Bringing together scholars from musicology, literature, childhood studies, and theater, this volume examines the ways in which children's musicals tap into adult nostalgia for childhood while appealing to the needs and consumer potential of the child. The contributors take up a wide range of musicals, including works inspired by the books of children's authors such as Roald Dahl, P.L. Travers, and Francis Hodgson Burnett; created by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lionel Bart, and other leading lights of musical theater; or conceived for a cast made up entirely of children. The collection examines musicals that propagate or complicate normative attitudes regarding what childhood is or should be. It also considers the child performer in movie musicals as well as in professional and amateur stage musicals. This far-ranging collection highlights the special place that musical theater occupies in the imaginations and lives of children as well as adults. The collection comes at a time of increased importance of musical theater in the lives of children and young adults.
Some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century are of children: Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, depicting farm worker Frances Owens Thompson with three of her children; six-year-old Ruby Bridges, flanked by U.S. marshals, walking down the steps of an all-white elementary school she desegregated; Huỳnh Công Út’s photograph of nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing a South Vietnamese napalm bombing. These iconic images with their juxtaposition of the innocent (in the sense of not culpable) figure of the child and the guilty perpetrators of violence (both structural and interpersonal) are ‘arresting’. The power of the image of the child to arrest the spectator, to demand a response from her has given the representation of children a central place in the history of visual culture for social reform. This book analyses a range of forms and genres from social reform documentary through feature films and onto small and mobile media to address two core questions: What difference does it make to the message who the producer is? and How has the place of children and youth changed in visual public culture?
This unique and timely collection examines childhood and the child character throughout Stephen King’s works, from his early novels and short stories, through film adaptations, to his most recent publications. King’s use of child characters within the framework of horror (or of horrific childhood) raises questions about adult expectations of children, childhood, the American family, child agency, and the nature of fear and terror for (or by) children. The ways in which King presents, complicates, challenges, or terrorizes children and notions of childhood provide a unique lens through which to examine American culture, including both adult and social anxieties about children and childhood across the decades of King’s works.