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Diverse lessons: Cosmopolitanism and fantasy fiction inside and outside the classroom
chapterposted on 2011-12-01, 00:00 authored by Helen YoungHelen Young
Education is not restricted to the formal, institutionalised processes associated with schools and universities, myths and ideologies - among other things - are also conveyed through culture; popular culture simultaneously transmits and shapes societal and cultural norms. Informal education is important, especially for children and young people as they absorb the culture around them. Unlike more conventionally =literary' types of fiction, fantasy is popular, and thus can speak to and for the concerns and notions of large groups within society. Starting from these facts this chapter explores representations of diversity, racial and cultural difference in the popular fantasy world of Katharine Kerr's epic =Deverry' series. In both difference Alterity is mapped onto encounters between different species with different cultures, allowing exploration of diversity and difference in =safe' imaginative space. The author creates and imaginative world where cosmopolitan society is represented positively. This chapter argues that not only do these novels, and others like them, provide positive models and thus contribute to education in and for a cosmopolitan society, but may also be of use in the classroom for the same reasons ©2010 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.