Gender within children’s literature studies is an analytic concept that names and sorts a constellation of bodies. According to the OED, the term gender historically classifies words and bodies into a particular “sort or kind.” Indo-European languages include pronouns and nouns classified as feminine, masculine, or neuter and bodies categorized into male or female, as in “the collective attributes or traits associated with a particular sex, or determined as a result of one’s sex. Also: a (male or female) group characterized in this way” (OED). Since the twentieth century, gender operates as a verb “to assign or attribute a gender to; to divide, classify, or differentiate on the basis of gender” (OED). These definitions define social classifications within and beyond literature for the child.

This essay may be found on page 81 of the printed volume.

Works Cited
Permanent Link to this Essay