Mousaion - Volume 33, Issue 2, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 33, Issue 2, 2015
Source: Mousaion 33, pp 1 –35 (2015)More Less
This study was motivated by the observation that most Namibian children have not developed adequate reading habits. The study gauged the percentages of Namibian children who either do or do not read in their free time. It also explored the reasons why some children do not read in their leisure time; the kinds of reading material readers are inclined to choose; whether they prefer to read either in their mother tongue or in English; and the role of traditional storytelling and oral literature as a form of pre-literacy in Namibia. The findings revealed a picture of deprivation in the schools and environment of the majority of Namibian children. Of the 1 402 Grade 6 students in seven regions of Namibia selected for the study, 77.6 per cent do not read in their free time, while 22.4 per cent, most of whom attend well-resourced, mainly urban schools, read in their free time. Many children struggle to read, and reading materials, particularly in their mother tongues are scarce. The study established relationships between the students' reading behaviour and various other factors, including resource provision in Namibian schools, the availability of reading materials in the environment as well as the socio-economic conditions of Namibian families. Extensive recommendations have been made for government, educators, libraries, publishers and other authorities responsible for the education of children, including ways in which a more concerted effort could be made to promote good reading habits and develop the various Namibian languages.
A legislated school library policy : can functional school libraries be envisioned without one? : library and information services to childrenAuthor Maredi Samuel MojapeloSource: Mousaion 33, pp 36 –55 (2015)More Less
Although school libraries are important resource centres that support curriculum delivery and important pedagogical matters, it is disturbing that, in South Africa, only a minority (7.2%) of schools have well-stocked functional school libraries. A legislated school library policy is crucial for a country to roll out effective school library and information services (LIS). This is particularly true in South African schools, which are characterised by enormous disparities in the provision of resources because of the legacy of apartheid. Grounded in the literature review, the fact that the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) does not have a legislated and approved school library policy is a stumbling block to developing and sustaining an active and dynamic school library service for all public schools in South Africa. The purpose of this article is to help relevant stakeholders understand the importance of a legislated school library policy in championing the establishment and development of an active, vibrant and dynamic functional school library service to support the progressive, constructivist and resource based curriculum in the country. The study recommends that the National Guidelines for School Library and Information Services (SA DBE 2012) be amended to a legislated school library policy to resuscitate indeterminate and non-functional libraries in the majority of schools.
Nea king! Nea quin! Nea laird! Nea master! : childhood agency in Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men : children's literatureAuthor Eileen DonaldsonSource: Mousaion 33, pp 56 –72 (2015)More Less
In this article, a psychodynamic perspective informs the discussion of the ambivalence associated with individuation and growing up which manifests during middle childhood (from approximately 6 to 11 years of age). The author contends that Terry Pratchett explores this ambivalence in his young adult novel, The wee free men (2003), in which his young, female protagonist, Tiffany Aching, must resolve the fears and anxieties that stem from her ambivalence in order to claim agency and complete the process of individuation from her childhood home. The author argues that Tiffany's ambivalence is most clearly reflected in her relationships with the two primary adult females in the novel, Granny Aching and the Fairy Queen, and suggests that the resolution of her ambivalence models resilience strategies for Pratchett's young readers who may be navigating this same problem in their own lives.
Falling down in order to grow up : two woman's journeys from un-domestication to domestication in fantasy fictionSource: Mousaion 33, pp 73 –91 (2015)More Less
In this article, following the convention adopted in The annotated Alice (Gardner 2000), the authors refer to the combined volume of Lewis Carroll's works - entitled Alice in Wonderland - which includes Alice's adventures in Wonderland and Through the looking-glass - as 'the Alice texts'. In the Alice texts, Alice is presented as a Victorian female protagonist who has to 'fall down' in order to 'grow up'. This is also true of Yvaine in Neil Gaiman's Victorian-based novel, Stardust (1999). Both protagonists experience 'falling down', which also carries the symbolic weight of being an act of submission - falling into a subordinate state. In looking at the significance of the opposing movements up and down as indicative of a specific process of female domestication, postmodern and post structuralist theory explains how this binary opposition fulfils a specific didactic function in Victorian and Victorian-based fairy tale narratives. Historical approaches to Victorian society also demonstrate the submissive role assigned to women in Victorian society. While 'un-domestication' is rejected in favour of domestic submission in Carroll's and Gaiman's narratives, 'un-domestication' results in the liberation of their central female protagonists in the filmic revisionings, Alice in Wonderland (2010), directed by Tim Burton, and Stardust (2007), directed by Matthew Vaughn.
