Children’s Literature

Children’s Literature is an emerging field in literary studies. The undergraduate specialization provides the student with a solid background in the historical, cultural, artistic, and critical dimensions of literature written for, and/or read by/to children. The University of Florida is an excellent place to develop this concentration because of the number of faculty in the English department who are interested in and actively teaching courses in the field, and because of the extensive holdings of children’s books in the Smathers libraries (the world-famous Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature alone has over 90,000 volumes from the 18th century to the present). This concentration serves as a foundation for careers in publishing and writing for children, in education, and in media, as well as for graduate work and academic careers in English or education. Children’s literature is also a valuable complement to majors other than English, such as anthropology, fine arts, journalism, history, and the social sciences. The English department offers courses in both the theory and writing of children’s literature.

The basic core curriculum in the field should include the undergraduate sequence offered by the English department:

These four courses include:

  • LIT 4331 Children’s Literature
  • LIT 4332 Literature for Young Children
  • LIT 4333 Literature for the Adolescent
  • LIT 4334 Golden Age of Children’s Literature

At least two other courses with overlapping concerns should be added to this core group. The following is an example:

  • LIT 4320 Introduction to Folklore
  • LIT 4322 The Folktale

To supplement these required courses, students should take four additional courses that would provide a broader view of English, American, and World Literatures and introduce some basic approaches of critical theory.

Some courses from other disciplines (outside electives) may prove helpful to this concentration:

  • ANT 3433 Culture & Personality
  • ANT 3610 Language & Culture
  • ARH 2002 Introduction to Art: The Artistic Experience
  • ARH 2050 Introduction to the Principles & History of Art 1
  • ARH 2051 Introduction to the Principles & History of Art 2
  • DEP 3003 Developmental Psychology
  • DEP 4305 Adolescent Psychology
  • GET 2250 The Tales of King Arthur

Faculty

Department of English faculty who regularly teach courses in this model include: