“An Evil Text”: Chilean National Writing Plan and Students Becoming Writers with Villainy

Keywords: student writers, villainy, violence, pleasure, affects


This article examines high school students’ responses to an exercise from the Chilean National Writing Plan which invited students to “write an evil text.” The data was analyzed through a diffractive reading using affect theory. We asked the texts: What do affective repertoires related to villainy do to students becoming writers? We describe the affirmative potential of these affects and strategies used by students becoming writers to contest normative childhood and youth relations with cultural products and affective repertoires in education. Based on our findings, we posit that the entanglements between writing exercises, student writers, and villainy produced non-normative affects related to evilness, which in turn assembled into cultural zones of exception in which children and youth could speculate around complex topics such as the pleasures related to violence.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Ahmed, S. (2004a). Affective economies. Social Text, 22(2), 117–139. https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-22-2_79-117

Ahmed, S. (2004b). Cultural politics of emotion. Edinburgh University Press.

Ahmed, S. (2010). The promise of happiness. Duke University Press.

Atkinson, R., & Rodgers, T. (2016). Pleasure zones and murder boxes: Online pornography and violent video games as cultural zones of exception. The British Journal of Criminology, 56(6), 1291–1307. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azv113

Bareither, C. (2017). “That was so mean :D”—Playful virtual violence and the pleasure of transgressing intersecting emotional spaces. Emotion, Space and Society, 25, 111–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2016.12.005

Braidotti, R. (2018). Ethics of joy. In R. Braidotti & M. Hlavajova (Eds.), Posthuman glossary (pp. 221–223). Bloomsbury.

Coffin, P., & Renaud, C. (Directors). (2010, October 8). Despicable me [Film]. Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment.

Conrad, R. (2019). Time for childhoods: Young poets and questions of agency. University of Massachusetts Press.

Cumming, P. (2017). Introduction to Another Children’s Literature: Writing by Children and Youth Taking Writing by Children and Youth Seriously. Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, 55(2), 4–9. https://doi.org/10.1353/bkb.2017.0018

Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and repetition. Columbia University Press.

Díaz-Faes, A. M. (2022). Scary good: Queering the villain-hero dichotomy in contemporary fairy tale retellings. In N. Le Clue & J. Vermaak-Griessel (Eds.), Gender and female villains in 21st-century fairy tale narratives (pp. 21–33). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80117-564-720221001

Espinosa, M. J. (2018). Enseñanza de la escritura en la escuela: qué, cómo y por qué enseñan así los docentes [Tesis de doctorado, Universidad Diego Portales y Universidad Alberto Hurtado]. https://repositorio.uahurtado.cl/handle/11242/24204

Espinosa, M. J., & Concha, S. (2015). Aprendizaje de la escritura en las nuevas bases curriculares de Lenguaje y Comunicación: Nociones teóricas y modelos de escritura que subyacen a la propuesta curricular. Estudios pedagógicos, 41(2), 325–344. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-07052015000200019

Errázuriz, V. (2021a). A digital room of their own: Chilean students struggling against patriarchy in digital sites. Feminist Media Studies, 21(2), 281–297. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2019.1668451

Errázuriz, V. (2021b). Becoming “Hijas de la Lucha”: Political subjectification, affective intensities, and historical narratives in a Chilean all-girls high school. Theory & Research in Social Education, 49(1), 27–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00933104.2020.1857316

Errázuriz, V., & García-González, M. (2021). “More person, and, therefore, more satisfied and happy”: The affective economy of reading promotion in Chile. Curriculum Inquiry, 51(2), 229–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2021.1915690

Flores-Ferrés, M., van Weijen, D., & Rijlaarsdam, G. (2020). Teachers’ writing practices and contextual features in grades 7–12 of Chilean public schools. Journal of Writing Research, 12(2), 365–417. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2020.12.02.03

Friedrich, N., Wishart, K., & Peterson, S. S. (2018). Supporting emergent writers through guided play in a kindergarten classroom. Journal of Childhood Studies, 43(2), 58–64. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v43i2.18578

Gandolfi, E., & Antonacci, F. (2020). Beyond evil and good in online gaming. An analysis of violence in “Overwatch” between demonization and proactive values. Journal for Virtual Worlds Research, 13(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v13i1.7331

Gannon, S., & Davies, C. (2007). For love of the word: English teaching, affect, and writing. Changing English, 14(1), 87–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/13586840701235123

García González, M. (2021). Enseñando a sentir: Repertorios éticos en la ficción infantil. Metales Pesados.

