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MBUL501 Construction of Childhood and the Child Reader

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

In this module, students work with historical and culture-specific understandings of the concepts childhood and youth. Special emphasis is placed on how children's and Young Adult (YA) literature constructs notions of gender, the multicultural and the role of the reader. The course has a comparative perspective.

Learning Outcome


After completing the module, the student has knowledge of

  • various perceptions of the interaction between children, text and society in different eras
  • children's and young adult literature in light of recent childhood research
  • children's and young adult literature from a formative perspective


After completing the programme the student is able to

  • explain how children's and young adult literature has developed and changed in different historical and cultural contexts
  • undertake comparative studies of constructions of gender, the multicultural and the child reader in texts for children and young adults
  • problematise canonised texts in children's and young adult literature

General competence

The student

  • can analyse different text types and the text-cultural historical contexts these texts are included in
  • has knowledge of children's and young adult literature in the literary and educational arena
  • can reflect on relevant forms of communication and practices

Entry requirements


Teaching methods

Weekly classes (consisting of lectures and discussions). To ensure a constant progression, active participation is expected; this takes the form of classroom participation, independent text study and presentations based on assigned reflection tasks. It is expected that the students form colloquium groups.

Compulsory learning activities

2 mandatory assignments:

1 written summary (300 words) of a research article from the MBUL501 syllabus.

1 brief oral presentation (3 minutes) of a children's literary text from the MBUL501 syllabus (to be handed in/recorded at Canvas).

Approved mandatory assignments are also valid the following two terms.


25-minute oral exam consisting of: 1) a 15-minute oral presentation in the presence of the examiners and the other students on the course and 2) a 10-minute examination where only the candidate and the examiners are present.

Fourteen days before the exam, students are given a set of problem statements related to the course material. Students will select one problem statement as the starting point for a 15-minute presentation.

The exam is graded A-F. F is a failing grade.

Examination support material


More about examination support material