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Loraine Fletcher

Political readings of Treasure Island are rare, and of fairly recent date. David H. Jackson’s account, ‘Treasure Island as a Late-Victorian Adults’ Novel’, identifies a strong element of class antagonism. Against Robert Louis Stevenson’s claim that his early romances are amoral and ahistorical, Jackson proposes that ‘Treasure Island is a simplified account of eighteenth-century hierarchical society’, where ‘the premium virtue is duty – unquestioning loyalty to the hierarchy’, and in which Stevenson promotes ‘firm and conservative social values’. For Jackson, Treasure Island is mainly about good and bad children as defined by obedience to or disrespect for authority figures, engaging ‘the reader’s personal nostalgia for his or her own childhood’. In her postcolonial work Problematic Shores, Diana Loxley also counters the traditional view of this novel as a timeless romance. She finds that it is ‘in fact deeply marked by its moment of historical production in the heyday of Victorian imperialism’, and she convincingly provides ‘the colonial context within which Treasure Island should be read and discussed’.

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Handmade Identities

Girls, Dolls and DIY

April Renée Mandrona

This article examines the connection between two discrete areas of inquiry—the study of dolls as it relates to the identity of young girls, and the contemporary DIY (do-it-yourself) craft movement. I identify how the activity of DIY doll-making might be useful for thinking about what it means to be a girl in relation to its offering a departure from the hyper-commercialized, ready-made dolls of the twenty-first century. The commercial doll has existed alongside its counterpart, the homemade doll, since the beginning of industrialization. In different ways both forms of the doll have played a significant role in the lives of young girls and they continue to shape both collective and individual identities associated with what we think of as being a girl. Tracing the act of doll-making and the residual influence of craft movements in my own childhood, I explore this notion of dynamic identity formation: I examine doll-making as a medium for artistic creation and narrative development with the potential to transform girlhood identities.

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Introduction

New Perspectives in Children's Film Studies

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

The study of children’s films is a complex and demanding issue, involving a range of critical, educational, psychological, cultural, institutional, and textual aspects. “Children’s films” can be a broad and ambiguous term; there are films aimed at children, films about childhood, and films children watch regardless of whether they are children’s films or films targeted toward adults. The rise of an expanding children’s film industry (including the accompanying merchandizing products) in the United States and many European countries presents a further challenge to the study of children’s films. In some countries, children’s films are included in the general school curriculum; this indicates that children’s films are a key part of children’s culture that requires educational attention. Another fact to which the inclusion of children’s films in school curricula points is the crucial role of these films in the development of media literacy, due to the fact that children come to recognize and understand the typical features of films by means of a gradual process which takes a substantial amount of time. The acquisition of a “film language” presupposes the ability to comprehend the symbolic meanings of images, the close relationship, upon which films depend, between a moving image, sound, and speech, and prototypical properties of films, such as shots, zooms, cuts, camera perspective, and voice-over.

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Surviving Dehumanizing Times

Life Journeys across Borderlands of Memory and Deception; Michal Giedroyc and Ryszard Kapuscinski

Ignacy-Marek Kaminski

This article combines an auto-ethnographic approach with literary criticism and applied anthropology. It is about the lives of two men whose journeys through the major events of the twentieth century via different routes and moral choices suggest that literary ends do not always justify the means. Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007), a world-renowned Polish journalist-turned-bestselling author, personally witnessed twenty-seven revolutions and military coups. His travel accounts stretch over five continents and have been widely recognized for their poignant dissection of the human condition. However, recent biographical details and examination of Kapuscinski's reporting methods by social researchers and field anthropologists have raised questions about the credibility and ethics of his works. By comparing his lifework and that of the lesser known Polish cross-cultural traveler exiled to Britain, author Michal Giedroyc (b. 1929), this article contextualizes political and personal dilemmas of both writers. They were born 150 kilometers apart in the multi-ethnic eastern Polish borderlands (now in Lithuania and Belarus). Their childhoods were similarly traumatized by the Nazi-Soviet division of Poland in September 1939. Both of their life journeys brought them into a united Europe in 2005 as Polish and British citizens, respectively.

