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Dieser Kalender enthält alle akademischen und nicht-akademischen Veranstaltungen und Treffen an der Europa-Universität Flensburg.       

Literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliches Kolloquium

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Depictions of Planet Earth in Antebellum American Children’s Books
Dr. Sibylle Machat "

The world is round, and like a ball Seems swinging in the air, A sky extends around it all, And stars are shining there." (Goodrich 1829)

L. H. Martin writes about the preceding lines in The Congregationalist in 1897 that, "If necessary, I have no doubt that 1’000 men and women, between sixty and ninety, would stand up and recite in concert" (Pflieger) this description of planet Earth. It was penned by Samuel Griswold Goodrich1 , about whose impact on US children’s literature C. M. Hewins asserts that he brought "distinctively American characteristics [to the] stories and books of amusement" for children, and created manifestly American versions of "Webster’s school-books".

Goodrich is the most influential, but by no means the only, author active in this field during that time, and both he and his contemporaries took advantage of a concurrent development: contemporaneous to this thematical "Americanization" of children’s books came the introduction of steel engraving as a technique for printing illustrations, making imprint plates more durable than their copper predecessors, and thus more attractive for publishers of comparatively inexpensive but widely used books, such as children’s or school books.

American children’s books on geography and astronomy from the 1830s to the 1860s are thus not only the first "distinctively American" children’s books on these subjects, but also the first to regularly feature illustrations of planet Earth.

In my paper I will investigate just what this early "distinctively American" characteristic is when it comes to textual and pictorial representations of the global, the globe, and of the concept of ‘Earth as a Planet’, and contextualize them into their historical political and educational frame.
I will also give an overview of my current book project on planet Earth in American Children’s books from the 1820s until today, of which the majority of this talk is an extract.

)Sources: Goodrich, Samuel Griswold. Peter Parley’s Method of Telling About Geography to Children: with nine maps and seventy-five engravings principally for the use of schools. Burlington: C. Goodrich; Hartford: H. and F.J. Huntington, 1829. -----. A National Geography, for Schools. Illustrated by 220 engravings, and 33 maps; with a globe map on a new plan. New York: Huntington & Savage, 1846. Hewins, C. M. "The History of Children's Books." The Atlantic. January 1888 Issue. Pflieger, Pat. "Peter Parley, by L.H. Martin (1897)". Nineteenth-century American Children & What They Read.

Biografie: Dr. Sibylle Machat ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Seminar für Anglistik und Amerikanistik und stellvertretende Studiengangsleiterin des Masterstudiengangs Kultur – Sprache – Medien (KSM) der Europa-Universität Flensburg. 2015 verbrachte Sie 7 Monate an der Library of Congress in Washington DC, um an ihrem aktuellen Forschungsprojekt: Looking Earthward: Planet Earth in US Children’s Literature zu arbeiten.

Veranstaltungsort

Name
Europa-Universität Flensburg, Gebäude OSLO, Raum OSL 238

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