The main objectives of Nature in Children’s Literature and Culture are to map out and analyse the representations of nature in children’s and young adult literature and culture and explore how the interaction of student teachers, children and young adults with literary texts and outdoor didactic practices shape their environmental awareness.
NaChiLitCul challenges the seemingly implied and positive connection between children and nature within the field of educational and ecocritical thinking and theory, and examines whether the various representations of nature found in children’s and YA literature and culture correspond with those found in educational practices.
The outcome is increased knowledge of how nature is represented and understood in children’s and YA literature and culture, and augmented understanding of how literature and educational practices may shape both student teachers’ and children’s ability to verbalize their conceptions and awareness of nature and of current environmental challenges.
NaChiLitCul was established at Bergen University College, now Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), in 2013. It was founded in response to an identified lack of both national and international coverage of Nordic children’s ecocritical writings and children’s texts. NaChiLitCul is now a leading environment for research on children’s literature nationally. In addition to cooperation with other in-house research groups (Formation – nature, body, movement and Education for Sustainability), NaChiLitCul is a substantial research group on children’s literature, and currently comprises thirteen in-house researchers, a PhD student, and MA students in Children’s Literature. In addition, eight external researchers (from Norway, Denmark, Catalonia, Italy, and Australia) are affiliated with the project.