Alexandra Questions

Hi all, below are my discussion questions for tomorrow’s class. I am looking forward to meeting!

1. Bow’s primary sources in this article are largely picture books, intended for very young children presumably between the ages of 3-8. What does the medium of the picture book in particular allow us to assume about the representation (or lack thereof, perhaps) of race? Does this reiterate the way children, as Berenstein argues, can identify ‘phenotypes’ of racial and ethnic difference, or does the medium also suggest something else? 

2. Bow suggests that Yoko offers ‘cultural appreciation’ as a racially abstracted ‘solution’ to the representation of diversity and racial difference in literature for children. I suppose my question is, what is gained or lost in the abstraction of race-as-culture, or ethnicity-as-culture, particularly in the context of a children’s book which renders racial diversity as species diversity? Why do cultural markers such as clothing and food code to a (largely white) neoliberal adult audience as ‘safer’ means of representing race and racial difference? 

3. In thinking about the CCBC’s diversity study and the resulting statistics, do these statistics and the keywords (or, we might say, buzzwords) such as ‘race’, ‘BIPOC’, ‘disabled’, ‘queer’ that inevitably arise as more formalised and more commonly circulated run the risk of over-simplifying the complex natures of concepts such as race, ability, sexuality, and gender when effectively given license to be deployed by corporations? 

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