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Canon Formation

Seminar für Anglistik
Philosophische Fakultät



Canon Formation and Social Imaginaries in British Fiction for Children and Young Adults



 DFG-financed Project No. MU-2357/4-1




Based on the political theories with regard to the imagination as social practice, which functions as the foundation of collective identities, this projects intends to make use of this approach for questions of the canon formation in British fiction for children and young adults. Accordingly, the imaginations “Europe”, “democracy” and “secularism” are going to be discussed within the frame of subprojects. A diachronic and synchronic analysis will examine, how these concepts are negotiated in British children’s and young adult literature from the 18th century until today and they serve as a foundation for the moral order and social practices. Since these narrative modes significantly contribute to a collective modern European identity according to Taylor, it is to be seen whether those texts deemed to be canonical in British children’s and young adult literature partake in the respective social imaginaries of West European cultures.  Hence, this project aims at positioning the research of children’s and young adult literature within contemporary cultural studies theories with a decidedly political and ethical focus. What is more, the project will interrogate the cultural functionalisation of the canon.



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