Individualism in Children’s Literature

Presentation on Individualism in Children’s Literature

Place: Online 

Participants: Midad staff and other distinguished guests. 

Presenter Biography: Zeyneb Serdar, a teaching assistant at İstanbul 29 Mayıs University. 

Major themes: 

The first theme of the workshop was the definition of individualism as a social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Ms. Serdar explained the ideologies and foundations of individualism in the western world at the end of the eighteenth century- how it was characterized and marketed to reach the Arab world through media and literature, in addition to its relation to economic development and capitalism.

Subsequently, Ms. Serdar emphasized the importance of children’s literature in building societies. Authors of children’s literature have a message to convey to their impressionable audience and seek to plant it indirectly in their minds.

In the second half of the lecture, Professor Serdar, whose research included more than 200 Arab children’s stories from various Arab publishing houses, presented a model of an Arabic story for children (Faseeh La Yohebbu Ann Yaseeh – The Smart Chick Does Not Want to Crow) in which the ideas of individualism are clearly reflected in the character of the main figure of the story and are easily identified for adult readers. 

Ms. Serdar emphasized that individualism is notably increasing in Arabic children’s stories. The presentation concluded with a question-and-answer session and feedback from the attendees.

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