LIT224 Children's Literature: Fantasy And Realism (8)


This subject focuses on changing perceptions of the two dominant modes in the discourse of children's literature - fantasy and realism. Students will explore these modes in a variety of narrative forms, and issues such as the construction and contesting of a canon, censorship, re-mediation and children's literature in the digital space. Taking account of historical and cultural contexts, students will identify the factors that determine children's preferences and compare the responses of children and adults to these two narrative modes.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalAlbury-Wodonga Campus
InternalBathurst Campus
InternalPort Macquarie
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LIT224
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

While it is not a prerequisite, some study related to literature, education, psychology or communication and creative industries will be an advantage. 

Enrolment restrictions

Not to be taken by students who have done LIT207, LIT-2074, LIT222 or LIT316.
Incompatible subject(s)Related subject(s)
LIT207 LIT222 LIT316 LIT222 LIT224 includes substantial content from LIT222, which will therefore become obsolete.
LIT316 LIT224 includes substantial content from LIT316, which will therefore become obsolete.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify some of the main parameters of the narrative modes fantasy and realism
  • be able to identify fantasy and realism in individual literary texts for young readers
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of English language fantasy and realism for young readers
  • be able to discuss the development and contesting of a canon in children's literature
  • be able to distinguish between the responses of children and adults to fantasy and realism
  • be able to identify and evaluate some of the textual changes involved in re-mediation from print to platforms in the digital space
  • be able to compare their own responses to individual texts with those of scholars in the field
  • be able to articulate their responses accessibly and logically in written and spoken English


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Realism and the Enlightenment
  • Fantasy and Romanticism
  • Boys' adventure narratives: the Empire and the feral child
  • Domestic realism and fantasy
  • Liminal spaces
  • Fantasy and the quest
  • Realism, the school story and literature for young adults
  • Fantasy, realism and gender
  • The queering of children's literature
  • Challenging genre stereotypes
  • Magic and magic realism
  • Realism as history
  • Metanarratives: fiction and truth


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.