Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Dr. Noreen C. Barnes

Second Advisor

Jorge Benitez

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Hodges

Fourth Advisor

Valerie Robnolt

Fifth Advisor

Paula Otto


The technology of the codex book and the habit of reading appear to be under attack currently for a variety of reasons explored in the Introduction of this Dissertation. One natural response to attack is a resulting effort to adapt in a bid to survive. Noël Carroll, leading American philosopher in the contemporary philosophy of art, touches on this concept in his discussion of the evolution of a new medium in his article, “Medium Specificity Arguments and Self-Consciously Invented Arts: Film, Video, and Photography,” from his Cambridge University Press 1996 text, Theorizing the Moving Image. Carroll proposes that any new medium undergoes phases of development (and I include new technology under that umbrella)). After examining Carroll’s theory this Dissertation attempts to apply it to the Children’s Picturebook Field, exploring the hypothesis that the published children’s narrative does evolve, has already evolved historically in response to other mediums/technologies, and is currently “e-volving” in response to emerging “e-media.” This discussion examines ways new media (particularly emerging e-media) affect the published children’s narrative form, content, and function (with primary focus on the picturebook form), and includes some examination of the response of the child reader to those changes. Chapter One explores the formation of the question, its value, and reviews available literature. Chapter Two compares the effects of an older sub-genre, the paper-engineered picturebook, with those of emerging e-picturebooks. Chapter Three compares the Twentieth Century Artist’s Book to picturebooks created by select past and current picturebook creators. Chapter Four first considers the shifting cultural mindset of Western Culture from a linear, word-based outlook to the non-linear, more visual approach fostered by the World Wide Web and supporting “screen” technologies; then identifies and examines current changes in form, content and function of the designed picturebooks that are developing “on the page” within the constraints of the codex book format. The Dissertation concludes with a review of Leonard Shlain’s 1998 text, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, using it as a departure point for final observations regarding unique strengths of the children’s picturebook as a learning tool for young children.


The accompanying screen capture mp4 files are noted within the Dissertation.


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