Open Position: Assistant Professor in Global/Transnational Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies

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Assistant Professor in Global/Transnational Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies (Literature Program, English Department)
English  Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh  (22007603)
 The Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor in Global/Transnational Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies to begin in Fall 2023, pending budgetary approval.

We seek candidates with teaching and scholarly expertise in literature, arts, or media for children beyond or in addition to Europe and North America, including in languages other than English. Possible areas of interest include (but are not limited to) transnational circulation, post/decoloniality, and/or translation. We are especially interested in applications from scholars who develop a global perspective on urgent questions about race, gender, disability, and other facets of social justice that are central to contemporary children’s literature studies. The successful candidate will have opportunities for leadership and participation in a growing international partnership bringing together children’s literature scholars in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty and curriculum, and candidates should identify their strengths or experiences in this area. The person hired for this position will teach courses in a thriving interdisciplinary undergraduate program in children’s literature and culture, as well as a wide range of other undergraduate literature courses and graduate seminars in their areas of scholarly interest.

Applicants must hold a PhD in English, Literature, or a related field by the time of appointment (September 1, 2023). This position comes with a 2/2 teaching load, with the expectation of service to the Children’s Literature Program and the English Department.

To apply, please supply the following materials by November 1, 2022.

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of diversity (1-2 pp.) that demonstrates your past and/or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion through teaching, research, and service

As candidates progress through the search process, the committee may request:

  • Writing sample
  • Teaching portfolio
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation

Please contact Sarah Elizabeth Baumann, Office Manager and Assistant to the Chair of English, 526 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, with any questions: sebaumann@pitt.edu. You can also contact Courtney Weikle-Mills, Search Committee Chair, Director of Children’s Literature, and Associate Professor of English, at caw57@pitt.edu for information.

The University of Pittsburgh requires all Pitt constituents (employees and students) on all campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. Visit coronavirus.pitt.edu to learn more about this requirement.

  The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EOE, including disability/vets. The University of Pittsburgh requires all Pitt constituents (employees and students) on all campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. Visit coronavirus.pitt.edu to learn more about this requirement. 

Assignment Category Full-time regular
Campus Pittsburgh
Required Attachments Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae, Other (see posting for additional details)
Optional Attachments Letters of Recommendation, Other (see posting for additional details)

 

CFP: Motherhood and Mothering in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Motherhood is a concept in motion. For the past decade it has gained many new and contradictory meanings, and as a result mothering has also come to be linked to an increasing number of subjects.

To this theme in Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research, we invite submissions that explore motherhood and mothering in relation to literature for children and adolescents through different approaches and theoretical perspectives. The aim is to highlight the relevance of children’s and young adult literature as well as children’s literature research in the context of the contemporary discourse on motherhood. We welcome submissions that address older as well as contemporary Nordic children’s and young adult literature.

Guest editors of this theme are Malin Nauwerck, the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, and Tuva Haglund, Uppsala University.

Deadline for abstracts is 8 April 2022.

Read more about the call here.

CFP: The Child of the Future

“…the symbiont children developed a complex subjectivity composed of loneliness, intense sociality, intimacy with nonhuman others, specialness, lack of choice, fullness of meaning, and sureness of future purpose.”

(Haraway, 2016, Staying With The Trouble, p.149)

After living through a once-in-a-generation pandemic, whilst in the midst of a slowly-evolving climate crisis, our expectations about what the future of humanity will look like have been called into serious question. These disruptions have impacted the world of children perhaps more than that of adults. In the wake of lockdowns and school closures, children’s development, interpersonal connections, and engagement with media, learning and play have become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. More concretely, populations are declining around the world, calling into question how many children of the future there will be and where we might find them.

Correspondingly, the ways in which we conceptualise the child are shifting. In parallel to world events, theoretical discourse in the fields of childhood studies have experimented with viewing children as ontologically fluid. Scholars are increasingly thinking outside of the temporal binary implied by the words “adult” and “child”, instead refiguring childhood and the wider spectrum of age as complex assemblages and entanglements; the child with greater time left (Beauvais, 2018 p.77), the child enfolded in matter and meaning across time (Barad, 2007), the human and the nonhuman inextricably linked (Haraway, 2016).

