A new certificate program launching this fall through York University’s Department of Humanities answers a request from students to have their coursework in children’s literature recognized.
Students in the program, offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LAPS), will have the opportunity to complete a cross-disciplinary certificate in children’s literature while completing a major or minor degree in children, childhood and youth studies; humanities; or English.
“We offer a breadth of courses in children’s literature few other departments at York University or in Canada can match,” explains Alison Halsall, a professor in the Department of Humanities, who together with Professor Cheryl Cowdy led the development of this certificate. “Many students in the Children, Childhood & Youth (CCY) Program also complete courses in children’s literature administered by the departments of English at the Keele and Glendon campuses. All these courses have high student demand and enrolment.”
The undergraduate certificate will recognize and value the importance of children’s literature in the study of constructions of children, childhood and youth, says Cowdy. It will review many of the methodological approaches that have governed and continue to govern the literature intended for young people.
This cross-disciplinary certificate in children’s literature is designed to allow students to engage with texts in the field to examine how modes of representation shape perceptions of children and youth in the contemporary world.
Students will take a total of 24 credits in courses reflecting the certificate’s specific humanities approach. Two of the core courses for this certificate ensure that students have the opportunity to work with materials that are part of the Children’s Literature collection housed in the Clara Thomas & Special Collections Archive in Scott Library.
In 2020, the CCY program launched a unique 3000-level research methods course in children’s literature scholarship, CCY 3998: The Child and the Book: Research Methods, and a 4000-level honours research project, CCY 4998, that makes use of the Scott Library collection while providing students with valuable experiential education opportunities and training in the distinctive methods of children’s literature research.
The certificate will be housed in the LA&PS faculty’s department of Humanities, administered by the CCY program, and offered as a concurrent option.
“This certificate will be particularly useful for students entering into the communication or media industries, education, advertising and the arts, as well as those interested in careers in children’s book publishing and library studies,” says Cowdy.