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Wonderland: 100 Years of Children's Literature (Module)

Module description

This module is intended to give you the opportunity, as an undergraduate student studying English Literature and/or History, to explore 100 years of children’s literature, starting in the twentieth century and finishing in the present day. It will offer an introduction to an exciting range of texts (fairy tales, fantasies, fables, adventure stories and nonsense rhymes), and will encourage discussions and debates about the uses children’s literature makes of different media: visual, sonic, tactile, filmic and digital. In addition to lectures and seminars, there will be the chance to view manuscripts in London’s rich archives, to visit museums, and to investigate how the capital’s sites and spaces have inspired the creation of imaginative worlds. The module will develop your knowledge of a variety of interpretative approaches, including psychoanalysis, Marxism, gender theory, narratology and new historicism. It will also have a strong creative component where you will be given the chance to devise, and perform, your own children’s stories.

This module will consist of a minimum of 45 contact hours with teaching taking place between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday. This is the 2018 timetable but please note that content and timings are subject to change.

Last summer the King's Summer Programmes collaborated with the Faculty of Arts & Humanities to run two career panels for students enrolled on a culture module. They were moderated by King's academics from the School, and the panellists included professionals and King's alumni. 

Learning outcomes and objectives

By the end of the module, you should have:

  • developed close-reading techniques and an ability to analyse texts, images, and film, as well as use literary theories and knowledge of historical contexts to present interpretations of key texts in a written essay.
  • gained the ability to use the theoretical approaches developed in a practical way: in the writing of a short creative piece with a critical commentary. 
  • broadened your understanding of the genre of children’s literature, as well as increased your knowledge of twentieth century cultural, political and social history; modernism and postmodernism.
  • Increased your awareness of the industries attached to children’s literature; its importance to London’s cultural heritage and cultural capital. 

Staff information

Taught by the Department of English, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, King's College London

Teaching pattern

  • Lectures
  • Seminars and tutorials
  • London walks and visits to key institutions and museums
  • Private study

Module assessment - more information

  • One essay  (75%)
  • One creative writing piece with critical commentary of 1,000 to 1,300 words (25%)

Key information

Module code 4ZSS0093

Credit level 4

Assessment coursework

Credit value Classes can often be taken for credit towards degrees at other institutions, and are examined to university standards. To receive credit for King's summer classes, contact your home institution to ask them to award external credit. This class is equivalent to an undergraduate degree module and usually awarded 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS.

Semester summer session 1

Study abroad module No