While Romantic-era concepts of childhood nostalgia have been understood as the desire to retrieve the ephemeral mindset of the child, this collection proposes that the emergence of digital media has altered this reflective gesture towards the past. No longer is childhood nostalgia reliant on individual memory. Rather, it is associated through contemporary convergence culture with the commodities of one's youth as they are recycled from one media platform to another. Essays in the volume's first section identify recurrent patterns in the recycling, adaptation, and remediation of children's toys and media, providing context for section two's exploration of childhood nostalgia in memorial practices. In these essays, the contributors suggest that childhood toys and media play a role in the construction of s the imagined communities (Benedict Anderson) that define nations and nationalism. Eschewing the dichotomy between restorative and reflexive nostalgia, the essays in section three address the ethics of nostalgia in terms of child agency and depictions of childhood. In a departure from the notion that childhood nostalgia is the exclusive prerogative of narrative fiction, section four looks for its traces in the child sciences. Pushing against nostalgia's persistent associations with wishful thinking, false memories, and distortion, this collection suggests nostalgia is never categorically good or bad in itself, but owes its benefits or defects to the ways in which it is brought to bear on the representation of children and childhood.

chapter |16 pages


part I|66 pages

The cultural dynamics of cross-generational (re-)appropriation

chapter 2|15 pages

Nostalgia or innovation?

The adaptation of Dutch children’s books into films

chapter 3|15 pages

Superheroes and identity

The role of nostalgia in comic book culture

chapter 4|18 pages

(Re-)constructing childhood memories

Nostalgia, creativity, and the expanded worlds of the Lego fan community

part II|84 pages

Childhood nostalgia and memorial politics

chapter 5|17 pages

Nostalgic panoramas of childhood

Toy objects in Ireland, 1851–1909

chapter 6|18 pages

Making children’s ‘classics,’ making past childhoods

Children’s ‘classics’ as sites for memory politics and nostalgia

chapter 7|13 pages

Propaganda and nostalgia

Constructing memories about the German Democratic Republic for young people

chapter 8|19 pages

Communist childhoods and nostalgia

A cultural analysis of online remembrance strategies (2006–2011)

chapter 9|15 pages

Lost in nostalgia

Images of childhood in photo books for children

part III|128 pages

Modalities of nostalgia

chapter 10|13 pages

Looking for asymmetries

A theoretical approach to childhood nostalgia in pre-figurative culture

chapter 11|17 pages

Perverse nostalgia

Child sex abuse as trauma commodity in neo-Victorian fiction

chapter 12|18 pages

“Scared Straight” and beyond

The presumption of teenaged guilt and the perpetuation of defeated paradigms

chapter 13|20 pages

Teenage nostalgia

Perpetual adolescents in Little Children and Young Adult 1

chapter 14|16 pages

Ambivalent longings

Nostalgia in the picturebooks of Pieter Gaudesaboos

chapter 15|19 pages

Children’s music and nostalgia

Digging in the past with an eye to the future

chapter 16|23 pages

Happiness is quite common

Postmemory of the 1950s in De Daltons (1999–2010)

part IV|40 pages

Nostalgic science

chapter 17|19 pages

Comics, childhood, and nostalgia

Fredric Wertham and the comic book panic of the 1950s

chapter 18|19 pages

Back to where we came from

Evolutionary psychology and children’s literature and media