CFP – Special Issue of Oxford Literary Review: Deconstruction and the Child: Children’s Literature: Anthropomorphism: Animality: Posthumanism

CFP: Oxford Literary Review 41.2 (December 2019)
Deconstruction and the Child
Children’s literature: anthropomorphism: animality: posthumanism (Timothy Clark and Jennifer Ford)

“The category of ‘childhood’—as well as the related notions of ‘children’ and ‘child’— requires a rethinking…” (Spyros Spyrou, Childhood [2017])

The title of OLR 41.2 (December 2019) deploys four unstable terms, all deeply implicated in definition of the other (children, anthropomorphism, animality, posthumanism). Children’s literature is often seen as a literature of nature, animals, talking animals and toys, but what concepts of the child, childhood and the nonhuman are being assumed or reinforced?

It has been argued that “it is difficult to overstate the correlation of the animal and the child in literature written and marketed for young readers” (Jaques, 2017, Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture, p. 109) and that “literature geared towards a child audience reflects and contributes to the cultural tensions created by the oscillation between the upholding and undermining the divisions between the human and the animal” (Amy Ratelle, 2015, Animality and Children’s Literature and Film, p .4). Such correlations, oscillation and instability often and sometimes inevitably occur within contexts of overt and covert didacticism (the “purpose” of “children’s literature” is to “teach” something), dialogism (between child reader, adult author, child narrator and nonhumans) and inter-generational or inter-species differences. Might a re-evaluation of “child” and “children’s literature” be part of the posthuman impulse dating back to Foucault’s speculation in 1971 that the concept “man” may be nearing its end?

This is the first time the concept of the “child” has featured as a central question for a volume of OLR, or of deconstructive thought more widely.

Topics for “Deconstruction and the Child: Children’s literature: anthropomorphism: animality: posthumanism” might include: children’s philosophy/philosophy for children; environmental ethics and children’s literature; childish dissonance — the repetition of obvious and unanswerable questions (why do we eat some animals?); approaches to notions of the “autobiographical” animal or nonhuman in children’s literature; the child as a nonchronological category, present throughout life in all textual forms (the “outsider within” (David Kennedy) or the “hidden adult” (Perry Nodelman); the child as deconstructive of the human/animal/environment difference; natality; “the child” as “a concept that runs a particular risk of being hypostatised” (Stephen Thomson, OLR vol 25); childhood, adolescence and magic realism; childhood and adolescence as privileged sites for philosophies of the pre-reflective; “children’s literature” and reassessments of hierarchies of “serious” and “genre” fiction; visual and literal deconstructions across different formats within children’s literature.

Expressions of interest, with an abstract of up to 500 words for a proposed paper of maximum 6000 words are invited by October 31, 2018. Contact and/or The deadline for completed submissions would then be May 15, 2019, for a publication date of December 2019.

For more information on the OLR, see

CFP – Edited Collection on Young Adult Gothic Fiction

Call for Papers: Edited Collection on Young Adult Gothic Fiction

The twenty-first century has seen a marked increase in the Gothic themes of liminality, monstrosity, transgression, romance, and sexuality in fiction for young adults. While Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (2005-2008) is the most well-known example of Gothic young adult fiction, it is part of a growing corpus of hundreds of novels published in the genre since the turn of the millennium. During this period, the Gothic itself has simultaneously undergone a transformation. The Gothic monster is increasingly presented sympathetically, especially through narration and focalisation from the “monster’s” perspective. In YA Gothic, the crossing of boundaries that is typical of the Gothic is often motivated by a heterosexual romance plot in which the human or monstrous female protagonist desires a boy who is not her “type.” In addition, as the Gothic works to define what it means to be human, particularly in relation to gender, race, and identity, contemporary shifts and flashpoints in identity politics are also being negotiated under the metaphoric cloak of monstrosity.

Yet the Gothic also operates within young adult fiction to enable discussions about fears and anxieties in relation to a variety of contemporary concerns, including environmentalism, human rights, and alienation. Catherine Spooner suggests that the Gothic takes the form of a series of revivals. In the proposed collection we seek to explain what the current Gothic revival in YA fiction signifies and call for papers engaging with any aspect of Gothic fiction published for young adults since 2000.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The Gothic and the posthuman
  • The paranormal romance
  • The monstrous feminine
  • The adolescent body
  • The evolution of canonical monsters including the vampire, the werewolf, the witch
  • Postfeminism and the Gothic
  • The Gothic and race
  • Gothic spaces
  • Gothic historical fiction

The editors are currently preparing a proposal for a university press Gothic series, in which the publisher has already expressed preliminary interest.