García-González, M., & Deszcz-Tryhubczak, J. (2020). New materialist openings to children's literature studies. International Research in Children's Literature, 13(1), 45–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2020.0327

García-González, M., & Errázuriz, V. (2021). Reading promotion, conflict negation, and peaceful conviviality: The uses and hopes for literary education in Chile. Globalisation, Societies, and Education, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2021.1932435

Genc, B., & Lenhardt, C. (Eds.). (2020). Global perspectives on villains and villainy today. Brill.

Goebel, J. (2022). Keepers of the night stories. Journal of Childhood Studies, 47(3)21–33. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs202219648

Gómez, G., Sotomayor, C., Jéldrez, E., Bedwell, P., Domínguez, A. M., Ávila, N., & Calderón, M. (2016). La producción escrita de estudiantes y escuela en base a resultados SIMCE, factores contextuales y modelos de buenas prácticas docentes. Informe final proyecto FONIDE No. 911437, FONIDE-Mineduc. https://centroestudios.mineduc.cl/wp-content/uploads/sites/100/2017/07/INFORME-FINAL-F911437.pdf

Haverals, W., Geybels, L., & Joosen, V. (2022). A style for every age: A stylometric inquiry into crosswriters for children, adolescents, and adults. Language and Literature, 31(1), 62–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/09639470211072

Haynes, J., & Murris, K. (2017). Intra-generational education: Imagining a post-age pedagogy. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(10), 971–983. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2016.1255171

Jackson, A. Y., & Mazzei, L. A. (2012). Thinking with theory in qualitative research: Viewing data across multiple perspectives. Routledge.

Klimmt, C., Schmid, H., Nosper, A., Hartmann, T., & Vorderer, P. (2006). How players manage moral concerns to make video game violence enjoyable. 31(3), 309–328. https://doi.org/10.1515/COMMUN.2006.020

Kraftl, P. (2020). After childhood. Re-thinking environment, materiality and media in children’s lives. Routledge.

Larragueta Arribas, M., Sobrino Freire, I., & Mínguez López, X. (2022). Las varias caras del villano en el álbum ilustrado contemporáneo. In M. J. Maldonada & M. Gutiérrez Zornoza (Eds.), De la literatura infantil a la competencia literaria (pp. 45–55). Dykinson.

MacLure, M. (2010). The offence of theory. Journal of Education Policy, 25, 277–286. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680930903462316

MacLure, M. (2013). Researching without representation? Language and materiality in post-qualitative methodology. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), 658–667. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2013.788755

Montreuil, M., Noronha, C., Floriani, N., & Carnevale, F. A. (2018). Children’s moral agency: An interdisciplinary scoping review. Journal of Childhood Studies, 43(2), 17–30. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v43i2.18575

Murris, K. (2016). The posthuman child: Educational transformation through philosophy with picturebooks. Routledge.

Murris K., & Haynes, J. (Eds.). (2019). Literacies, literature, and learning: Reading classrooms differently. Routledge.

Renaud, C. (Director). (2016). The secret life of pets [Film]. Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures.

Sherbine, K. (2020). Friendly guns: Power, play, and choice in preschool. Journal of Childhood Studies, 45(3), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs00019908

Spanothymiou, P., Kyridis, A., Christodoulou, A., & Kanatsouli, M. (2015). Children’s evaluations of villains in children’s the heroes and literature. Studies in Media and Communication, 3(1), 47–55. https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v3i1.779

Stephens, J. (2019). Where have all the witches gone? The disappearing witch and children’s literature. In J. Dillinger (Ed.). The Routledge history of witchcraft (pp. 382–391). Routledge.

Swidler, A. (2001). Talk of love: How culture matters. The University of Chicago Press.

van Kessel, C. (2017). A phenomenographic study of youth conceptualizations of evil: Order-words and the politics of evil. Canadian Journal of Education, 40(4), 576–602. https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/3105

Vintimilla, C. D. (2014). Neoliberal fun and happiness in early childhood education. Journal of Childhood Studies, 39(1), 79–87. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v39i1.15246

Wesseling, E. (2019). Researching child authors: Which questions (not to) ask. Humanities, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020087

Wetherell, M. (2015). Trends in the turn to affect: A social psychological critique. Body & Society, 21(2), 139–166. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X14539020

How to Cite
García-González , M., Errázuriz, V., Concha, S., & Saona, I. (2023). “An Evil Text”: Chilean National Writing Plan and Students Becoming Writers with Villainy. Journal of Childhood Studies, 18-32. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs21172
Articles from Research