Fantasies of Neglect: Imagining the Urban Child in American Film and Fiction by Pamela Robertson Wojcik


Location: Hammes Notre Dame Book Store

Fantasies Of Neglect Book Launch Pw

In our current era of helicopter parenting and stranger danger, an unaccompanied child wandering through the city might commonly be viewed as a victim of abuse and neglect.  however, from the early twentieth century to the present day, countless books and films have portrayed the solitary exploration of urban spaces as a cource of empowerment and delight for children.

Book Launch
Thursday, November 3
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore

Fantasies of Neglect explains how this trope of the self-sufficient, mobile urban child originated and considers why it persists, even as it goes against the grain of social reality.  Drawing from a wide range of films, children's books, adult novels, and sociological texts, Pamela Robertson Wojcik investigates how cities have simultaneously been demonized as dangerous spaces unfit for children and romanticized as wondrous playgrounds that foster a kid's independence and imagination.  Charting the development of free-range urban child characters from Little Orphan Annie to Harriet the Spy to Hugo Cabret, and from Shirley Temple to the Dead End Kids, she considers the ongoing dialogue between these ficitonal representations and shifting discourse on the freedom and neglect of children.


Posted In: Film Calendar