This shift can be seen in children’s literature and media studies’ more recent interest in posthumanism, new materialism, spectrality and other adjacent theories which read childhood through the more abstract complication of animals, plants, objects, texts and technologies.

This conference aims to bring together these burgeoning conversations that are increasingly evident across disciplines at a time where these connections are more relevant than ever before. We are looking to explore the many and varied ways that scholars may conceptualise the idea of ‘the child of the future’. We hope to hear papers that interpret the topic in many different ways, those that consider the ‘child of the future’ as both real and imagined, actual and fictional.

In addition to a focus on the child of the future, proposal topics may include (but are in no means limited to):

  • Posthumanism
  • The Anthropocene and/or Chthulucene and/or Capitalocene
  • New Materialism
  • Nonhuman modes of being (animal, plant, microorganism, robot, etc.)
  • Spectrality and hauntology
  • Environments, bodies and spatiality
  • Spirituality/religion
  • Engaging with the past/ theorising the future
  • Adaptation and transformation
  • Memory
  • Sci-fi, fantasy and non-mimetic media
  • Technology and materiality
  • Intergenerationality
  • Pedagogy

We welcome papers of a duration of 20 minutes that will be arranged into thematic panels. Papers that blend the creative and the critical will be considered, and interdisciplinary papers and panel proposals are also encouraged. We particularly wish to offer opportunities for graduate students and other early-career scholars. If you fall into this category, please indicate in your application if you wish to be considered for one of our funded conference bursaries.

Please send an abstract of 300 words, a short biography (100 words) and 5-8 keywords in a Word document to thechildofthefuture2022@gmail.com with the following subject line: ‘The Child of the Future abstract’.

Submissions must be received by 5th January 2022. Notification of acceptance will be sent out at the start of February 2022.

University of Cambridge, St John’s College | Thursday June 30th – Friday July 1st, 2022

In line with COVID-19 guidance and regulations, we anticipate that this conference will go ahead as planned in person at St John’s College, University of Cambridge. However, we are conscious of the safety of all speakers and attendees and as such will update you of any changes should they arise.

Thank you for considering this CFP, and we look forward to hearing from you!

CFP: Black Spaces in International Children’s Literature

Sociologist Elijah Anderson has astutely observed that in spite of the influence of the United States’ civil rights movements, racial segregation remains central to U.S. society. Anderson has noted that while public spaces have officially or nominally become open to all, “the wider society is still replete with overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, universities, workplaces, churches and other associations, courthouses, and cemeteries, a situation that reinforces a normative sensibility in which Black people are typically absent, not expected, or marginalized when present” (10).

This concept of white space extends to children’s books and media, publishers, and scholarship. Yet Anderson’s conception of more inclusive “cosmopolitan” and Black spaces is also relevant for theorizing and understanding African and African Diasporic writing for young people. These rich and diverse bodies of literature, film, and other media comprise spaces that center on and portray the power of Black identities, cultures, and histories.

For this special issue of IRCL, the journal of an organization whose membership includes very few Black scholars from Africa and the African Diaspora, we, Karen Chandler and Michelle Martin, African American guest editors and senior scholars who want to foster more BIPOC scholarship in the field, intend this issue as an invitation into more scholarly conversations by and about Africa and the African Diaspora. We invite international contributions that expand upon this notion of Black Space in children’s literature, film, and related media of African societies and the African Diaspora–spaces that afford attention to Black identities, cultures, and histories. In adapting Anderson’s ideas about White and Black Space, we are most interested in moving beyond conventional thinking that equates Black space with dysfunction and lack (e.g. the American ghetto), the “primitive/barbaric or natural/romantic” (e.g. patterns in West African children’s books that Vivian Yenika-Agbaw has analyzed), or other emphases that simplify or distort Black experience.

