My Professional Canon – Part 1

I’ve been working on a little thing lately, ok – it’s actually a big thing (no pressure): my dissertation proposal. The defense is quickly coming up and I’m having trouble narrowing down the texts I’m going to draw on for my humanities theoretical work around multidisciplinary thinking about children’s literature. Earlier today I was struggling with this and thought back to ALAN 2012 Conference when my good friend Teri Lesesne challenged us to think about our personal canons. At the time, I thought about this in terms of children’s and YA literature titles but this morning I realized that I could also think of the texts I’m selecting for this dissertation as my professional canon.

Even this wasn’t nearly narrow enough for me because I started thinking about teaching books, education books, research books… AGH then I refocused. (Thanks to my friend Laura Jimenez.) Children’s literature – this dissertation is focused on children’s literature.

So the question is, what books or articles do I want to include in my profession canon about children’s literature? Here are some questions I’m asking myself as I narrow down the list:

  • what inspires me to think more deeply about children’s literature?
  • what inspires me to want to actually write a dissertation about children’s literature?
  • what helps convey the complexity of children’s literature in ways that I want to engage with as I write?
  • I want to be sure and select texts from across disciplinary ways of thinking about children’s literature in Literature (English), Libraries, and Literacy (Education)
  • I want to include pieces that are beautifully written, as well as those that are thoughtful, insightful, interesting and engaging.

I’m still working on it, but here is what I have so far:

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