Skip to content | Change text size

ENH4210 - Writing the Child

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Rebecca Do Rozario


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit will examine historical and cultural changes in the representation of childhood and the child figure in a range of texts from the romantic to the modern eras. Prose fictions, some addressed to adult readers, some to child readers, will be explored for the ways in which discourses about the 'child' intersect with discourses about notions of origins; gender and sexuality; class, social place, power and subjectivity; race, the family and the home; education of mind and body; and growing up. The subject will employ poststructuralist, semiotic and discourse theory, and will have a feminist emphasis.


It is intended that students undertaking this course should develop:

  1. Knowledge and an understanding of the historicity and cultural constructedness of the child figure.
  2. A detailed knowledge and understanding of traditional, romantic, modernist and postmodern representations of the child.
  3. A detailed knowledge and understanding of the iconography of childhood.
  4. Critical skills pertaining to deconstruction, and the specific ability to deconstruct discourses of childhood in a range of texts for adults and children.
  5. An understanding of the ideological relationship between discourses of childhood and western discourses of gender, class and race.
  6. A knowledge of narratology and reception theory, and the skills to analyse and interpret such textual elements as narrator, implied reader and narratee in cultural context.
  7. The capacity to meet the general learning objectives of the department.


Two seminar papers (2000 words): 40%
Essay (2000 words): 20%
Essay (3000 words): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week