Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels have inspired generations of readers of all ages. Unlike most fiction for young readers published during the Great Depression, Wilder’s Little House books have never gone out of print. While they are uniquely American, they seem to cross cultural boundaries, and have been translated into dozens of languages, from German and French to Indonesian and Japanese.
Yet Wilder’s work is also at the center of controversy. Who actually wrote the Little House series? How did Wilder’s personal life influence the direction and content of her fiction? Are the books a reliable and sensitive representation of the pioneer experience in the American West?
This course is designed to explore these issues and more. It will expand your understanding of the literary themes, style, and historical underpinnings of Wilder’s Little House series. You’ll gain insight into complex issues at the heart of contemporary Wilder scholarship: the question of authorship; Wilder’s depiction of American Indians and the frontier; the ethical ambiguities underlying autobiographical fiction and memoir.
At the end of this eight-week course, you’ll emerge with a clearer understanding of Wilder’s contribution to American children’s literature.
I thought I was going to die of happiness finding this fascinating course! It met every expectation I had and more. I could not believe it was so interesting and I found an entire population of people who were just as much in love with the Laura Ingalls...
I thought I was going to die of happiness finding this fascinating course! It met every expectation I had and more. I could not believe it was so interesting and I found an entire population of people who were just as much in love with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as I was.
I learned so much more than just about the real Laura and her daughter Rose, I also learned about the YA genre which did not exist until Laura wrote the later books in the series. The Instructor Pamela Smith Hill was so good. I highly recommend this course (and her biography notes attached to Pioneer Girl, the original book by Laura that was never published until last year, but her daughter Rose helped her break up into smaller children's novels, fictionalized to make them more interesting.
My only criticism is that the discussion forum that comes with the course need a "like" button so that we could quickly get thru the comments that were similar /duplicative. But it was all so interesting to find that people as far away as Australia and Japan love Laura just as much as we Americans. The quizes were fun (tho a little too easy for someone as obsessed with the Little House books as I am).
Thanks so much Missouri State and Pamela Smith Hill. What a wonderful use of our higher ed system to make this available to all, for free. Makes me proud to be an American that such a MOOC was created to bring higher ed to all around the world, spreading the stories by Laura, but also an example of another American innovation (MOOCs), leveraging the life-changing innovation the U.S. gave the world: the internet/web itself.
Anonymous completed this course.
I loved this course. It was very informative and well planned out. I read the books to my family and even my teenage son would sit and listen to them being read. I would then discuss the lessons with the family. We all benefited from this course.
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this class the last time it was offered. Very insightful and informative. If you are at all interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder or her books I highly recommend it.