Reading Child[ren] of Words and Pictures in Picture Books for Children: Three Essays on Picture Book Research
By Dr Anindita Roy
Abstract PhD Thesis Anindita Roy
Congratulations to CIRCL PhD student Anindita Roy for passing her viva on 27-06-2018 with her thesis on ‘Reading Child[ren] of Words and Pictures in Picture Books for Children: Three Essays on Picture Book Research’. External Examiner: Dr Emma Francis of the University of Warwick and Internal Examiner Dr Neil Cocks, supervisor Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein.
Abstract of thesis
I challenge the notion of an accusative child/ children from within its locative constructions through words and picture in picture books as an instrumental for children. I do so by looking at words and pictures in picture books for children in order to read the claims that construct the format of the picture books and what the format implies, as picture books for children. Such an offering for children, is of intentionality within an apriori constructiving of an implied reader, and as I read it, also in turn producing the implied reader, in this case, the child/children within its intentionality. This thesis, itself a production, is of reading such processes that produce ideas of difference, and as I argue, from within binary constructivism. I am suspicious of such constructivising of differences and as I read perspective, what is at stake here is that these constructions of differences constructivise a formulaic fixity, an intrinsic, in this case, a picture book, and within its formulaic expressions through claimed differences as words and pictures, its function towards an implied reader, picture books for children, eventually and tautologically thematising the form and its formulation into a naturalised site of meaning making. This also constructivises an intrinsic child/ children. I challenge such constructivised naturalising, reading these differences, not as pre-deterministic apriori predicatehood, especially, within the constructions of differences as words and pictures, readerly gaps, and the child/ children, but as categorical assertions. I do this via arguments surrounding multimodality and ironic counterpoint. As categorical assertions of a specific structuration, the ordering is formulated from within sites as author-text-reader. From within my discomfort of such intrinsic sites that constructivise identity as a relation of equivalence, I read these instead as citational and present my argument through the scope of Butler’s performativity and through the textual practice of Derridian deconstruction. As a citational, these categorical assertions performativise, for children, whether in tapping resources as literacy, cognitive development, diversity, etc., and only in its functioning is of the form, therefore, formulaic in and of performativity in perspective, I submit.
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