The 'other' Narnia : manifestations and mutations of C.S. Lewis's The lion, the witch and the wardrobe in Neil Gaiman's coralineAuthor Carole GodfreySource: Mousaion 33, pp 92 –110 (2015)More Less
Between 2003 and 2004, Neil Gaiman wrote a short story called 'The problem of Susan'. In it, a young journalist has a dream in which she is Susan Pevensie and the world of Narnia has become dark and terrifying. In this article, the author argues that Gaiman's preoccupation with and intertextual re-envisioning of Narnia goes beyond 'The problem of Susan', and that his children's book, Coraline (2002), can be viewed partly as a rewriting of C.S. Lewis's The lion, the witch and the wardrobe ( 2001). The author further shows that the two books have many shared aspects, but that Gaiman transforms these aspects to make the fantasy world in Coraline an unsteady, threatening and even horrifying version of the bright and inviting world of Narnia. The author also argues that Gaiman's purpose in so doing is to defy and subtly criticise what he views as Lewis's attempts to encourage children to remain innocent and childlike.
Author Maritha SnymanSource: Mousaion 33, pp 111 –127 (2015)More Less
Picture books are vehicles of knowledge and socialisation for children. In portraying grandmothers in children's picture books, existing stereotypes are often enforced (Crawford and Bhattacharya 2014). This article set out to determine how, and if, the portrayal of grandmothers in a sample of multilingual picture books in South Africa is stereotyped and how possible stereotyping relates to South Africa's cultural diversity. Ten books were selected that have been translated into more than four of South Africa's 11 official languages. By using quantitative coding these texts were deconstructed by looking for stereotypical representations of grandmothers and the relationships that exist between the portrayal of cultural groups and stereotypes. The findings indicated that stereotypical portrayals of South African grandmothers do not follow the patterns uncovered in studies of a similar nature in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). South African grandmothers are stereotyped because of their goodness - their attitude of a positive servitude. In providing possible reasons for this deviation from the findings of similar studies elsewhere, the complex intricacies of politics and publishing activities in South Africa's are briefly discussed.
Author Fiona CovarrSource: Mousaion 33, pp 128 –139 (2015)More Less
This article explores ideas of identity in relation to a young adult fantasy novel, Voices (2006), the second novel in Ursula Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore series. Voices is set in a university city, Ansul, which has been invaded by the Alds. Nine-year old Memer Galva is an Ansul citizen who results from her mother being raped by an Ald soldier. She thus has a hybrid identity, since she is neither fully Ansulian nor Ald, and must learn to integrate with the Alds. Memer's identity is examined in relation to Bhabha's (1994) concept of hybridity and the third space in his post-colonial work. Hybridity is the adaptation of identity to an individual's social/political environment by either combining or rejecting elements of the cultures which constitute it. A third space is one occupied by an oppressed/colonised people which is neither central to their culture nor to their oppressors'/colonisers' culture, but which aids them to negotiate the two. By negotiating various 'spaces' in their respective environments, the Ansuls are able to 'hybridise' themselves, and ultimately 'outwit' or overcome the Alds. Annals of the Western Shore is aimed at adolescent readers who occupy a 'hybrid' or liminal identity, being neither children nor adults. They must learn to adapt to and integrate with society as they become adults. Concepts of integration and identity are also relevant to South Africa, where there has been a need for hybridisation and movements into third spaces in order for its inhabitants to better adapt to the socio-political changes experienced in the country.
Author Elma De KockSource: Mousaion 33, pp 140 –154 (2015)More Less
Peter and the wolf is an intermedial work based on a folk tale originally written and composed by the Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev in 1936 (Hanson and Hanson 1964). Since few recent adaptations of the work in Afrikaans exist, a combined intermedial project was undertaken to recreate the work using practice-based research. The stages of this research method have brought forth a poetic text, the realisation of the original music, illustrations, and a voice artist to read the created text. To accomplish the final artistic product, it was important to obtain a theoretical foundation of practice-based research, intermediality, adaptation and the different media involved in the created word. The intermedial effects between the different media in the project provided the results of the study, stemming not only from the readers' simultaneous experiences of the media as they read or listen to the work but, as it also became clear, from the mutually complementary effects between the different media of which their combination provided a richer final product.