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words and a biographical note of up to 150 words to both Dr Kristine Moruzi ( and Dr Michelle Smith ( by 16 July 2018. Full papers of 6000 words will be due by 1 December 2018.

CFP – University of Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Conference: Girl Studies

The University of Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Program is happy to announce its fifth biennial international conference, which will be held in conjunction with the second meeting of the International Girls Studies Association.

University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

28 February – 2 March, 2019

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 1 July 2018

Girls Studies has become one of the most dynamic academic fields, encompassing scholars from a vast array of disciplines engaged in a variety of interdisciplinary approaches. This conference aims to bring together scholars and creative practitioners from across the world to explore contemporary and historical experiences and constructions of girlhood and girls’ culture, as well as recent developments within the field.

The Host Committee invites proposals for individual papers, pre-constituted panels, pre-constituted roundtables, and creative works that address one or more of the following topics. Moreover, we are keen to move beyond the traditional conference format and encourage collaborative work and presentations of digital humanities projects as well as creative, visual, and performance-based work. We also welcome proposals from individuals working in collaboration with girls in schools, after-school programs, and community-based organizations.

We welcome submissions from scholars, teachers, activists, artists, and students (both graduate and undergraduate).

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Histories of girlhood
  • Global girlhood(s)
  • Girlhood and intersectionality
  • Representations of girlhood
  • Intergenerational girlhoods
  • Queer and trans girls
  • Girls’ cultures
  • Girlhood and consumption
  • Mediated girlhoods
  • Girls and feminism
  • Girls and sport
  • Girls and education
  • Girls and religion
  • Girls and STEM
  • Body image
  • Girls and subcultures
  • Girls and digital media
  • Girls and politics/activism
  • Girls and popular culture
  • Girls and music
  • Girls and literature & theatre
  • Girlhood during austerity
  • Girls’ sexuality
  • Girls’ health
  • Neoliberal girlhoods
  • Ethnographies of girlhood
  • Methodological approaches to Girls’ Studies

Please direct any questions about the conference and the submission process to:

Updates about the conference schedule, events, travel and lodging, and more will be posted at:

Conference Organizers: Barbara Green, Mary Celeste Kearney, Sonja Stojanovic, and Pamela Robertson Wojcik, University of Notre Dame

CFP – Special Issue of IRCL: Children’s Engagement with the Political Process

Call for Papers – Special Issue of International Research in Children’s Literature: Children’s Engagement with the Political Process
Editors: Farah Mendlesohn and Blanka Grzegorczyk

Although there has been a great deal of critical material on dystopic children’s literature, there is a great deal less on children’s engagement with the organisation of the world around them. Children themselves have always been engaged with both domestic and transnational socio-political issues. The experience of achieving socio-political consciousness involves a recognition of the existence of unequal power relations, their consequences and the possibility of acting to change them.

We welcome articles on the topic of children’s engagement with political activity, and/ or which demand some critical reckoning from readers, inviting them to think their way into alternative political possibilities.

Possible topics might include:

  • The experience of young people growing up during periods of conflict/impasse
  • Texts committed to children and young people exploring the underlying causes of conflict
  • The experience of children and young people in school or community politics
  • Formal developments that reinvigorate the political function of texts for children

We particularly welcome explorations of politics outside the Anglo-American context.

Blanka Grzegorczyk is the author of Discourses of Postcolonialism in Contemporary British Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2015) and Terror and Counter-Terror in Contemporary British Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2019).

Farah Mendlesohn is the author of The Inter-Galactic Playground: Science Fiction for Children and Teens (McFarland, 2009) and (Re) Creating Memory: Children’s Literature and the English Civil War, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should indicate texts and critical apparatus. Final essays are expected to be between 5000 and 7000 words. Images desirable but authors must secure permissions.

Abstracts due: 1 September 2019
Submission date: 1 April 2020
Publication in December 2020
Please submit abstracts to

CFP – Theatrical Experiences and Ideologies: Conditions for the Emergence of Theatre for Young People in Europe

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Strenae
Theatrical Experiences and Ideologies: Conditions for the Emergence of Theatre for Young People in Europe

Theatre for young people has come into existence throughout the twentieth century, thanks to pioneering experiences that took place before a dramatic repertoire was properly established. In France, this repertoire has been part of youth literature since the early 2000s. Thus, we propose to look back at those pioneering experiences, through an aesthetic and historical approach. In particular, we will try to understand how twentieth century ideologies may have influenced or even encouraged the development of a theatre for young people in Europe.

