To mark the halfway point of the GLARE project, Dr. Anna Cermakova will be giving a talk at Heidelberg University.

Dr. Cermakova will be speaking about  ‘Gendered social structure in 19th century children's literature’. She will present findings of the research that she is conducting jointly with Professor Michaela Mahlberg. The GLARE project explores the diachronic development of gender patterns in children’s literature and starts with the social structure that makes up the background of 19th century children’s literature. In her talk, Dr. Cermakova will specifically tackle the question of how a corpus linguistic approach makes it possible to identify different social layers in Victorian society. She will contextualise these findings with existing research in social history and literary studies. Key “players”, like various family members, representatives of various professions (soldiers, sailors), or characters typical for children’s literature (witches, kings) are repeatedly shared across children’s books but they do not necessarily correspond to the protagonists that readers will immediately be aware of. A particular interesting type of character is the ‘mother’ in Victorian children’s literature. Dr. Cermakova will show how mothers are portrayed, constructed or just absent.

The University of Heidelberg is a particularly fitting venue for this GLARE talk, as Professor Beatrix Busse  supports GLARE through her role as an Advisory Board Member.

If you want to find out more about GLARE follow us on Twitter, read our blog or see a recent Conversation article.