Session Name: Stella Schools Program Talk
Audience: Secondary students
- 57% of children’s books published each year have male protagonists; 31% have female protagonists
- Over its 59-year history, the Miles Franklin Literary Award has been won only 17 times by a woman
- 61% of the Victorian Year 12 English Prescribed Texts for 2016 are by male authors
We often discuss literature as a mirror in which readers can see their lives reflected back at them, or as a window through which we can glimpse and start to understand the lives of others. But what happens when you can’t see yourself at all in the reflection? Or, as is often the case for boys, all you see out the window are others just like you?
Unconscious gender bias is at work when women, who make up half of our society, are under-represented in our major literary prizes, in the pages of our literary journals and on school book lists.
This session looks at unconscious gender bias in relation to our reading habits. Students will have the chance to participate in a discussion about whether the books they read feature more male or female protagonists. Students will be asked how they select books, what informs their initial impressions and whether they think the ways books are marketed to them influences their reading choices.
Drawing on their own experiences as readers and writers, speakers will discuss the impact of gendered reading on their attitudes, writing and sense of self.
Students will be introduced to new texts and learn ways to become more critical readers. Students should leave this interactive session with different perspectives on books that they may previously have passed over, and a greater understanding of how gender shapes attitudes in our society.
- Unconscious bias
- Gender-specific marketing
- Critical reading / thinking
- Text suggestions
- The limitations of gendered reading
- The impact on both boys and girls of gendered reading and marketing
- Why readers need to see people like themselves and unlike themselves in books
- Gender bias in YA as well as adult literature
Duration: 50-60 minutes
Requirements: Data Projector, whiteboard.
Will bring presentation on a USB and own laptop.
Stella speakers will contact the schools directly to discuss specific tech requirements.
See a full list of schools ambassadors available to visit schools here.
To enquire about booking a Stella Schools Program speaker, contact Schools Manager Bec Kavanagh: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Stella Schools Program or to request a copy of the free resources kit, email: email@example.com