How do we understand, imagine and remember childhood? In what ways do cultural representations and scientific discourses meet in their ways of portraying children?

Childhood, Literature and Science aims to answer these questions by tracing how images of childhood(s) and children in Western modernity are entangled with notions of innocence and fragility, but also with sin and evilness. Indeed, this interdisciplinary collection investigates how different child figures emerge or disappear in imaginative and social representations, in the memories of adult selves, and in expert knowledge. Questions about childhood in Western modernity, culture and science are also addressed through insightful analysis of a variety of materials from the Enlightenment age to the present day – such as fiction, life narratives, visual images, scientific texts and public writings.

Analysing childhood as a discursive construction, Childhood, Literature and Science will appeal to scholars as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in fields such as: Childhood Studies, History, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Literature and Sociology of the Family.



Child figures as fragile subjects

part I|39 pages

The Ideal and Subversive Child

chapter 2|12 pages

The naughty child in the early twentieth century

Subversive child figures and humour in Jalmari Finne’s children’s literature

chapter 3|12 pages

Child adults in Soviet children’s literature

Lazar Lagin’s The Old Man Hottabych

part II|38 pages

The ‘Normal’ Child

part III|56 pages

The Sick and Disabled Child

chapter 7|12 pages

Visible, audible and sentient

Cognitive-affective engagement with disability in contemporary young adult fiction

chapter 8|18 pages

Little patients

Photography and the configuration of the sick child in Victorian Britain

chapter 9|13 pages

The end of the ‘experiment’

Positioning children with severe liver disease as potential survivors of pioneering liver transplantation

chapter 10|12 pages

‘With special obligations’

Constructions of young adulthood and caregiving in The Road to Memphis and Seventeen Against the Dealer

part IV|43 pages

The Evil and Victimised Child

chapter 11|16 pages

Victim, monster, child or murderer?

Representations of children who killed in nineteenth-century newspapers

chapter 13|12 pages

Between monster child and innocent baby

Managing fear and hope in Polish debates on in vitro fertilization

part V|41 pages

The Lost Child

chapter 14|14 pages

The rise of inner subjectivity

Childhood in early nineteenth-century Finnish autobiographies

chapter 15|14 pages

‘A terrible deal for the Western parent’

Neoliberal mothering versus the teenager