Advanced

A cognitive analysis of characters in swedish and anglophone children's fantasy Literature

Alkestrand, Malin LU and Owen, Christopher (2018) In International Research in Children's Literature 11(1). p.65-79
Abstract

In Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction, Marek C. Oziewicz argues, 'it is possible to study scripts through the lens of the author's cognition, through the reader's cognition, or as a textual matter with an implied author and reader' (9-10). Here we propose a fourth method for studying scripts in children's literature: as a textual matter. Unlike previous research in the field, we argue that neither the implied author nor the implied or real reader's cognition is necessary for a cognitive analysis to offer insights about a literary text. A cognitive analysis of characters can demonstrate how each character's cognitive embodiment of their intersectional subject position contributes to the progression of a text's plot and themes. By... (More)

In Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction, Marek C. Oziewicz argues, 'it is possible to study scripts through the lens of the author's cognition, through the reader's cognition, or as a textual matter with an implied author and reader' (9-10). Here we propose a fourth method for studying scripts in children's literature: as a textual matter. Unlike previous research in the field, we argue that neither the implied author nor the implied or real reader's cognition is necessary for a cognitive analysis to offer insights about a literary text. A cognitive analysis of characters can demonstrate how each character's cognitive embodiment of their intersectional subject position contributes to the progression of a text's plot and themes. By analysing the mimetic, synthetic and thematic dimensions of character (Phelan), we maintain an ontological distinction between humans and characters - a prerequisite for applying cognitive theories to characters. In order to demonstrate the broad applicability of our approach, we analyse the cognitive scripts of the protagonists in two portal-quest fantasies from two different countries. Taliah Pollack's Saga Swärd: Omskakare och världsresenär [Saga Sword: world shaker and traveller] was published in Sweden in 2012; Tahereh Mafi's Furthermore dates from 2016 and was published in the US.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Character, Children's literature, Cognitive theory, Fantasy, Intersectionality
in
International Research in Children's Literature
volume
11
issue
1
pages
15 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049340576
ISSN
1755-6198
DOI
10.3366/ircl.2018.0254
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a1ad522-fe18-4e80-b586-8670c9e6e55d
date added to LUP
2018-07-13 10:32:46
date last changed
2018-07-13 10:32:46
@article{0a1ad522-fe18-4e80-b586-8670c9e6e55d,
  abstract     = {<p>In Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction, Marek C. Oziewicz argues, 'it is possible to study scripts through the lens of the author's cognition, through the reader's cognition, or as a textual matter with an implied author and reader' (9-10). Here we propose a fourth method for studying scripts in children's literature: as a textual matter. Unlike previous research in the field, we argue that neither the implied author nor the implied or real reader's cognition is necessary for a cognitive analysis to offer insights about a literary text. A cognitive analysis of characters can demonstrate how each character's cognitive embodiment of their intersectional subject position contributes to the progression of a text's plot and themes. By analysing the mimetic, synthetic and thematic dimensions of character (Phelan), we maintain an ontological distinction between humans and characters - a prerequisite for applying cognitive theories to characters. In order to demonstrate the broad applicability of our approach, we analyse the cognitive scripts of the protagonists in two portal-quest fantasies from two different countries. Taliah Pollack's Saga Swärd: Omskakare och världsresenär [Saga Sword: world shaker and traveller] was published in Sweden in 2012; Tahereh Mafi's Furthermore dates from 2016 and was published in the US.</p>},
  author       = {Alkestrand, Malin and Owen, Christopher},
  issn         = {1755-6198},
  keyword      = {Character,Children's literature,Cognitive theory,Fantasy,Intersectionality},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {65--79},
  series       = {International Research in Children's Literature},
  title        = {A cognitive analysis of characters in swedish and anglophone children's fantasy Literature},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2018.0254},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2018},
}