We aim to bring Anderson’s conception of Black Space into conversation with texts created by authors from Black African societies and the Black Diaspora who are writing for young readers. We are interested in scholarship on children’s and young adult literature that portrays Black Space as generative, creative, secure, joyful, nurturing, and more. Outdoor spaces, porches, kitchens, barbershops, markets, salons, churches, schools, and other communal spaces often form metaphorical “villages” where mutual care takes place, where Black young people find nurture and community, and where they locate the resources to learn to be and express themselves.

Some contemporary Black creators to consider include Ghanaian author Portia Dery; Nigerian author Mary Ononokpono; African American Patricia McKissack (Porch Lies and Other Tales), Joyce Carol Thomas (adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston stories with Chris Myers and other illustrators) and Mildred D. Taylor (Logan family saga); British Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses series); Ivorian-French Marguerite Abouet’s Aya series (Aya of Yop City); Nigerian American Nnedia Okorafor (the Akata Witch and Binti series); Kwama Mbalia (Tristan Strong series), and Toni Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone series); Canadian American Zetta Elliott (Dragons in a Bag series); Haitian American Edwidge Danticat (Untwine, The Last Mapou); and the many crafters (e.g. Reginald Hudlin, Jesse Holland, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ryan Coogler) of the Afrofuturistic world of Black Panther. We are also interested in earlier children’s literature and applicable/relevant theory, such as that by J. O. de Graft Hanson, Chinua Achebe, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

Essays on historical or contemporary texts might pursue some of the following:

  • Black spaces: places (real or imagined) where Black people are able to thrive, to create, to build, to regenerate
  • Black creativity: representations of Black individuals or groups making things, creating art, gardening, cooking, being ingenious, making music, dancing, talking and telling stories, performing comedy
  • Conflicts related to class, ethnicity, religion, gender identities, etc. among different communities of the Black Diaspora
  • The environment, ecology, land, air, parks and gardens, and sustainability related to how and where Black people live and work
  • Food justice in Black communities
  • The motif of the underground as spaces of escape or safety for people of the African Diaspora
  • Genres and formats as spaces, including spaces that have yet to be inhabited by publishing houses and Black authors in a substantive way. While Black YA authors’ urban street lit and historical nonfiction and historical fiction find routes to publication, what genres are still relatively rare or non-existent for Black authors, and what might that future look like?
  • Publishing traditions and constraints vs. Black artistic integrity: national settings can sometimes dictate what genres are most common and what children’s literature looks like; how might more international conversations between writers for children and young adults from different locales within the African Diaspora push the boundaries of what is possible for all?
  • The role of literary prizes (e.g. The Golden Baobab Award, Children’s Africana Book Awards, Coretta Scott King Award, etc.), archives, and curation in sustaining the availability of Black books both for enjoyment and for study
    Own Voices as a contested space: tensions have long existed between texts written from outside of a lived experience vs. texts written from an Own Voices perspective
  • Problematizing conceptualizations of Blackness to examine its diversity and complexity; and exploring books from different parts of Black Diaspora
    Texts as sites for cross-cultural collaborations, as when a co-writer who brings the story to light amplifies the voice of the teller or when a Black writer or illustrator collaborates with a non-Black artist
  • Translations or adaptations of Black texts for young people
  • Intersections between Blackness and Indigeneity within shared spaces, and Black individuals’/groups’ relationship to Native cultures, heritage, tribal lands, sovereignty, citizenship, etc.
  • Protests/protesting, histories and revisionist histories informing protests; particular cultural practices that are forms of protest
  • Speculative fiction as revisionist history and/or as prophecy

Please send your proposal to the guest editors (karen.chandler@louisville.edu, mhmarti@uw.edu) and the journal editor, Roxanne Harde (rharde@ualberta.ca) by 1 January 2022.

Completed articles will be due 1 April 2022.

Email subject: “IRCL Special Issue Black Spaces.”

