May 25, 2024

Sahar Jamshideyan

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
Education: M.Sc in علوم انسانی
Faculty: Literature and Human Sciences


A Cognitive Study of African-American Children Literature
Type Thesis
Empathy, Ethics, Mind reading, Cognitive, implied reader
Researchers Sahar Jamshideyan


Abstract: The purpose of this research is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of two contemporary novels written by two prominent authors of African American children literature. The novels include Sweet Whisper, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton,One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia. The assumption of this study is that narrative strategies and characters can evoke emotional and empathetical responses inyoung readers and help them in formation of ethical values and beliefs. In other words, the socio-culturally conscience children books can construct young readers’ mental model and convey distinctive awareness of African American cultural experiences through characters’ perspectives and experiences. It is supposed that the attitude of Black children literature toward knowledge of the self, instructs young readers to employ theory of mind to assess national, cultural and gender issues. It can be assumed that characters’ experiences described whether idyllic or traumatic can lead young readers’ behavior toward a psychologically better state and improve their emotional intelligence. The theoretical framework undergirding this study is Cognitive Science and criticism, an interdisciplinary approach which places human mind, emotion, empathy and memory at the center of critical analysis. The result of this study is going to indicate that two bodies of work by Hamiltonand Garcia through challenging the dominant perspectives regarding nationality, race and gender are committed to reflect thephysiological and psychological conditionof African American people to their young readers. Since experimental research is a time-consuming and difficult process, this study is done on implied reader.