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Michaela Mahlberg and Anna Cermakova

Heroines, Heroes and Gender Inequality in Children’s Fiction

Hay Festival 2019 , 

Fiction provides children with an important space to learn how to make sense of the world. It is also a crucial source for role models. Fictional worlds are not so unlike the real world – especially when it comes to gender inequalities. Based on their work with large collections of texts, Professor Mahlberg and Dr Cermakova from the University of Birmingham's Centre for Corpus Research will explore fiction from Dickens to modern children's books, to demonstrate how repeated language patterns reflect a gendered view of society.