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Issue Details: First known date: 2007... vol. 17 no. 2 December 2007 of Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature est. 1990 Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature
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* Contents derived from the 2007 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Building Cultural Citizenship : Multiculturalism and Children's Literature, Wenche Ommundsen , Debra Dudek , single work criticism (p. 3-6)

Sighted: 28/03/18

Cross-Generational Negotiations : Asian-Australian Picture Books, Clare Bradford , single work criticism

Clare Bradford discusses a number of picture books and a junior novel in which the narratives are structured around interactions between Asian-Australian children and their grandparents; Grandpa and Ah Gong (Xiangyi Mo and Morag Loh, 1995), Old Magic (Alan Baillie, 1996), Grandpa's Mask (Di Wu and Jing Jing Guo, 2001), What a Mess Fang Fang! (Sally Rippin, 1998). She proposes that these texts provide an opportunity to introduce 'ideas around change, continuity and cultural meanings' to young readers through their specific focus on 'the everyday experiences of growing up in a multicultural society' (36). As children's texts 'habitually hinge upon narratives of growth and development' (36) Bradford points out that crosscultural and cross-generational relations between grandparents and their grandchildren are often informed by 'different experiences and perspective that are negotiated through external objects, artefacts and markings' (37). There is an emphasis on 'making' in the texts, that Bradford reads, in terms of multicultural discourse, as suggestive of Stevenson's notion that cultural citizens 'construct learning to move within multiple and diverse communities' (41). Bradford's analysis points to the 'limitations of the picture book form' in 'representing the social and cultural complexities of diasporic experience' (41); however, she also sees these texts as speaking to children's literature more generally through 'a surplus of meaning, an excess of signification that seeks to provide pleasure while socializing young citizens' (41).

(p. 36-42)

Sighted: 28/03/18

Embodying a Racialised Multiculturalism : Strategic Essentialism and Lived Hybridities in Hoa Pham's No One Like Me, Debra Dudek , single work criticism
Debra Dudek is interested in the intersection of multiculturalism, cultural citizenship and children's literature and in this article looks at the 'tension between representing an acceptance of cultural difference...and representing all people within one culture as the same' (43). She locates her analysis within the field of Asian-Australian studies through a discussion of Hoa Pham's No One Like Me (1998), the story of a young Vietnamese girl who lives in Australia with her family, arguing that the text 'simultaneously highlights and deconstructs gender and the Asian family as homogenous categories' (43). Framing the analysis with a discussion of the Howard Government's approach to cultural diversity and its viewpoint that 'immigrants from Asia threaten the notion of a unified Australia', Dudek draws attention to the 'turbulent past and uncertain future' of multiculturalism which, she argues, relies on 'concepts of sameness and difference' that fundamentally support and maintain policies of assimilation (43-44). Dudek posits that No One Like Me negotiates the question of 'how to recognize and accept race and gender strategically as essential categories of difference without homogenising them' (45) in a way which destabilizes 'neat and static categories of otherness' and 'opens up the possibility of multiple subject positions [and] complex lived hybridities' (48).
(p. 43-49)

Sighted: 28/03/18

'I Don't Like Your Kind of People' : Cultural Pluralism in Odo Hirsh's Have Courage, Hazel Green, Beverley Pennell , single work criticism
Beverly Pennell argues that 'children, nation and race' are inextricably linked through disourses that position children as 'the nation's most valuable asset' and 'the key to social advance', and that the significance of multiculturalism within children's literature lies in its ability to enagage the child reader with textual representations of cultural pluralism (50). She draws attention to critics who argue that representations of multiculturalism in Australian children's fiction lean more towards the 'superficial and cosmetic' in dealing with issues of cultural diversity and that 'the mulicultural context is often 'taken for granted' at the expense of the plot' (50). In contrast, she argues that Odo Hirsch's Have Courage, Hazel Green 'proposes that children's acculteration into an officially multicultural society generally devolves into assimilationist and integrationist practices that efface cultural differences ... and exposes policies of tolerance as an unsatisfactory basis for egalitarian social relations' (50). Her close reading of the text concludes that Hazel Green speaks to the importance of minority rights and to the due recognition of culture...and enables child readers to see why the circumstances of multiculturalism are far from straightforward' (57).
(p. 50-58)

Sighted: 28/03/18

Not Quite White (Enough) : Intersecting Ethnic and Gendered Identities in Looking for Alibrandi, Kate McInally , single work criticism

Kate McInally argues that in Looking for Alibrandi, Josie's specifically gendered quest for maturity' is one that 'erases multicultural identity' in all but its most overt manifestations (59). The analysis assesses 'intersections between raced and gendered indentity', with McInally stating that the narrative is fundamentally underpinned by an 'overwhelmingly monocultural ideology: that of acceptability attained through paternal sanction that transcends cultural heritage, to value aspirations of whiteness' (59).

McInally argues that 'Josie's aspirations for, and eventual acquisition of cultural capital is accessible only through her relationship with men' (59) a relationship based upon masculine domination which requires 'a feminine complicitness that the novel is all too ready to grant' (59). In her desire for 'economic, social and symbolic capital', Josie is required to 'move away from her Italianess to a position that is markedly more hegemonic' and while the novel may appear to overtly celebrate a 'multiculturalist agenda' this is offset against 'the way social capital accrues to an adolescent female who becomes 'daddy's little girl' (59).

For McInally, the novel's closure not only maintains and perpetuates cross-cultural relations whereby the 'other' is accepted, or tolerated, only for 'the ways they can enrich the host culture', it also ensures that Josie's 'mature attained through her assimilation into dominant monomorality; accepting the rightness and whiteness of male domination...and patriarchal Australia as her embraced homeland' (66).

(p. 59-66)

Sighted: 28/03/18

Children in Detention : Juvenile Authors Recollect Refugee Stories, Sissy Helff , single work criticism
Helff notes the growing trend in children's fiction and autobiographical writing 'of stories about young people who are deprived of their homes and ambivalently caught between cultures' (67) She analyzes two short stories from the collection Dark Dreams: Australian Refugee Stories by Young Writers aged 11-20 Years and argues that Dark Dreams 'invites readers to follow the juvenile writers to re-think and challenge the construction of Australian national identity, belonging and history' (67). She points out that 'storytellers, writers and readers participate in and contribute in a life-shaping act that includes the sharing of trauma and guilt' in ways that make it possible for new reflections upon the self in Australian history' (72). As such, she claims the project 'Australia IS refugees! and the short stories collected in Dark Dreams contribute to a critical egagement with Australian national identity, questions of belonging and Australian history making' (72).
(p. 67-74)

Sighted: 28/03/18

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Last amended 28 Mar 2018 13:56:25