No 9 (2017)

Performing the child. Power and politics in children’s literature and culture

In turning our attention to the performance of the child in children’s literature and culture we want to consider the narratives told to children not only as meaning but also as action. Following this, the predominant theoretical starting point in this issue of LIR.journal stems from the interdisci­ plinary field of performance studies as well as from the fact that performativity has turned into a commonly discussed topic in the humanities.1 Hence, the different representations and executions of children and childhood found in children’s literature and culture is here regarded as performative utter­ ances that not merely reflect or describe the world, they also intervenes and participates in the shaping and making of it.2

The articles in this special issue analyse the ideas of children and childhood inscribed and enacted in children’s literature and culture. The question of how the child is performed is addressed not only in relation to the narrative text but also in the combination of different semiotic systems: the visual, the textual, and the presentational acting. By doing so the articles explore the implications and limits of different and alternative visions of what it means to be a child and what childhood is supposed to be.

Table of Contents


Introduction PDF
Anna Nordenstam, Olle Widhe 4–6


The Child in the Forest. Performing the Child in 20th Century Swedish Picture Books PDF
Camilla Brudin Borg, Margaretha Ullström 7–25
Max Lundgren and the Development of Children’s Rights in Swedish Children’s Literature around ’68 PDF
Olle Widhe 26–56
Protection and Agency in Children’s Gothic. Multiple Childhood(s) in Angela Sommer­Bodenburg’s Der kleine Vampir PDF
Peter Kostenniemi 57–77
Performativity and the Construction of Children’s Citizenship in Backa Theatre’s Staging of Lille Kung Mattias (2009/2010) PDF
Sandra Grehn 78–96
A New Niche in Children’s Literature. Norm-­Crit Picture Books in Sweden PDF
Kristina Hermansson, Anna Nordenstam 97–120

ISSN: 2001-2489