The intention is to highlight the conditions for the emergence of theatre for young people from the interwar years to the 1950s, as this period has fostered the emergence of theatrical practices with and for children. In France, Léon Chancerel and Miguel Demuynck’s innovative experiences are generally contrasted with the commercial purposes of the Théâtre du Petit Monde: it is important, however, to paint a more nuanced picture. Other European cases could be explored in depth so as to become more aware of what was created at a time when societies were suddenly preoccupied with children’s leisure activities, and when some totalitarian states used theatre for young people to achieve ideological ends. The experiments which have been conducted in the USSR and in the “people’s democracies” with the advent of the Soviet regime deserve special attention, both for the magnitude of their political project and for their remarkable artistic achievements.

These are possible avenues for reflection:

  • First of all, it would be interesting to analyze the ideological foundations of this first theatre with and for young people: what refers, in its conception, to a democratic ideal; but also what it owes to the lyrical strength of certain totalitarian ideologies, like communism or fascism.
  • To establish a “European landscape” of this first theatre for young people, it would be useful to examine in some detail the theatrical aesthetics dedicated to young audiences that have developed from the interwar period to the 1950s. Some contributions may focus on particular cases, while others may draw comparisons on the scale of a country, or between European countries. One could also shed light on artistic enterprises which have stayed away from ideology and have defended other ways of dealing with young audiences.
  • Beyond dramatic creation itself, the enquiry can be broadened to the practices of dramatic play that have been initiated by artists towards young people. As a matter of fact, these practices may have enriched the poetic and theoretical imaginary of those who intended to build a theatre for young audiences.
  • The interwar period and the ensuing post-war years turn out to be a decisive starting point for the history of theatre for young people. According to Robert Abirached, Léon Chancerel was the “founding father” of this artistic sector in France ; another key reference at a European level is the path of Latvian director Asja Lacis, commented on by Walter Benjamin in the 1930s. Therefore, one could try to determine how this foundation period has influenced the utopia of a theatre for young people as it has been formulated in Europe in the post-1968 context.

ABIRACHED, Robert, « Une histoire », dans Théâtre aujourd’hui n°9 : Théâtre et enfance : l’émergence d’un répertoire, Paris, Scéren-CNDP, 2003.
BENEVENTI, Paolo, Introduzione alla storia del teatro-ragazzi, Firenze, La Casa Usher, 1994.
CHANCEREL, Léon, Le Théâtre et la Jeunesse, Paris, Bourrelier, 1941.
LACIS, Asja, Walter Benjamin et le théâtre pour enfants prolétariens, Strasbourg, Le Portique, 2007.
LESOURD, Sibylle, L’Enfant protagoniste : naissance, mouvances et paradoxes d’une figure clé du théâtre contemporain pour la jeunesse en France et en Italie, thèse Paris Sorbonne, 2016.
PAGE, Christiane, Pratiques théâtrales dans l’éducation en France au XXe siècle : aliénation ou émancipation ?, Arras, Artois Presses Université, 2010.
ROMAIN, Marilyne, Léon Chancerel : portrait d’un réformateur du théâtre français, Lausanne, L’Âge d’homme, 2005.
VAN DE WATER, Manon, Moscow theatres for young people : a cultural history of ideological coercion and artistic innovation, 1917-2000, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
WINOCH, Michel, Le XXe siècle idéologique et politique, Paris, Perrin, 2009.
YENDT, Maurice, Les Ravisseurs d’enfants. Du théâtre et du jeune spectateur, Arles, Actes Sud-Papiers, 1989.

Proposals (500 words maximum), in English or French should be sent before 14 December 2018 to the journal Strenae:, along with a short biography and bibliography.

Proposals will be reviewed by the editor Sibylle Lesourd and the editorial board of the journal. Authors will be promptly notified of the acceptance or rejection of their proposal. Full articles (30,000 characters, including spaces, maximum) are to be submitted by 4 may 2019. Articles will be accepted in English or French.

Publication is scheduled for Fall 2019.

