Kittys kartografi

Platser, artefakter och agens i fyra Kittyböcker

  • Elin Käck
Keywords: spatial literary theory, literary geography, girlhood studies, Grand Tour, travel, tourism, girlhood, Nancy Drew


Nancy Drew’s Cartography: Places, Artifacts, and Agency in Four Nancy Drew Mysteries

Within children’s and young adult literature, movement between different places is often intricately linked to the agency of the characters. The Nancy Drew series is no exception, as it is characterized by a wide geographical area and a high level of mobility for the characters, who also have substantial agency. This article examines how places, geographies, cartographies, and spatial movements inform the plot in four Swedish translations of Nancy Drew mysteries where travel and place constitute a substantial part of the plot: Mystery of the Winged Lion (1982), and the 1992 trilogy comprising Swiss Secrets, Rendezvous in Rome, and Greek Odyssey. Informed by spatial literary theory, the analysis focuses on the aspects of place, artifacts closely linked to a specific place, and agency, respectively. The article shows that place, travel, and artifacts are central to the mysteries, which depend on touristic, well-known sites, and on the transformations which occur when these sites become potentially dangerous. At the core of the mysteries, we encounter iconic, at times historic artifacts that sometimes situate the detective series in a realm of history. At times these artifacts even direct the story, and can thus be seen as to some extent agentic. Finally, the travelogue-informed genre, with its ties to the historic (predominantly male) Grand Tour, creates new possibilities for character development and reflection in the detective series.

How to Cite
Käck, E. (2022). Kittys kartografi: Platser, artefakter och agens i fyra Kittyböcker. Barnboken, 45.
Theme: Conceptions of Girlhood Now and Then