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Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children's Literature

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Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages304
ISBN (Electronic)9781108529501
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameElements in Publishing and Book Culture
PublisherCambridge University Press

Abstract

How is academia portrayed in children’s literature? This Element ambitiously surveys fictional professors in texts marketed towards children. Professors are overwhelmingly white and male, tending to be elderly scientists who fall into three stereotypes: the vehicle to explain scientific facts, the baffled genius, and the evil madman. By the late twentieth century, the stereotype of the male, mad, muddlehead, called Professor SomethingDumb, is formed in humorous yet pejorative fashion. This Element provides a publishing history of the role of academics in children’s literature, questioning the book culture which promotes the enforcement of stereotypes regarding intellectual expertise in children’s media.

    Research areas

  • children's literature, literary studies, literature, feminism, representation

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