CFP – Special Issue of Humanities: Children’s Narratives as Transnational Cultural Heritage

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO A SPECIAL ISSUE OF HUMANITIES, an international, peer reviewed, open access journal (
Children’s Narratives as Transnational Cultural Heritage

Children’s narratives have often been thought to sum up national character: Nils Holgersson as an introduction into Swedish landscapes and cultures, Heidi as the epitome of “Swissness,” Hansje Brinker as a prototypical Dutch hero, etc. It is important to realize, however, that they became national icons in the eyes of non-Swedish, –Swiss and – Dutch audiences, through transnational reception, adaptation and remediation: Heidi, for example, exemplified the Swiss way of life in the eyes of a German audience. Familiarizing children with and involving them in these ongoing processes of creative transnational appropriation may help them to deconstruct national stereotypes. Positively put, it may help them to feel at home in “a wider circle of we” that allows for the coexistence of local, national and transnational identifications. Contemporary citizens may well identify simultaneously as, for instance, Bavarians, Germans, and Europeans. Heritage narratives for children may facilitate the development of such a poly-local, multidimensional sense of belonging in today’s globalizing world. Young and adult readers also actively contribute to these processes of adaptation and remediation as co-creators of heritage by, for example, participating in fan cultures, as a significant dimension of their emergent citizenship.

The aim of this special issue is to explore the viability of childhood heritage for citizenship education of 8-12-year-olds in a globalizing, multi-ethnic Europe. It seeks to address issues such as: 1) How are children’s (non-)fictional narratives constructed as local, regional, national and/or transnational heritage through dynamic processes of adaptation and remediation? 2) How can childhood heritage institutions such as museums, archives and international advocacy organizations facilitate transnational appropriations of aesthetic and educative artefacts? 3) How can children be actively engaged in the process of heritage construction as a significant dimension of their emergent citizenship?

Papers may address topics such as:

  • the trope of home in children’s narratives: stories beyond the “home-away-home” plot described by Perry Nodelman in The Pleasures of Children’s Literature
  • children’s texts in an imagological perspective
  • transnational fan practices related to children’s narratives
  • transnational memory in children’s literature
  • children’s narratives as materials for citizenship education
  • children and/or young adults as active participants in heritage construction
  • children’s literature as national and transnational heritage in institutional contexts (museums, heritage libraries, etc.)
  • international organizations advocating children’s narratives as media for fostering international understanding

Length of the article: 6000-7000 words

Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging into this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are fully funded by institutions through the Knowledge Unlatched initiative, resulting in no direct charge to authors. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • children’s narratives
  • childhood heritage
  • citizenship education
  • poly-local citizenship

Guest Editors

Prof. Dr. Lies Wesseling

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Centre for Gender and Diversity, Maastricht University Grote Gracht 80, 6211 SZ Maastricht, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cultural construction of childhood in fiction and science; narrative models for forging kinship in global adoption; the selling, forgetting and remembering of child removal in the Dutch East Indies in the (post-)colonial Netherlands.

Dr. Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak

Institute of English Studies, Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture, University of Wrocław, ul. Kuźnicza 22,50-138 Wrocław, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: contemporary children’s literature and culture; childhood studies; participatory research

Mr. Mateusz Marecki

Institute of English Studies, Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture, University of Wrocław, ul. Kuźnicza 22,50-138 Wrocław, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cognitive poetics; literary and musical emotions; contemporary children’s literature and culture; participatory research

Call for Chapter Proposals – Girls in Global Development: Theoretical Contestations, Empirical Demands

Call for Chapter Proposals
Girls in Global Development: Theoretical Contestations, Empirical Demands

Over the last several years scholars from the range of disciplines associated with girlhood studies have critiqued neocolonial assumptions embedded in international development agendas that exceptionalize poor, racialized adolescent girls in the Global South as ideal sites for intervention based on regimes of truth which authorize their potential to multiply investment, interrupt intergenerational poverty, and predict economic growth. Scholars have also critiqued how girls in the Global North are problematically positioned as “empowered” relative to girls in the South through affective appeals to (post)feminist (neo)liberal sensibilities that reinforce the status quo rather than disrupt geopolitical relations of power. By attending to the cultural production of girlhood(s), this interdisciplinary literature sheds important light on the ideological operations that enable the “girl-powering” of development. According to these arguments, all girls in a global system are variously targeted by a complex web of institutional actors including multinational corporations, bilaterial aid agencies, multilateral financial institutions, and transnational non-governmental organizations with uneven effects. Girls and their girlhoods in the context of global development as a transnational process are now the subjects of inquiry across a range of empirical sites, theoretical frameworks, and institutional domains, indicating the “coalescing” of “Girls in Development” as a distinctive body of discourses.

