Free Events at UBC

Helene Høyrup, Ph.D., of the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark, will be joining UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies as the inaugural Dodson Visiting Professor. She will be in the position from February to April 2013.

Dr. Høyrup is Associate Professor in children’s literature and digital literacy at RSLIS in Copenhagen. She is an international scholar in children’s literature studies and has published extensively in the field. She is particularly interested in the theoretical development of children’s literature scholarship, the interface between children’s literature, art and literature for adults, and the situation of children’s literature and its studies in different nations and regions. Additionally, Dr. Høyrup is an international Hans Christian Andersen scholar and a partner in several Danish, Scandinavian and European research projects on children’s literature and canonicity, and on theories of informal learning with digital media.

Dr. Høyrup is speaking at two free events upcoming at UBC, both open to the public:

The Cultural Construction of Literature for Youth in Denmark: An Insider’s Historical Reading

It has been suggested that children’s literature is “an intersection of two powerful ideological positions: our ideas about childhood and our ideas about literature, ideas often conflicted beyond our knowing” (Lundin 2004: 147). In this talk I shall give an outline of the contextual history of children’s literature in Denmark. In the lack of literary canonization (or, as German researchers phrase this process: decanonization) Danish children’s literature became a cultural battlefield reflecting different agents’ views of childhood and of literature. My talk will give an outline of this contextual history from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales to the postmodern cross-generational aesthetics of today.

Wednesday, March 6th
5:00 to 6:00 pm, Dodson Room
Room 302, Level 3, Chapman Learning Commons
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall

Literature between Bookspace and New Literacy Space: Towards a Connective Ethnography of Children’s Literature and Digital Media
How can the meeting between “old” and “new” media become a fruitful encounter? In the 20th century children’s literature research developed into a theoretically reflexive investigation of the relation between children, childhood and texts. It could be said to have undergone the linguistic “turn,” which has often been seen as a parallel to the emergence of digital media.

Digital media, however, challenge the paradigm of print culture and the theories developed under previous media ecologies. The field of New Literacy has emerged as an interdisciplinary movement aiming at analyzing the processes and “texts” of the emerging digital knowledge system. New Literacy, from a Cultural Studies point of view, can be defined as socially recognized ways of creating, communicating and negotiating meaningful content, as mediated by texts and embedded in d/Discourses (Knobel & Lankshear). The mediation between media, text and user is here studied from primarily a socio-cultural perspective.

The concept of aesthetics, as developed in theories of play, hermeneutics, linguistics, literature and “everyday” aesthetics, seems oddly absent in New Literacy research. With picture books as a case, my paper suggests that children’s literature studies and New Literacy research should be seen as a converging theoretical field. Whereas children’s literature research needs to strengthen its concepts of materiality and mediation, New Literacy research should develop its concept of “text” to also encompass the aesthetic and critical view of knowledge following the linguistic turn.

Wednesday, March 20th
12:00 to 1:00 pm
Lillooet Room, Room 301, Level 3, Chapman Learning Commons
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall

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