The neglect of sustained, theoretical inquiry into the aesthetics of children’s literature is a symptom of our discipline’s history. As it developed in North America, the academic discipline of children’s literature emerged in the context of the canon-busting and -expanding cultural studies movements of the 1960s and ’70s, a theoretical milieu newly suspicious of objective claims of aesthetic value. In recent years, however, the global field has seen renewed interest in aesthetics as “sensuous knowledge,” a mode of apprehension inextricably bound to both history and ideology.

This essay may be found on page 4 of the printed volume.

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