New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Literature: Utopian Transformations

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Children's texts are highly responsive to social change and to global politics, and are implicated in shaping the values of children and young people. New World Orders, now in paperback for the first time, shows how texts for children and young people have responded to the cultural, economic and political movements of the last fifteen years. With a focus on international children's texts produced between 1988 and 2006, the authors discuss how utopian and dystopian tropes are pressed into service to project possible futures to child readers. The book considers what these texts have to say about globalization, neocolonialism, environmental issues, pressures on families and communities, and the idea of the posthuman. This fascinating volume is the first thorough study of how children's books imagine and propose possible worlds and societies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every now and then a book comes along that changes a discipline: New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Literature steps out of the groove of debates in Children's Literature Studies and sets in motion a set of new ideas and areas for consideration. It draws attention to the way narrative fictions for children are implicated in shaping current thinking and aspirations for the future, and relates them to pressing issues and current political and philosophical debates. Crucially, this is an energising, optimistic and courageous book by four fine scholars; it will set new agendas for those who produce and study children's literature." — Professor Kimberley Reynolds, Newcastle University, UK 
"A well modulated, coherent monograph which reveals the strengths of all the contributors. The care that has been taken in the editing phase to create the sense of a unified vantage point is worthy of praise in its own right." — Lydia Kokkola, International Research Society for Children's Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230308565
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

CLARE BRADFORD is Professor of Literature at Deakin University, Australia. Her 2001 book, Reading Race, won both the ChLA Book Award and the IRSCL Award. She is a co-author of New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Literature (2008). Her most recent book is Unsettling Narratives: Postcolonial Readings of Children's Literature (2007).

KERRY MALLAN is Professor in Education at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her co-edited book Youth Cultures: Texts, Images and Identities is an IRSCL Honour Book (2003). She is a co-author of New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Literature (2008). Her most recent book is Gender Dilemmas in Children's Fiction (2009).

JOHN STEPHENS is Professor in English at Macquarie University, Australia. He is the author of Language and Ideology in Children's Fiction (a ChLA Honour Book) and edited Ways of Being Male (an IRSCL Honour Book). His research deals with the impact of cultural forms on children's literature.
ROBYN MCCALLUM is a Lecturer in English Literature at Macquarie University, Australia, where she works in children's literature, with a particular focus on adolescent fiction and visual media. Her book Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction received the IRSCL Honour book award in 2001. She is also co-author, with John Stephens, of Retelling Stories, Framing Culture.

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Table of Contents

A New World Order or a New Dark Age?
Children's Texts, New World Orders and Transformative Possibilities
Masters, Slaves and Entrepreneurs: Globalised Utopias and New World Order(ing)s
The Lure of the Lost Paradise: Postcolonial Utopias
Reweaving Nature and Culture: Reading Ecocritically
'Radiant with Possibility': Communities and Utopianism
Ties that Bind: Reconceptualising Home and Family
The Struggle to be Human in a Posthuman World

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