This book focuses on girls and girlhoods, texts for and about girls, and the cultural contexts that shape girls’ experience. It brings together scholars from girls’ studies and children’s literature, fields that have traditionally conducted their research separately, and the collaboration showcases the breadth and complexity of girl-related studies.
Contributors from disciplines such as sociology, literature, education, and gender studies combine these disciplinary approaches in novel ways with insights from international studies, postcolonial studies, game studies, and other fields. Several of the authors engage in activist and policy-development work around girls who experience poverty and marginalization. Each essay is concerned in one way or another with the politics of girlhood as they manifest in national and cultural contexts, in the everyday practices of girls, and in textual ideologies and agendas.
In contemporary Western societies girls and girlhood function to some degree as markers of cultural reproduction and change. The essays in this book proceed from the assumption that girls are active participants in the production of texts and cultural forms; they offer accounts of the diversity of girls’ experience and complex significances of texts by, for, and about girls.
[Girls, Texts, Cultures] is an exciting exercise in crossfertilization across two already diverse and interdisciplinary camps of scholars who often have too little of an opportunity to learn from one another. Cheers for the conference that generated this book and for the editors’ efforts in bringing its findings to publication. Long may the conversations continue.