About this course

English writers such as Frances Hodgson Burnett, CS Lewis, and JK Rowling have enthralled readers with the magical spaces of the Secret Garden, Narnia, and Hogwarts. Using a combination of literary analysis and creative writing, this course will explore the variety of places in which literary adolescents come of age: the magical other world; the garden; the mental hospital; the city; one’s own mind; and the dystopic metropolis. How do these different places shape identity in childhood and adolescence? How do they help usher adolescents into adulthood? And how, as writers, do we construct our own captivating spaces?

Through our reading of children’s and young adult literature (including The Secret Garden, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and contemporary works by Suzanne Collins, Zadie Smith and others), we will investigate how our understanding of childhood and adolescence is moulded and defined by adult writers’ representations of them. Reading and discussion of books will alternate with writing workshops, with prompts linked to the readings and designed to increase students’ understanding of the texts, as well as to improve their own writing process.

Our study trip takes us to London, to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, ‘The Making of Harry Potter’, and to the Oxford home of CS Lewis.

Professor: Kabi Hartman, Teaching Professor, English, Franklin & Marshall College, PA Email: kabi.hartman@fandm.edu


Subject Areas

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