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Abstract

In her article "A Critical Discourse Analysis of Representation of Asian Indian Folk Tales in US-American Children's Literature," Sudeshna Roy explores the representation of India in U.S. children's picture books by interpreting prevailing images of the subcontinent and its peoples and their impact on children's understandings. Roy analyzes three key elements -- titles, illustrations, and text -- identifying a set of predominant themes: nature and wild animals, poverty and hardship, spiritual hermits, and wit and common sense wisdom. From these findings, Roy suggests that Eurocentric imperial ideologies continue to inform the formulation of race, gender, and nation in U.S. children's books. Indeed, the books analyzed maintain popular expectations about India, dictated by colonial stereotypes, the discomfort in approaching multiculturalism in the United States, and the concept of the "other" socially, temporally, and spatially removed from the "here and now." The discourses in these books thus affirm the view of a one-way history of progress, development, and modernity of Western society in their negative mirror images, stagnation, underdevelopment, and tradition in the "other" world, in this case, India.

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