I've been reading the amazing Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins recently. It is for my PhD research, but I like to think that I would read it anyway. Collins has stated in interviews that she was inspired to write it after flicking between a reality TV show and the Iraq war on TV, and it has certainly made me think a lot about media control, totalitarian states and our seeming preoccupation with undeserved celebrity status.
This brings me to the purpose of this blog. I have found myself defending the subject of my research to fellow academics on a couple of occasions recently. There are those who don't see the relevance or importance of literature research at all. The PhD student who expressed this point in an extremely, let's say, robust fashion (not from my University, I hasten to add!) is a scientist. He seemed to value only empirical research, and really couldn't see the contribution to knowledge that my PhD can make.
What I find more odd is the attitude of some fellow literature researchers. Children's literature does not seem to be valued in the way that literature for adults is. Even some literature researchers have expected me to be looking at the literature from a purely utilitarian perspective, in order to teach children to read, or as a tool for developing their social values. Some expected me to be looking at "classic" children's literature. Interestingly, even some cultural studies colleagues (who one might expect to be more open minded since their areas of academic interest are frequently dismissed as ephemera) found it difficult to understand my preoccupation with fantasy literature and with texts aimed at 10-16 year olds.
I will blog about novels that particularly interest me. I hope to interact with fellow fantasy fans, and am always interested in recommendations!
A blog mostly about children's reading and literature. A note on ages: I am interested in children's literature from an adult, academic perspective, as well as my own enjoyment. However, many of my readers have children and I thought this may be useful. Please use my age banding as a very rough guide for minimum ages- this is sometimes due to content and sometimes accessibility of text.
Due to time pressures, I am unable to commit to reviewing books at the moment. However, please feel free to recommend or discuss by tweeting @MsTick68 or commenting on here. Thank you!
Friday, 12 November 2010
It's all the rage these days...
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Delighted you're doing this, keep us posted!ReplyDelete
You are now on my 'to read' list! Thanks for sharing....I await your future posts with baited breath..ReplyDelete
Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm mulling over Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and China Mieville at the moment, so another post to come soon.ReplyDelete