Screen Studies
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Kidding Around

Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media

by Alexander N. Howe

Alexander N. Howe is Associate Professor of English at the University of the District of Columbia, USA. He is the co-editor of Marcia Muller and the Female Private Eye: Essays on the Novels that Defined a Subgenre (2009) and author of It Didn't Mean Anything: A Psychoanalytic Reading of American Detective Fiction (2008). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Wynn Yarbrough

Wynn Yarbrough is Associate Professor and chair of the English Department at the University of the District of Columbia, USA. He is the author of Masculinity in Children's Animal Stories, 1888-1928: A Critical Study of Anthropomorphic Tales by Wilde, Kipling, Potter, Grahame and Milne (2011) and A Boy's Dream (2011). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(eds)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781628929928
  • ISBN:
    9781623560560 (hardback)

    9781623560546 (epdf)

    9781623561208 (epub)

    9781628929928 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
Kidding Around
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Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media is a collection of essays generated by a conference of the same title held at the University of the District of Columbia. The works gathered examine a variety of children's media, including texts produced for children (e.g., children's books, cartoons, animated films) as well as texts about children(e.g., feature-length films, literature, playground architecture, parenting guides). The primary goal of Kidding Around is to analyze and contextualize contested representations of childhood and children in various twentieth- and twenty-first-century media while accounting for the politics of these narratives. Each of the essays gathered offers a critical history of the very notion of childhood, at the same time as it analyzes exemplary children's texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These chapters depart from various methodological approaches (including psychoanalytic, sociological, ecological, and historical perspectives), offering the reader numerous productive approaches for analyzing the moments of cultural conflict and impasse found within the primary works studied. Despite the fact that today children are one of the most coveted demographics in marketing and viewership, academic work on children's media, and children in media, is just beginning. Kidding Around assembles experts from this inchoate field, opening discussion to traditional and non-traditional children's texts.