Southern Miss College of Education & Psychology
School of Library & Information Science

LIS 634: History of Children's Literature
Online, Spring 2015 Mini-Session

"'The time has come,' the Walrus said, 'To talk of many things: Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - Of cabbages - and kings - And why the sea is boiling hot - And whether pigs have wings.'"
-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871).

Teresa S. Welsh, Ph.D., MLIS
Professor of Library & Information Science
Cook Library, Room 206H
Office hours by appointment
Phone: 601.296.0528 or

This 3-hour course traces the development of children's literature in England and the United States to the early 20th century.

Online class discussions are scheduled weekdays December 15-19, 2014, and January 5-9, 2015, 6:30-9:30pm Central time.

Drop Dates
The last day to drop mini-session classes without financial penalty and without professor permission is December 15th.
After December 15th, students must request a withdrawal 'W' from the professor.

Required Text
Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter
Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter
by Seth Lerer
University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Available in print or e-book at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Course Goal
To gain knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of children's literature from antiquity to the early twentieth century, as well as the role and context of children's literature within society and culture.

Course Objectives
After completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

Weekly Schedule (subject to revision)

Week 1
Oral Tradition, Ancient Stories
Aesop's Fables and Other Stories from Classical Greece and Rome
Literature of Medieval Childhood
Puritan Influence, John Locke
Boys' Adventure Tales

Week 2
Sense and Nonsense
Fairy Tales, Girls Stories
1900s: Edwardian Era
Early 20th Century
Prizes, Awards, Collections

Course Requirements

  1. Annotated Bibliography (30%) on a topic related to the history of children's literature

  2. Research Paper (50%) on an approved topic

  3. Class Participation (20%)
    • Students are expected to read the online material and required texts in order to participate in discussion board postings and chats.
    • Students are expected to attend each chat for the entire time of the session. All absences from chats will be recorded. Points will be deducted from the final grade for missed chats or failure to post responses to questions on the Discussion Board.



Course Policies

Students are responsible for reading syllabus content and becoming familiar with course policies and procedures.

Students may request, under extraordinary circumstances, an incomplete (I) if the majority of assignments have been successfully completed. A student who receives an incomplete will have only ONE semester in which to complete the work before the I automatically turns into an F.

Students may request a withdrawal (W) from the course. If this is the only class a student is taking then the student must call the USM graduate school to properly withdraw.

If a student commits plagiarism, that student will receive an F in the course. A student may not self-plagiarize or submit work done in another course unless receiving prior permission from the instructor. Any assignment that is self plagiarized without prior permission from the instructor will receive zero points.

Virtual classroom attendance and participation is expected. Participation is a large part of the grade and consists of the virtual classroom participation and discussion.

Students are required to subscribe to listnews, the LIS listserv. Subscribe to lisnews by completing the online form available at

All assignments should be saved in .doc, docx, or .rtf format and posted to the Digital Drop Box. Work not turned in on time will be assessed a penalty of 10% per week without prior approval from the instructor.

Failure to follow specific instructions for content and formatting of assignments will result in lower grades. All work must be in Standard English; inappropriate grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling will result in lower grades.

Academic Code of Conduct

Students are expected to follow the Academic Code of Honor, which is based on academic honesty and mutual respect, and exemplified by the Southern Miss Creed.

Plagiarism is serious. You must give credit for five or more words in a sequence by using quotation marks and indicating the source of the quote, and you must indicate the source of other factual information and ideas. Copying another student's work in part or whole is also plagiarism. Plagiarism in an assignment will result in a failing grade for the assignment.

The following is from the USM Graduate Bulletin ( Plagiarism is scholarly theft and is defined as the unacknowledged use of secondary sources. More specifically, any written or oral presentation in which the writer or speaker does not distinguish clearly between original and borrowed material constitutes plagiarism.

Because students, as scholars, must make frequent use of the concepts and facts developed by others, plagiarism is not the mere use of another's facts and ideas. However, it is plagiarism when students present the work of other scholars as if it were their own work.

Plagiarism is committed in a number of ways: 1) reproducing another author's writing as if it were one's own; 2) paraphrasing another author's work without citing the original; 3) borrowing from another author's ideas, even though those ideas are reworded, without giving credit; [and] 4) copying another author's organization without giving credit.

Plagiarism is a serious offense. An act of plagiarism may lead to a failing grade on the paper and in the course, as well as sanctions that may be imposed by the student judicial system.

Academic Honesty
When cheating is discovered, the faculty member may give the student an F on the work involved or in the course. If further disciplinary action is deemed appropriate, the student should be reported to the Dean of Students. In addition to being a violation of academic honesty, cheating violates the Code of Student Conduct and may be grounds for probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. Students on disciplinary suspension may not enroll in any courses offered by the University of Southern Mississippi.

Disability Statement

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. Mailing address: 118 College Drive, # 8586; Telephone: 601- 266-5024; TTY: 601-266-6837; FAX: 601-266-6035.

Note: This is an abbreviated version of the course syllabus. The complete syllabus is posted on the Blackboard LIS634 course site.

Web Page Design
Teresa S. Welsh
Updated 10/12/2014