The editors of the proposed collection take as our starting point the need to map this theoretical and empirical terrain. We propose GID (Girls in Development) as an emergent knowledge paradigm and category of analysis for thinking about the production of girlhoods and girls’ lives transnationally that overlaps with and also diverges from the enduring, and contested, conventional paradigms for thinking about women, gender and global development: WID (Women in Development) and GAD (Gender and Development). A primary goal of the collection is to develop a critical genealogy of GID, map its theoretical and empirical scope, and address its possible futures.

This collection will consider the impact and implications of GID in a variety of geo-political locations. Taken together, contributions will define, refine, and frame what GID means presently and speculate about its future(s). We look to bring together disparate readings of GID as an analytic framework, while simultaneously investigating how GID informs development work and activism involving girls across global systems of power. We encourage inter/transdisciplinarity approaches and seek contributions that decenter the Global North while acknowledging the powerful role Western nations play in shaping global development paradigms, policies, practices, discourses. Finally, this collection will take a critical transnational feminist approach to GID. We see this collection as an opportunity to complicate normative assumptions about girls and girlhoods in global development discourses and practices beyond the increasingly hegemonic edict to “invest in girls” as “smart economics.”

Against this backdrop, the editors seek abstracts for chapters that examine and engage broad, interrelated, and mutually informing foci:

1. Conceptual analyses that historicize and theorize what we are calling GID (Girls in Development), particularly as this paradigm relates to WID and GAD (and WAD), and related concepts such as empowerment, agency, race, mainstreaming, and so on, including theorizations of GID futures.

2. Visual and textual analyses of “girlhood” as a constructed category produced within and through international development processes.

3. Empirical studies of girls’ lives and experiences as a part of global development processes (e.g. education, health, microfinance, post-conflict reconstruction and so on) in any geopolitical location.

Chapters should engage the multifaceted and complex experiences of girls in development and/or the production of girlhood(s) in these processes across a range of sites including digital or social media, film and television, marketing or consumption practices, fundraising and awareness raising campaigns as well as through funding mechanisms and development projects (e.g. workshops, trainings, school curricula, girls’ clubs, sports, etc.), development policies and practices at multiple (and interrelated) scales (local, national, transnational), across development sectors (e.g. education, health, micro-finance, political participation, etc.), and in any geopolitical location.

Possible topics for chapters include:

  • Historical research that attends to the legacies/reconstitution of colonialism in contemporary global development processes focused on girls and/or girlhoods.
  • Analyses of girlhood(s) in global development processes as constructed in film, television, and/or digital media.
  • Analyses of girlhood(s) as constructed in development policies, programs, etc. at any scale (local, national, transnational).
  • Examinations of adolescence as a gendered, racialized, and biosocial process in the context of global development policies and processes (e.g. constructions of “adolescence” in development discourse; examinations of how “adolescent” girls experience “adolescence”).
  • The intersections of specific social categories based on social location with girlhood(s) (e.g. class, caste, age, sexuality, dis/ability, ethnicity, linguistic community, nationality, indigeneity, religion, refugee or displaced person status, combatant, marital status, motherhood, migrant, etc.) in the context of global development processes.
  • Examinations of (in)visibilities produced by development discourses and processes (e.g. disabled girlhood; queer girlhood; transgirlhood; affluent/elite girlhood; pregnant schoolgirlhood; girl-motherhood).
  • Critical examinations of development discourses around girls’ rights, empowerment, leadership, agency, opportunity (e.g. Can these concepts be reclaimed for radical purposes?).
  • Critical examinations of the role of celebrity humanitarianism in girl-centered development agendas.
  • Critical examinations of girls’ activism and/or girl-driven social justice movements (e.g. “young feminism,” #youngfems) that focus on global development.
  • Analyses that attend to affect(s) in global development sites, processes, practices.
  • Elaborations of methodological innovations for researching girls, and girlhoods, in global development processes.

We welcome individual and co-authored abstracts and chapters from established and emerging scholars internationally, including graduate students and scholars outside traditional academic spaces.

Abstracts of 200-250 words (not including works cited) are due on April 30, 2018. We anticipate notifying selected contributions by May 15, 2018. Full length final chapter submissions of 6,000 – 8,000 words (including notes and references) are due on August 1, 2018.

