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ERI Talk - Macarena García-González: "Children's literature, difficult subjects and our adultism"

  • January 21st, 2023
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January 27, 2023. 12:00h. Online session. Language: Spanish.

Children's literature, difficult subjects and our adultism

Macarena García-González

University of Glasgow and University Pompeu Fabra


In recent decades, literature for children and adolescents has increasingly explored difficult or controversial topics such as war, domestic violence, poverty, xenophobia, sexism, racism or death. The concept of "challenging books" allows us to name those texts that defy certain adult conventions about what approaches are appropriate to be read by children, but what do readers say about these books? What do they consider appropriate? What types of texts do they value most? Post-qualitative research allows us to explore these questions, opening space for other, less adultist ways of knowing. In the research "Emotional and literary repertoires for childhood" (Fondecyt 2018-2022) we work with cultural studies of affect and other approaches from the humanities and anthropology to examine the ways in which socioemotional education is addressed through reading and reading promotion. In the project CHILDCULTURES. Challenging Anthropocentrism, Adultism and Other Exclusions with Children's Literature Scholarship (a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Incoming Fellowship funded by UKRI) we advance these questions with participatory methodologies to ask how do we value and recommend certain texts? How do and can these valuing practices relate to paradigms of social justice?



Macarena García-González is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow and University Pompeu Fabra. She holds a PhD in social anthropology and cultural studies from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and an MA in cultural studies from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. She directed one of the research lines of the Center for Advanced Studies in Educational Justice (CJE) of the Catholic University and the research project "Repertorios Emocionales y Literarios para la Infancia" (Fondecyt 11180070). She is the author of numerous articles in specialized journals on literature, culture, childhood and education, as well as the monographs Origin Narratives. The Stories We Tell Children About International Adoption and Immigration (Routledge, 2017) and Enseñando a sentir. Repertorios éticos en la ficción infantil (Metales Pesados, 2021).