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Childish Enthusiasms and Perishable Manias


This course has a simple premise: Effective scholarship need not suck the joy from the world. G. K. Chesterton once wrote that 'it is the duty of every poet, and even of every critic, to dance in respectful imitation of the child.' What could it mean to do scholarship that respects a child's playful and exploratory engagement with the world? Such questions will be filtered through such 'unserious' media as amusement parks, comics, cartoons, musicals, and kidlit.