Discourses of Internationalism in Children’s Literature

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


For a number of decades now, Otherness has featured as a central concept in cultural and literary studies. Poststructuralist and postcolonial approaches and whiteness studies as well as imagology have examined the construction and representation of different ethnic groups and their implications in lite rature.1 A further recent focus, fueled by the centenary of the First World War, has been on the role of children’s literature in indoctrinating children with nationalist agendas and spreading war propaganda.2 I would like to focus on a seemingly contrary issue, one which, instead of emphasizing the idea of children belonging to specific ethnic or national group, propagates childhood as a space which transcends all borders: the discourse of inter nationalism. Although no longer fashionable today-“there are few present-day invocations to internationalism” (Clavin 5)—it enjoyed tremendous currency in the eras succeeding the First and the Second World Wars.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChild autonomy and child governance in children's literature : Where Children Rule
EditorsChristopher (Kit) Kelen, Björn Sundmark
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group (GB)
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-93164-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-67964-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017