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Issues of Interculturality in Selected English-Speaking Picture Books

Magdalena Middelmann

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft


Master's Thesis from the year 2018 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,8, TU Dortmund, language: English, abstract: This thesis will examine the ways that different intercultural issues are represented in picture books and talk about how these representations may affect the reader. Therefore, several approaches will be used. As this paper primarily focuses on the picture book format, the text itself, along with the illustrations, will be closely examined. It is a fact that the illustrations in picture books not only represent the story that is put into words, but also add additional messages and background information to the written text. One of the goals of this paper is to find the messages based on the interanimation of text and illustrations and interpret them according to the concept of interculturality. The authors and illustrators of the discussed books are another part to focus on. It is important to note whether they are part of the culture they write about and illustrate, or not. It is crucial to take a closer look at the cultural background of authors and illustrators, as this paper examines picture books in connection to cultural issues. As much as possible, it will be examined in how far the biographies of the author and the illustrator have influenced the picture book. This knowledge then can give the book new aspects of meaning and might slightly change the message that is meant to be delivered. Also, it helps the reader to locate the story within a certain cultural range. This background information is closely linked to the context the book was written and illustrated in. In addition to that, the context in which the story is being perceived also needs to be examined to gain an overall analysis. Finally, this paper will consider the recipient and how he or she perceives the words and the illustrations. Therefore, and in compliance to reception aesthetics and reader-response criticism, potential meanings of the text will be considered and compared to each other. Important aspects to be considered here are the desired target group along with their age range and their cultural background, and the time of the first publishing of the picture book.

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English, Interculturality, Bilderbücher, Interkulturalität, Picture Books