children’s Books History Society). It has also been nominated for the Breslauer Prize for Bibliography (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers).
“Pictures for Tarry-at-home Travellers”
As trade and empire expanded over the course of the long eighteenth century, the study of geography became increasingly important for British children. Perceptions of other countries and continents changed substantially between 1650 and 1850. Increasing encounters with cultures outside Europe, the protracted debate over slavery and abolition, and the growing wealth of many Britons engaged in international trade, all played their part in popular representations of the world beyond the shores of Great Britain. As the visual content of books and other publications for children expanded with new printing technologies, children were offered more and more images of the peoples of other nations and the environment in which they lived, including the natural world in more exotic climes. The many images published (as well as written accounts for the juvenile market) offer valuable evidence of popular attitudes to the foreign and exotic, but it is important to recognize the breadth of representations and the extent to which they illustrate changes within British society itself.