publication . Article . 2018

Power to children’s imaginations. May ’68 and counter culture for children in France

Sophie Heywood;
Open Access English
  • Published: 15 May 2018
  • Publisher: HAL CCSD
This is the accepted version of the following article: "Power to children’s imaginations. May ’68 and counter culture for children in France", which has been published in final form at; International audience; “Why am I talking to you about May ’68?”, asked the children’s publisher Arthur Hubschmid at a conference in 2005, “well, it changed things for us radically, that’s why”. The years around May ’68 are widely understood to have marked an important moment for children’s literature, particularly picturebooks, in France. The late 1960s to the late 1970s are typically portrayed as a period of renewal, even revolution, in the ways people conceptualised children’s picturebooks, which led to great experimentation and ebullition in the genre. Some even speak of the “May ’68 of children’s books”. This essay argues that the visual transformation, and change in status of picturebooks, were also the product of a wider, political debate around children’s books, and that we should take seriously the role of ’68 in this narrative. Thus far, 68 has been a neat shorthand for scholars to paint these years as so exciting that even children’s publishers could be hippie rebels. This period, I will argue, can also tell us a lot more about the history of the child in the cultural rebellions of the sixties, and how children and their culture became caught up in postwar social and cultural ideals and their counter cultural response. At the same time, understood as a form of cultural politics, the ’68 of children’s picturebooks provides a telling and distinct example of the different effects of ‘68.
Persistent Identifiers
free text keywords: [SHS]Humanities and Social Sciences, 1968, album, politique, édition pour la jeunesse, culture de l'enfance, place de l'enfant dans la société, contre-culture, picture book, politics, children’s book publishers, children’s culture, children’s place in society, counter-culture, Period (music), Hippie, Cultural politics, Politics, Aesthetics, History, Narrative, Power (social and political), lcsh:Literature (General), lcsh:PN1-6790, lcsh:Social Sciences, lcsh:H
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