SOLD OUT Spring Salon with Pamela Robertson Wojcik '86
Pamela Robertson Wojcik is Professor in the Department of Film, TV and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame and President Elect of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She will discuss her new book Fantasies of Neglect: Imagining the Urban Child in Film and Fiction.
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 source of empowerment and delight for children.
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 fictional representations and shifting discourses on the freedom and neglect of children.
WHEN: Sunday, March 19, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Car: street parking
--northbound UPRR train arrives Central St. Evanston (4 Block walk) at 1:01P
--southbound UPRR train arriives 12:57P
--southbound train leaves Central St. Evanston 2:57p
--northbound train leaves at 3:01p