Universität Trier
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Anna Weinand

Anna Weinand
 

Dissertation

A Voice of Their Own: A Childist Reading of Child-Narrators in Canadian Novels

(Supervisor: Folke Gernert, Trier)

This dissertation examines the construction and depiction of child-narrators in Canadian novels. Against the background of a tendency to read child-characters and child-narrators as symbols (e.g. of the nation) or as innocent, blank spaces, my aim is to read the narrators as proper individuals with a voice of their own. Drawing on theoretical approaches from childhood studies, gender and queer studies and postcolonial studies, I explore how child-narrators are positioned as others in the world that surrounds them. Moreover, by applying a childist approach to these voices, I intend to explore their attempts to challenge this very position and the hierarchies and power structures they are subjected to. By applying a child-centered approach to the narrative voices, my intention is to examine the narrators’ perception of self and of their position as ‘child’ in the world that surrounds them.

Nieuwenhuys, Olga (2012): “Theorizing Childhood(s): Why we need postcolonial perspectives”, in: Childhood 20:1, 3-8.