Australian children's literature uses the complex theme of magic as a narrative device to interrogate hegemonic constructions of childhood. This textual process positions the intended reader to reflect upon their own burgeoning subjectivity. Magic interacts with key elements of identity including gender, sexuality, and race, to support or subvert culturally appropriate ways of being for the intended reader: the Australian child. This project will utilise close reading practices to investigate the themes in 12 literary texts written by Australian authors after the year 2000. These literary works range from picture books to YA fiction. Literary demonstrations of subjectivity make visible a broader socio-cultural schema of expected and acceptable ways of performing identity and experiencing childhood in contemporary Australian culture.
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