The submission should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, a brief bio (100 words) and 3-5 key words.

Please follow the IRCL style guide.

NEWS: Invitation to Lectures by Marnie Campagnaro and Anastasia Ulanowicz

On behalf of the members of The Centre for Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Wrocław, members are invited to two online lectures, Professor Marnie Campagnaro’s Architecture and Interior Design in Picturebook, and Professor Anastasia Ulanowicz’s Bloodlands Fiction, the fifth and sixth talks in the “International Voices in Children’s Literature Studies” series.

Professor Campagnero’s lecture will be held on December 1, 2021, at 6 p.m. Warsaw time.

If you are interested in taking part in the lecture, please contact us by email by 29 November at the following address: mateusz.swietlicki@uwr.edu.pl

Professor Ulanowicz’s lecture will be held on December 8, 2021, at 6 p.m. Warsaw time.

 

NEWS: Call for Submissions – The Dragon Lode

Submissions are invited for the Spring 2022 issue of The Dragon Lode, the journal of the Children’s Literature and Reading SIG of the International Literacy Association (ILA).

Manuscripts that explore contemporary issues and questions, genre study, literary theory, and research related to children’s literature and reading are invited.

Manuscripts due: December 15, 2021

Please visit http://www.clrsig.org/dragonlode.html for more information and submission guidelines, or email the Editors at thedragonlode@gmail.com with any questions about the submission process.

NEWS: TECHNE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2022

The English and Creative Writing team at Roehampton is pleased to announce that the current round of applications for our annual scholarships in children’s literature is open (studies commencing October 2022).

We invite applications from outstanding candidates for our TECHNE AHRC doctoral studentships. Studentships are supported in departments across the university, but ECW will consider applications for projects related to children’s literature or creative writing for children. Projects drawing on our archival holdings—such as the Richmal Crompton archive and historical collections—will be especially welcome, as will proposals that build on our research interests.

These include, but are not limited to: young adult fiction; philosophy; environmental/eco-critical studies; historical fiction; the Robinsonade; memory; reading; oral histories; visual texts; print culture. The School is looking for candidates of the highest quality, capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have completed an MA degree in a relevant subject, such as children’s literature or creative writing for children. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate strong research capabilities and fluency in spoken and written English that meets the university’s entrance criteria for doctoral study.

The University of Roehampton is set on a beautiful, traditional campus in south-west London. The University provides its students with exceptional facilities, high quality teaching and a close-knit, collegiate experience. It has a diverse student body and a cosmopolitan outlook, with students from over 130 countries.

For more information and details of how to apply, please see our Graduate School pages:

https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduate-school/techne-ahrc-studentships/

Expressions of Interest should be sent by 3rd December 2021 to:
Dr. Lisa Sainsbury: L.Sainsbury@roehampton.ac.uk

Please visit https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduate-school/ to find out more about postgraduate research at Roehampton.

For all non-academic queries relating to the studentships, please contact:
PhD study at Roehampton: pgresearch@roehampton.ac.uk or Technē scholarships at Roehampton: TECHNE@roehampton.ac.uk

CFP: The Child and the Book Conference

The Call for Papers for The Child and the Book Conference [May 2022] closes on the 15th November.

We are accepting paper, panel, and poster proposals. More details are available here:

https://www.um.edu.mt/events/childandbook2022

The conference will be delivered in hybrid format because we wish to make it as accessible as possible. Both in person and online formats will feature keynotes, panel discussions, roundtables, and other inspiring activities.

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

CFP: New Articles on Poetry in Barnboken

Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research presents four new articles within the theme “Poetry for Children and Youth.”

Berit Westergaard Bjørlo takes a closer look at examples of visual and verbal humour in two contemporary Norwegian poetry picturebooks, with particular emphasis on the interplay between the poems and illustrations. Reading nonsense poetry as play and creative thinking, Claus K. Madsen and Lea Allouche highlight the different uses of nonsense in Danish Birgitte Krogsbøll and Kamilla Wichmann’s Funkelgnister.

