Children's Literature: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Beyond (SLAVIC 173)
This course traverses the world of Russian and Eastern European literature for children. In our look at a wide variety of children's cultural artifacts (from text to film), we will analyze the ways in which stories for children, and stories about children, form the foundation for literacy and cultural education. We will be transported by the magic of fairy tales as we compare the Brothers Grimm to Russian folk tales. We will analyze pedagogical and artistic methods in illustrated primers, picture books, and magazines made for American and Soviet youth. We will examine the media and politics that shape the adaptation of oral storytelling to the animation of the silver screen. Through these and many other sites of comparison between Russia, Eastern Europe and world traditions, we seek to understand the specific cultural codes of childhood in its historical development, as well as what might constitute a universal notion of being a child. No knowledge of Russian is required.