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'Yidishe Dikhterins'

The Emergence of Modern Women's Poetry in Yiddish and Rokhl Korn's Poetic Debut

Heather Valencia

The 1920s saw the debut of a considerable number of female poets writing in Yiddish in Europe and the United States of America. This article briefly considers the emergence of modern Yiddish women's poetry, and the importance of Ezra Korman's Yidishe dikhterins, an anthology of their work published in Chicago in 1928, before turning to one of the poets represented there, Rokhl H. Korn. The article considers her unusual family background and upbringing on a farm in rural Poland, which fostered the development of her poetic talent. Through analysis of several significant poems, the character of her early work is revealed: a combination of deep empathy with the natural world, free expression of female sexuality, and a sensitive evocation of the lives and emotions of the people of her childhood village, both Poles and Jews. Her later poetry incorporates the Holocaust and the pain of exile, but the more controlled work of her maturity is rooted in the rich and passionate poetry of her youth. One of the leading female Yiddish lyric poets of the 20th century, Korn exemplifies the freedom to express individual creativity and female sensibility which women writers in Yiddish discovered in the inter-war years.

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Michael Atkinson and Michael Kehler

There has been a dramatic rise in public, and particularly the media, attention directed at concerns regarding childhood obesity, and body shape/contents/images more broadly. Yet amidst the torrential call for increased attention on so-called “body epidemics” amongst youth in Canada and elsewhere, links between youth masculinities and bodily health (or simply, appearance) are largely unquestioned. Whilst there is a well-established literature on the relationship between, for example, body image and marginalized femininities, qualitative studies regarding boys and their body images (and how they are influenced within school settings) remain few and far between. In this paper, we offer insight into the dangerous and unsettled spaces of high school locker-rooms and other “gym zones” as contexts in which particular boys face ritual (and indeed, systematic) bullying and humiliation because their bodies (and their male selves) simply do not “measure up.” We draw on education, masculinities, health, and the sociology of bodies literature to examine how masculinity is policed by boys within gym settings as part of formal/informal institutional regimes of biopedagogy. Here, Foucault’s (1967) notion of heterotopia is drawn heavily upon in order to contextualize physical education class as a negotiated and resisted liminal zone for young boys on the fringes of accepted masculinities in school spaces.

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Alienation, Ambivalence and Identity

Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words

Mohammad Shafiqul Islam

Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest book, In Other Words, is an autobiographical text that highlights the author’s journey to a new land and language. She grows up in America, communicates in Bengali with her parents during her early childhood and uses English in school; a sense of ambivalence about language dawns in her at this time. Her parents insist that Bengali be a dominant language in her life, but she falls in love with English, which later becomes her own language and the medium of her literary writing. During her doctoral studies, she feels an impulse to learn Italian and desperately strives to speak and write in that language. In Other Words, originally written in Italian, is the ultimate outcome of her aspirations to learn Italian. As the author switches from one language to another, from Bengali to English, and then from English to Italian, she forms an ambivalent sense of separation and proximity. This article seeks to explore Lahiri’s love for language, her sense of alienation and belonging, loss and achievement, and her search for identity and metamorphosis.

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Morag Shiach

This article will explore the imaginative, philosophical and political relations between human labour and selfhood in a central fictional text of the 1930s: Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy A Scots Quair. James Leslie Mitchell, writing under the pseudonym of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, published the three volumes that make up this trilogy between 1932 and 1934. The first, Sunset Song (1932) develops narrative and symbolic resources for the representation of the economic and cultural history of farming communities in North-East Scotland from 1911 to the end of the First World War (with a formally inventive prelude that reaches back to the Norman Conquest). This novel is centrally concerned with the developing consciousness of Chris Guthrie, a farmer’s daughter, and much of its free-indirect narrative style offers glimpses into her perceptions, fears, and desires as she moves from childhood to early adulthood. The second novel, Cloud Howe (1933), shows the pressure on community and on continuity as Chris moves with her second husband and her son to a small industrial town in the 1920s. It explores the efforts towards collectivity as well as the social and psychic costs of faith, as Chris and her family try to sustain relationships and histories in the conflictual and rapidly changing social relationships of Scotland in the 1920s. The final novel, Grey Granite (1933) follows the logic of the first two novels in moving to the city. Chris’s son Ewan acts out the logic of intense identification with the impersonal demands of the collective, a psychological and social adjustment that is signalled through the symbolic centrality of rocks and minerals to the novel, while Chris struggles to survive her financially precarious identity as an impoverished widow.

