14th Mar 2012 4:30pm-5:30pm
C218, Checkland Building, Falmer
'Is the End of the World the End of Children’s Literature?'
Dr Dave Simpson
School of Education
University of Brighton
Writers’ visions for the causes of the end of the world change over time. In children’s literature, the pandemic virus fears of the early 1970s become the nuclear threat of the 1980s and an environmental apocalypse from the 1990s onwards. Man exploits and destroys the environment with which he co-exists. The end of the world as a fight to the death, military conflict between nation states is now presented as something which is world-wide, ecologically-based and transcending national boundaries. This work in progress paper explores representations of absence, adolescence and adulthood in apocalyptic children’s fiction. For what is adulthood if there is little or no likelihood of becoming an adult?
Dave Simpson works in the School of Education where he teaches on undergraduate ITE (Initial Teacher Education) and post-graduate courses. He has published work on drama in education and is currently working on a collection of essays about the representations of the end of the world in children’s fiction.