Please submit chapter abstracts to the editors of the collection: Dr. Heather Switzer, Dr. Karishma Desai, and Dr. Emily Bent at with the subject line: Chapter Abstract.

This edited collection will be considered as part of a new blind peer-reviewed book series by Berghahn Press entitled, Transnational Girlhoods, edited by Claudia Mitchell (McGill University); Ann Smith (McGill University); Bodil Formark (Umea University); and Heather Switzer (Arizona State University).

Please find a link to this Call for Chapter Proposals here:

CFP – Storytelling and Trauma: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Storytelling and Trauma: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
6 to 7 October 2018
Budapest, Hungary

Storytelling is inextricably linked to the history of human beings in a bewildering variety of oral and visual formats. Storytelling is a fundamental tool in recording personal, familial, communal and national narratives. But it can also be linked to a process of expressing and working through trauma, of breaking silence, of finding a voice for suffering and pain as witnessed in the growth of “communal digital storytelling” embodied, for example, in the rise of shared storytellings of trauma such as #MeToo and #TimesUp. The ability to tell other people about what has happened to you brings into focus the uses of storytelling as narrative therapy for traumatic experiences from childhood to adulthood as well as from the personal to the collective.

Storytelling and Trauma seeks to explore both Storytelling and Trauma with particular focus on the inter-relatedness of the two. Stories and images of trauma surround us all the time, to the point of almost desensitising us to the suffering of others and the empathy and compassion we should naturally feel. Storytelling and trauma forces us to face, confront and resolve the suffering and pain of others—a process that involves the acknowledging of the trauma/traumatic event, bearing witness and a working through the trauma and the disruption caused to and in their lives. Thus the response to Storytelling and Trauma engages all levels of human living and thinking, individually and collectively, locally and globally.

Bringing the two together implies an interdisciplinary engagement with a spectrum of disciplines, art forms, geographical and historical contexts as well as multi-lingual and multi-cultural perspectives. Our first global gathering aims to examine the dynamics of Storytelling and Trauma in all its permutations. We welcome and encourage interdisciplinary proposals from all disciplines, professions, NGOs, voluntary sector, artists, scholars, workers, professionals, musicians, to name a few. It is the aim of the conference meeting to provide an interdisciplinary nexus which binds all these layers of theories and practices together in a safe and respectful sharing space.

Unlike other conferences or gatherings, our Event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for artists, photographers, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, academics, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations, and connections. We are excited to accept proposals for presentations, displays, exhibits, round tables, panels, interactive workshops and more. Below is an indicative but not exhaustive list of possible approaches, all of them residing at the point of connection between Storytelling and Trauma:

  • Oral / written / visual narratives of identity, belonging, im/migrations
  • Literary, artistic and filmic storytelling
  • Life writing genres (autobiography, memoirs, letters, ethnography, etc.)
  • Testimony as storytelling trauma: fiction vs. non-fiction, official history vs. reality
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Private and personal storytelling and trauma
  • Public, political, religious, activist storytelling and trauma
  • Social media: twitter, Facebook, Youtube
  • Trauma and memory
  • Writing trauma: healing and transformation
  • Healing: survival and resilience; forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Therapy
  • Abuse, bullying; the workplace
  • Dis/abilities
  • Sex and sexuality; rape, sex crimes, gender crimes
  • Empathy, allyship, solidarity, activism
  • Popular culture and media
  • Social justice and human rights: war, civil war, conflict
  • Violence, torture, and atrocity
  • Pedagogy, education, and social awareness
  • Digital spaces
  • Comics, graphic novels, animation
  • Young adult literature; children stories
  • Power, resistance, rebellion, revolution
  • Shame, taboo, and suffering
  • Wounding, loss, death, grief and mourning
  • Spectral spaces, haunted geographies, memorialization
  • Fake news

If you don’t see something here that you think belongs, please tell us! We are happy to entertain other ideas that examine the rich, generative and exciting space that these fields create.

What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off Powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and roundtables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event.

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, etc.

300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday, 11 May 2018.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday, 25 May 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday, 7 September 2018.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Storytelling and Trauma Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Organising Chair: Cristina Santos:

Project Administrator:

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.


