"The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope." (Source: Shaun Tan website)
In this course, students examine literature told to or written for children and adolescents. The course takes an historic, generic and thematic approach and asks how children and their literature have been and are conceptualized as we move into the twenty-first century. Is children’s literature a cultural artefact or a means by which culture defines itself? What is the changing nature of the adult-child relationship? How do we discern and evaluate a poetics of Children’s Literature? Students examine oral tradition as well as the written tradition and screen adaptations.