Johan Alfredsson examines the function of poetry and the picture book format in Tove Jansson’s classic The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My, demonstrating how the combination of these aspects can influence how child readers make sense of the narrative. Exploring the transferral of poetry from book to stage, Silje Harr Svare and Anne Skaret analyze a stage performance for children based on Norwegian author Rolf Jacobsen’s poetry which originally was published for adults. The four articles are written in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, with abstracts in English.

Guest editors of “Poetry for Children and Youth” are Johan Alfredsson (PhD, University of Gothenburg, Sweden), and Anne Skaret (Professor, University of Applied Sciences, Norway).

We also publish seven new reviews of recently published theoretical literature, such as Derritt Mason’s Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and
Culture and Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks. Theoretical and Analytical Approaches edited by Nina Goga, Sarah Hoem Iversen, and Anne-Stefi Teigland. The seven reviews are written in Swedish and Norwegian.

Barnboken is an Open Access journal. All content is available for free downloading. Read all the articles and reviews here.

CFP: Children’s Literature in Education – Special Issue Aesthetic Approaches to Baby Books

Aside from Perry Nodelman’s landmark article “The Mirror Staged: Looking at Pictures of Babies in Baby Books” (Jeunesse, 2010) and chapters in Emergent Literacy (edited by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, 2011), few studies have paid attention to the aesthetics of books for infants up to three years old.

While, to some extent, baby books can be examined and analysed using the usual tools of picture book analysis and general narrative, stylistic and critical theories, it is puzzling that this huge and varied category of texts has not yet been granted its own theorisation. This may be, in part, because academic interest in the infant, who etymologically – as we are told ad nauseam – “does not speak”, is less obvious in literary fields than in the fields of neuropsychology or medicine, for which babies are an almost obsessive focus. Yet babies’ incommensurable differences in size, perception, literacy, comprehension, motricity, status, etc., to their peers even a couple of years older, warrant special examination, too, of the aesthetics of texts dedicated to them.

In this special issue, we want to consider the literariness and the artistic aspects of books intended for that very specific audience. We are looking for contributions on topics such as – though not limited to:

  • The poetics of books for babies
  • Theorising baby books
  • Genre, format and medium
  • Visual, sensory and tactile aspects of baby books
  • Bath books, pushchair books, toy-books and other object-books
  • Books for newborns
  • Characters in baby books
  • Baby books of colours, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.
  • Pop-up books for babies
  • Wordless baby books
  • Musical books and sound books for babies
  • Classic baby books and baby books as presents
  • Ideological or political approaches to baby books
  • Cognitive poetics and the baby book
  • Historical studies of baby books
  • Baby books in translation

Please send a 400-word abstract to Clémentine Beauvais, clementine.beauvais@york.ac.uk, before February 1st, 2022.

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by February 15th, 2022 and a first draft of the article will be due on October 1st, 2022, for publication in 2023.

Selective bibliography

Bernstein, R. (2020). “You Do It!”: Going-to-Bed Books and the Scripts of Children’s Literature. PMLA, 135(5), 877-894.

Beveridge, L. (2017). Chewing on Baby Books as a Form of Infant Literacy: Books are for Biting. In More Words about Pictures, ed. P. Nodelman, M. Reimer & N. Hamer (pp. 18-29). Routledge.

Kümmerling-Meibauer, B. (Ed.). (2011). Emergent literacy: children’s books from 0 to 3 (Vol. 13). John Benjamins Publishing.

Nodelman, P. (2010). The Mirror Staged: Images of Babies in Baby Books. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 2(2), 13-39.

Pereira, D. (2019). Bedtime books, the bedtime story ritual, and goodnight moon. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 44(2), 156-172.

Sundmark, B. (2018). The Visual, the Verbal, and the Very Young: A Metacognitive Approach to Picturebooks. Acta Didactica Norge, 12(2), Art. 12, 17 sider. https://doi.org/10.5617/adno.5642