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Emma England promoveerde 14 mei 2013 op het proefschrift 'The Dove, the Rainbow, and the Unicorn'. 170 Years of the Flood Story Retold for Children in Words and Pictures.

England richtte zich op de receptie van het zondvloedverhaal in Engelse kinderliteratuur. Promotoren waren Athalya Brenner en Jan Willem van Henten.

Uit de Engelse samenvatting:

Children’s Bible retellings educate, socialize and entertain. They are encountered by children from a variety of faith and secular backgrounds, at school and home, in groups and alone, with adults or not. Often they are the only way in which a person directly engages with a biblical narrative. Despite their cultural significance, Bible retellings for children are rarely discussed in academia. The thesis proposes a methodology for analyzing the content of biblical narratives retold for young children, focusing on the Genesis flood story in 170 years of English publishing (1837-2006).

Along with the thesis a personally designed and custom-built database is included, upon which bibliographical and content information for 273 retellings is recorded. The latter was devised specifically to analyze verbal and visual content of flood story retellings. This quantitative research enables unexpected discoveries and provides evidence (or a lack thereof) for assumptions about the material.

Using the findings as a backdrop, close readings are undertaken of how actors and events are recreated, focusing on a few retellings in each chapter, while providing brief examples from many others. These readings are based on a narratological approach through which ideologies are uncovered; ideologies which are presented in the intersections between word and image. Specifically, these relate to:

  1. how and why actors in the Genesis flood story have been marginalized or enhanced;
  2. who, how, and why actors in the retellings are othered, based on normativity of gender, class, size, race, and age.

The hermeneutic circle is completed by using the ideologies in the retellings to explore those presented in the biblical narrative.