For further details and information please visit the conference website:

CFP – Home in Children’s and Young Adult Literature From the Alpl to the WWW

Call for Papers
Home in Children’s and Young Adult Literature: From the Alpl to the WWW
Conference venue: PH Steiermark / University College of Teacher Education Styria, Aula, Hasnerplatz 12, 8010 Graz
Conference date: Friday, November 23, from 14:00, to Saturday, November 24, 2018, 18:00

Home has always played an ambivalent part in children’s and young adult literature. In adventure stories, home can be a starting point and destination for a journey towards maturity and independence or a place to which young protagonists have to flee in order to make themselves a new home. In the English language, “home” is both a term to describe a location in which one feels “at home,” as well as the place from which one originates, whereas in the German language, the term “Heimat” has been subjected to racist and nationalist discourses that persist despite more recent attempts at reclaiming the concept.

In 2018, we commemorate the anniversaries of both birth and death of Austrian writer Peter Rosegger (1843-1918), whose work, set around the idyllic mountainous Alpl area of Styria, lends itself ideally for an analysis of the ideological connotations of the concept of home. Various positions can be found in and towards his work: a critical perceptiveness, a rejection of violence, a failure to distance himself from antisemitism, a rejection by the German nationals, and a posthumous appropriation by the national socialists. These coexisting discourses lend themselves for a critical analysis, as regards both Rosegger’s work for children and its role in learning contexts.

At this conference, we will set these critical results side by side with analyses of more recent texts for young readers that focus on constructions of home: realistic representations of topographical and social spaces that depict an oftentimes problematic home, the traumatic loss and imaginary recreation of old homes, or the difficulties of arriving and finding one’s place. While heroes and heroines of postapocalyptic dystopias create new homes to escape from oppressive regimes, fantasy protagonists fight dark powers that threaten the preindustrial landscapes they inhabit, and futuristic settings demonstrate how technology allows young people to build homes in virtual realities.

In order to analyse these and other facets of home in children’s and young adult literature and multimodal narratives, we would like to invite experts from the fields of children’s literature, history, cultural studies and literature education to submit proposals for 20-minute presentation or a poster.

Please submit 300-500 word abstracts for your presentation or poster in German or English by May 7, 2018. Please include a short bio of max. 100 words. Address both to with the subject line “Home conference 2018.” We will be in touch in early June; the programme will be made available towards the end of June 2018.

Organisers: German Academy of Literature for Children and Young Readers (Volkach, Germany), Department for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Research at the Goethe-University (Frankfurt/Main, Germany), KiJuLit-Centre for Research and Teaching of Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the PH Steiermark (Graz, Austria), and the Austrian Association for Research into Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Vienna, Austria)

Partners: Austrian Forum for Teaching Literature (Vienna, Austria)

CFP – Children, Youth, and International Television

This is a call for submissions to a collection critically examining children in international (i.e. non-American) television. Programs may include those targeted to children, or those targeted to adults but prominently featuring children. We invite submissions on programs from Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Australasia, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East. These chapters will explore how international television has been a significant conduit for the public consumption of changing ideas about children and childhood, and will connect relevant events, attitudes, or anxieties within their respective countries of origin to an analysis of children or childhood in international programs. This volume will function as a companion to our collection Children, Youth, and American Television (Routledge, forthcoming). We welcome submissions from a range of disciplines and theoretical perspectives, including television studies, cultural studies, childhood studies, critical race studies, gender studies, sociology, and social history.

Please submit a 500 word abstract, current contact information along with a brief biography as attachments in Word to both Debbie Olson at and Adrian Schober at by 30 April 2018. The deadline for finished essays (which should not exceed 8,000 words, inclusive of references, using Chicago notes style) is 30 November 2018.

Debbie Olson has a PhD in English: Screen Studies from Oklahoma State University and is Assistant Professor of English at Missouri Valley College. She is the author of Black Children in Hollywood Cinema and has edited or co-edited several collections on children and media, including The Child in World Cinema (2018), Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg (2016), The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema (2015) and Children, Youth, and American Television (Routledge, forthcoming). She is the founder/editor-in-chief of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children in Popular Culture and Series Editor for Lexington’s Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series.

Adrian Schober, who has a PhD in English from Monash University, Australia, has published widely on the child figure in cinema and literature. He is the author of Possessed Child Narratives in Literature and Film: Contrary States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and co-editor (with Debbie Olson) of Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg (Lexington Books, 2016) and Children, Youth, and American Television (Routledge, forthcoming). He is also Senior Editor on the board of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children in Popular Culture and is on the advisory board for Lexington Books’ Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series.

Contact Info:
Debbie Olson,
Adrian Schober,