Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature

Coats, Karen, Davis, Robert A., Dorcas Yung, Faye, Druker, Elina (red.), Forrester, Kathleen, Hakim, Herdiana, Joosen, Vanessa, Karlskov Skyggebjerg, Anna, Kérchy, Anna, King, Helen, Odumosu, Temi, Österlund, Mia (red.), Persson, Ann-Sofie, Reay, Emma, Simpson, Joshua, Sundmark, Björn (red.), Swietlicki, Mateusz, Warnqvist, Åsa (red.), Weld, Sara Pankenier, Weldy, Lance, Westin, Boel, Wu, Andrea Mei-Ying

291 kr


[English description below] Hur bejakas tystnaden i Mumindalen? Vad fyller vaggvisan egentligen för funktion? Hur ser barnboksutgivningen ut i dagens Hongkong? Och vilka strategier tar en filur som Karlsson på taket till för att tysta andra? Det är några av de frågor som tas upp i en ny internationell forskarantologi om tystnad och om att bli tystad i barn- och ungdomslitteraturen.

Forskarantologin Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature består av 19 bidrag från forskare från hela världen om tystnadens och tystandets centrala roll i barn- och ungdomslitteraturens historia. Bokens skribenter diskuterar vem som får tala och vem som inte får komma till tals, hur tystnad tar sig uttryck estetiskt och hur röster kan tystas av politiska eller kulturella skäl. Boken är ett samarbete mellan Svenska barnboksinstitutet, Malmö universitet, Stockholms universitet och Åbo Akademi i Finland och är redigerad av Elina Druker, Björn Sundmark, Åsa Warnqvist och Mia Österlund.

The concept of silence and silencing evokes questions of self in relation to others, of language and of communication, even of what it is that makes us human. It contains numerous interpretative possibilities, all highly relevant to the study of children’s literature. Focusing on silence and silencing helps us unpack the multiple ways in which books for young readers function and how complex and varied — and sometimes paradoxical — children’s literature is as a field. The relationship between children’s literature and silence suggests an intriguing tension between voicing and silencing, between speech and the unspoken. While books tend to be considered a liberating and empowering force in children’s lives, they can also be implicated in a widespread and deeply rooted discourse of silence and silencing. The theme also highlights how books for young readers can both challenge and reinforce notions about which subjects are tabooed or censored, which adds further weight to the necessity of examining the silences and lacunae within children’s literature.

Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature addresses the multiple facets of silence and silencing, how silence is narrated, aetonormative silences, structural and societal silences and silencing, and trauma and traumatic silences. The book is edited by Elina Druker, professor at Stockholm University; Björn Sundmark, professor at Malmö University; Åsa Warnqvist, docent and research manager at the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, and Mia Österlund, docent and associate professor at Åbo Akademi University.

Studies Published by the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books 156


Table of Contents


Elina Druker, Björn Sundmark, Åsa Warnqvist, and Mia Österlund: Introduction



Vanessa Joosen: Just Listen? Silence, Silencing, and Voice in the Aesthetics, Reception, and Study of Children’s Literature

Boel Westin: A Hundred Miles of Silence: The Moomin Stories of Tove Jansson

Robert A. Davis: Silence, Sound, and Sleep: The Experience of Lullabies



Anna Kérchy: The Acoustics of Nonsense in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Tales

Karen Coats: Line Breaks, Page Turns, and Gutters: Formal Moments of Silence in Children’s Texts

Ann-Sofie Persson: Narrative Strategies Giving Voice to the Silenced Subject: The Horse in Fiction for Children



Emma Reay: Secrets, Stealth, and Survival: The Silent Child in the Video Games Little Nightmares and INSIDE

Sara Pankenier Weld: The Silencing of Children’s Literature: The Case of Daniil Kharms and the Little Old Lady

Lance Weldy: The Queerness of the Man-Child: Narcissism and Silencing in Astrid Lindgren’s Karlson on the Roof Series

Kathleen Forrester: Nature Unnested: Kin and Kind in Switched Egg Children’s Stories



Temi Odumosu: What Dreams May Come? Dealing with History and Decolonising Imagery for Children

Maria Laakso: Colonialism is Sticky, It Gets Into and Onto Everything: A Visual Response to Temi Odumosu’s Keynote

Andrea Mei-Ying Wu: The (Silent) Archival Stories of Children’s Literature: Munro Leaf, Cultural Tours, and the Formation of Childhood Discourse in 1960s Asia

Herdiana Hakim: ”Unsilencing” Chinese Indonesians through Children’s Literature

Faye Dorcas Yung: The Silencing of Children’s Literature Publishing in Hong Kong

Joshua Simpson: Silence and Absence in the Political Discourse on Section 28 and Children’s Literature in the United Kingdom



Anna Karlskov Skyggebjerg: The Silent Voices of Witness Literature: The Refugee Crisis in Danish Children’s Literature since 2015

Helen King: Seeking Asylum, Speaking Silence: Speech, Silence, and Psychosocial Trauma in Beverley Naidoo’s The Other Side of Truth

Mateusz Świetlicki: ”It felt better to stay quiet”: Miming as a Non-Verbal Way of Coping with Trauma in Kathy Kacer’s Masters of Silence (2019)



Picture Sources

Index of Persons

Studies Published by the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books

Ytterligare information

Antal sidor



249 x 182 x 42 mm


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Bondestam, Linda (omslag), Druker, Elina, Sundmark, Björn, Warnqvist, Åsa & Österlund, Mia (red.)








1062 g