Rutgers-Camden Librarians Contribute to Childhood Studies Book

Kids say the darndest things. Viral videos like “David After Dentist” and “Charlie Bit My Finger” are turning children into Internet stars overnight. Rutgers–Camden librarian Katie Elson Anderson has examined the implications of the instant fame for her essay, “Configuring Childhood on the Web.”

The essay is featured as a chapter in the book Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images (Lexington Books, 2012). The book is a collection of essays that examine the images of children and childhood in popular culture, in print, online, and in television and film. It was co-edited by Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic, who is also a librarian at the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers-Camden.

“Viral videos starring children have become a real phenomenon,” Anderson says. “I think the early videos — the ones with Charlie and David, for example — were organic,” Anderson says.  “People didn’t really know that these videos could become viral. They just posted videos for family. Now, it seems that people are posting videos because they are seeing the fame that can result from it. There’s actually money to be made.”

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