Constructing Age in Modern Literature

Course Code :2017FLWTLE
Study domain:Literature
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Credits:6
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Vanessa Joosen

3. Course contents *

In this course, we study how literature in English constructs age and various stages in the life course (childhood, adolescence, coming of age, middle age, senescence) narratologically and ideologically. We read literary texts that feature characters of different ages, life stages and/or the process of ageing. The reading lists includes books published for children, adolescents, young adults and adults. The theoretical perspectives are drawn from age studes (including life course studies and childhood studies) on the one hand, and from children’s literature studies on the other. Both fields are characterized by interdisciplinarity, so that the course also addresses carnival theory, psychoanalysis, queer studies, body studies and gender studies to explore how age can be constructed in literary texts.

Reading list (available from De Groene Waterman, Wolstraat 10, Antwerpen, with student discount)

Roald Dahl, Mathilda

Emma Donoghue, Room

David Almond, Kit’s Wilderness

J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Ian McEwan, The Children Act

Philip Roth, Everyman

Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Critical articles will be supplied on Blackboard or via Project Muse.