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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

1-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

English

First Advisor

John Reed

Abstract

This dissertation juxtaposes children's literature and media and investigates the resulting influence of media on literature. Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin's ideas regarding Remediation in conjunction with Henry Jenkins ideas regarding Convergence Culture provide the framework for my ideas regarding media and their roles in children's literature.

One way media influence children's literature is through the realm of nostalgia. Adults reflect on their childhoods and the literature they encountered. Their desires to recreate the truths they recall learning from literature lead them to produce reflective and restorative remediations of texts that allow modern youths new opportunities with canonical texts.

Another way media influence children's literature is through the hypermediacy consumer culture creates surrounding popular literature franchises. Marketing companies and fan communities attempt to create immediacy and reality for characters that saturates the reader and is evidenced by toys, games, and interactive websites. This co-mingling of media and literature creates global knowledge communities, including complex fan cultures, which continually challenge readers to participate with texts beyond initial one-time readings.

A third way media influence children's literature is through character mediation. A medium is a message delivery system, which means children and young adults become media as they deliver messages from popular culture to one another. Since culture often exposes children and young adults to difficult content, they must decide how they want to mediate their messages. They also must decide if and how they will remediate themselves as they grow and mature due to difficult life circumstances. Authors model this in texts, giving readers the ability to reflect on literature and create restorative remediations of their lives.

The final way I discuss media influencing children's literature is through trans-media storytelling. When authors use multiple media to tell a story, they build a world within which readers can engage with the characters and with one another. World building sets the stage for hypertext storytelling, or stories within stories. Since readers are conditioned, from birth, to expect media which correspond with primary texts, authors have the opportunity to participate in co-creation with other authors and media creators to engage readers throughout multiple media.