Children's literature, a genre whose history in America dates back to THE NEW ENGLAND PRIMER, has often been intertwined with religious practice in the United States. In this course we will study the history of American religions through the lens of children's media. In so doing, we will examine the issue of how Americans remember and mediate their religious pasts. How do the stories told by historians of American religion compare with the stories told in children's books and graphic novels? How do biblical adaptations for children vary across time and space? What are the ethical stakes at play in representing religion? We will keep these questions in mind through a variety of thematic units, including the consumer culture of holidays, Jewish nostalgia, the telling of slave religions, the
intersection of fantasy and religion in children's literature, and evangelical children's media, among other topics. The course readings juxtapose children's literature selections with essays and books from the fields of religious history, American studies, and cultural studies.