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5.02.09. Cambridge opened a Centre for Children’s Literature

Ker-pow! Cambridge literature centre is to study comics and blogs Comics, computer games and Disney films have long been the bane of parents trying to encourage their offspring to develop a love of reading classic children’s books. Now academics at the University of Cambridge have given comic strips and saccharine movies cachet by subjecting them to scrutiny of a sort previously reserved for classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter
Pan. The university opened a Centre for Children’s Literature yesterday, which will give as much consideration to blogs, fan fiction and video games as to the works of established children’s authors. Its founders say they deserve the same attention, as all can have a deep and lasting impact on children and teenagers. Professor Maria Nikolajeva, who is the centre’s first director, said: “Everybody can remember a book or a film from their childhood that played a role in shaping the way they understand the world around them. “For children, these are often secret and sacred places that they can go to and we need to study them if we want to improve their education and development. It’s easy to say that these things are just kids’ fashions or that they’re trash, but I don’t believe that’s good enough.”
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