This course will explore a tradition of stories that center around troubled fictions of childhood, in particular works that focus on the figure of the dangerous or haunted child. The fascination of such children in these books comes from their strange joining together of innocence and knowledge, vulnerability and power—hence the often vexed nature of these children's encounters with the adult world. These stories emerge especially in Romanticism, with its re-evaluation of the nature of childhood, and its feeling for the buried or unconscious powers of the human mind more generally. They continue to grip modern writers. Readings will include William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; poems by William Wordsworth; Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw; J. M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy; Richard Hughes, High Wind in Jamaica; Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart; Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; and shorter works by Kafka, Freud, and Angela Carter. Fits the post-1800 requirement.