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Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Adrian Schober Chapter 1: Spielberg and the Kidult, Noel Brown Chapter 2: Unconditional Love, Hysterical Motherhood and the Lost/Possessed Child: Steven Spielberg's Something Evil, Adrian Schober Chapter 3: Ambiguous Loss: The Depiction of Child Abduction in Spielberg's Early Films, James Kendrick Chapter 4: "I'll be right here!" Dealing with Emotional Trauma in and through E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Peter Kramer Chapter 5: Children, Innocence and Agency in the Films of Steven Spielberg, Ingrid E. Castro Chapter 6: Childhood, Race, and the Politics of Dirt in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, Debbie Olson Chapter 7: Betwixt-and-Between: Reclaiming Childhood in Hook, Jen Baker Chapter 8: Hooked on Happy Thoughts: New Sincerity and Spielberg's Troubled Nostalgia for Mythic Childhood, Jessica Balanzategui and Gabrielle Kristjanson Chapter 9: Bipolar Boys: Spielberg's Manic-Depressive Children, Andrew M. Gordon Chapter 10: Trauma, Loss, Anxiety: Spielberg's Missing Children in Minority Report, Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds, Fran Pheasant-Kelly Chapter 11: Body Consciousness and Adolescence in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn, Leonie Rutherford

About the Author

Adrian Schober serves on the editorial board of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children's Popular Culture. Debbie Olson is lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington, and for Dallas County Community College District.


A stimulating and original collection. A range of distinguished scholars have been assembled to reflect on the representation of childhood in Spielberg's work, and collectively they challenge the frequent critical accusations of sentimentality, illuminating instead the sensibility of a director whose work has always shown an unusual sensitivity to the traumas and dangers of childhood and how children (and adults) cope with this sense of anxiety and loss. An important contribution to Spielberg studies. -- Neil R. Sinyard, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies, University of Hull
Adrian Schober and Debbie Olson's collection Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg testifies to the potency of the child figure in Spielberg's films. The essays in this collection reveal that Spielberg's depictions of childhood are shaped by social anxieties about the safety of children, their complicated relations with adults, and the pressures that affect modern families. The collection will generate lively discussions of Spielberg's films across studies of children's literature, childhood and popular cinema. -- Clare Bradford, Alfred Deakin Professor, Deakin University

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