Historical novels and cultural encounters

    Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning (abstract)


    Background: In my licentiate thesis The Reading of Fiction and Historical Awareness in Pre-Teenage Children (2007) I studied 11-year-olds reading Maj Bylock's fictional historical trilogy about the Viking era. In my continued work I analyse these novels: Drakskeppet (1997), Det gyllene svärdet (1999), and Borgen i fjärran (1999). Maj Bylock says that she reflects the present time in her historical texts and this is easier to do when events are placed several hundred years back in time. All irrelevant details may then be removed and timeless human issues instead given prominence. One human issue can be cultural encounters. The aim of the text analysis is to show the textual conditions for reading, which may help pupils become involved in their own historical awareness and identify with the characters in the novels. I study two particular functions of the historical novel: impressions of knowledge and analogy. Focusing on the main character Petite's development and intersectionality in order to compare gender, ethnicity, and class, I use postcolonial concepts to describe cultural encounters generated by migration, diaspora, and hybrid identity. I further portray female role models as fictional characters. This work focuses mainly on gender as a road towards empowerment, a term used by Brown/St.Clair about historical fiction. From the concepts above and ideas about how cultural encounters can be portrayed I analyse the cultural contexts in which Petite finds herself from the age of a young girl to adulthood, a story of coming of age. I will describe three examples of cultural encounters concerning analogy in the novels.


    Konferens19th Biennial Congress of IRSCL / International Research Society for Children's Literature hosted by Institut für Jugendbuchforschung / Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 8–12 August 2009
    Period80-01-01 → …

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