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Interrogating the Meanings of Dolls

New Directions in Doll Studies

Miriam Forman-Brunell

The articles in this issue demonstrate that dolls are ubiquitous cultural forms central to girlhood and young womanhood. Yet understanding the historical and contemporary significance of dolls is a relatively recent development. Th e age-old trivialization of girls and devaluation of youth cultures led to the customary disregard of dolls as legitimate sources of documentary evidence even among scholars. It was not until the late nineteenth century that changing notions of childhood first gave rise to research on children, and a new appreciation of the meanings of play. In 1896, G. Stanley Hall, the founder of the child-study movement, a professor of psychology, and president of Clark University, co-authored with A.C. Ellis the pioneering, “A Study of Dolls,” in which he argued that doll play taught girls key lessons in femininity and maternity. Although Hall argued that “the educational value of toys was enormous” (160), dolls once again lapsed into scholarly obscurity. It was during the late 1930s that Mamie Phipps Clark, then a Master’s student in psychology, used dolls to study the self-esteem of African American children. Th e subsequent doll studies she conducted with her husband, Kenneth Clark, played a role in the 1954 landmark desegregation decision, yet failed to perpetuate doll research. It was on the (high) heels of Barbie who debuted a few years after Brown v. Board of Education, that dolls became the focus of a lively (and still on-going) discourse among parents and pundits but not among academics about their social meanings in the lives of girls.

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Alexis Chabot

In , Sartre elevates the premature death of his father to the rank of a providential event which, by depriving him of a Super-Ego and relieving him of any legacy, consigned him to contingency and condemned him to be free. In this way, Sartre derives his uniqueness from this happy lack, this salutary void, i.e. a negated father, and casts himself in the role of an Aeneas liberated from the weight of his Anchises. Fatherless son, Sartre was nonetheless condemned to return incessantly to a father who was destined to remain imaginary. The omnipresence of paternal figures in his oeuvre, from “Childhood of a Leader” to by way of and , is the expression of a double project, as systematic as it is paradoxical: to incarnate the Father, interrogate him and place him centre-stage—as he does with Flaubert's father—in order to eliminate all the better, through an unrelenting prosecution, that of which the Father is, in Sartre's view, the crystallization: the past, inheritance, the temptation of inauthenticity, the alienation of freedom by a foreign power. The Sartrean Father reveals in a privileged way the heart-rending paradoxes of freedom.

French Dans Les Mots, J.-P. Sartre hisse la mort précoce de son père à la hauteur d'un événement providentiel qui, le privant de Surmoi et le délestant de tout héritage, le livra à la contingence et le condamna à être libre. Ainsi Sartre tire sa singularité de ce manque heureux, de ce vide salutaire, un père nié, et se dépeint en Enée libéré du poids de son Anchise. Fils sans père, Sartre n'en fut pas moins condamné à revenir sans fin à ce père voué à demeurer imaginaire : l'omniprésence des figures paternelles dans son œuvre, de L'Enfance d'un chef à L'Idiot de la famille, en passant par Le Scénario Freud et Les Séquestrés d'Altona, est l'expression d'un double projet, aussi systématique que paradoxal : incarner le Père, l'interroger et le mettre en scène - ainsi du père de Flaubert -, pour mieux liquider, par une mise en procès permanente, ce dont la figure du Père est, à ses yeux, la cristallisation : le passé, l'héritage, la tentation de l'inauthenticité, l'aliénation de la liberté par une puissance étrangère. Le Père sartrien se révèle dès lors comme le révélateur privilégié des paradoxes déchirants de la liberté.