CFP: Players and Pawns: Political Childhoods, Political Children

Special Session, MLA (Modern Language Association) 2022
Location/Dates: Washington DC, 6-9th January, 2022
Deadline for submissions: March 5, 2021
Organization: Children’s Literature Division, MLA
Contact email: mgreenb6@uwo.ca

“Think of the children,” we say, again and again using the child as the object of political discourse. Policies and laws governing everything from education and public health to minimum wage and sexual relations are enacted with the intent of protecting children and improving their lives. So often, however, children are denied the ability to be perceived and accepted as political agents themselves. In fact, when children and teens, such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint), and David Hogg, among many others, become involved in politics, adults often criticize their efforts, arguing that children possess neither the experiences nor the knowledge to be involved in political discussions or to advocate for policy changes.

As children’s and YA literature affirms, children and teens both are used for the political gain of others and are themselves interested in politics. Drawing on children’s and YA literature, as well as films and other forms of youth media, this panel considers what it means to be a political child and/or how children are used by politicians. In other words, in what ways are children players in the game of politics, and in what ways are they pawns?

Papers might consider the following questions:

  • What are the politics of the child?
  • How is the political child constructed by adults? By children?
  • What kinds of childhood are instrumentalized by people in positions of power, and to what end?
  • What does it mean to “fight for the children?” How does the desire to protect children affect political children? What is the politics of childhood without the guise of futurity?
  • What is the child’s role in politics? Who is included and excluded from being a political child?
  • In what ways do children and teens resist political power? How might children politicize themselves?
  • Which possibilities or which limitations of children’s agency are inherent in political discourse?
  • How does the political child collaborate with the political adult?
  • What is the connection between anti-fascism and children’s and youth media?

Please submit 300-word abstracts and a brief biography to Miranda Green-Barteet (mgreenb6@uwo.ca) by March 5, 2021.

CFP: Food and/in Children’s Culture

National, Internatinal and Transnational Perspectives
Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Comparative Studies
Palazzo Cosulich – Zattere Dorsoduro, 1405, 30123 Venezia – Italy
6 – 9 April 2021

Food is a prominent element in children’s literature and culture. As Carolyn Daniel puts it, by reading about food children learn “what to eat and what not to eat or who eats whom” (2006, 4). In children’s narratives food can be, simultaneously, a mark of national identity, and a bridge between cultures, through which children can both learn about their own national culture and encounter other cultural identities and experiences. It can be a mark of kinship, but also a mark of difference and monstrosity, a symbol of desire, but also a vehicle of danger and death. Food scenes at times represent moments of intense pleasure for characters in movies, books, and different kinds of performances and, therefore, vicariously, for the reader/spectator, who becomes involved in what Gitanjali Shahani has called “food ekphrasis” (2018, 3) and consumes fictional banquets through vivid descriptions. At other times, these vivid descriptions may place before the reader/spectator/listener foods that are decidedly unappealing, at times monstrously so; and in some cases they may represent, equally vividly, scenes of hunger, poverty, and longing for unreachable food.

There are indeed few elements so multifaceted, counterintuitive, and contradictory as food, and its role in children’s literature and culture usually bears heavy ideological, political, and/or cultural connotations. This conference invites broad, interdisciplinary interpretations of this theme encompassing, but not limited to:

  • Children as eaters and/or food
  • Medicine and science: diets, “clean vs un-clean” eating, nutrition
  • Food and gender
  • Picturebooks: picturing food and food fantasies/nightmares
  • Period-specific perspectives (Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, Victorian and Neo-Victorian, post-War, contemporary …)
  • Food and the child body: normalized, codified, modified, rejected/accepted
  • Trans/national perspectives
  • Images of food and intercultural dialogues/issues
  • The press (childcare, cooking and house management magazines, children’s periodicals)
  • Eating at home and abroad (in institutions [hospital, workhouse, school …], in different countries, picnics, the family meal, feasts and special occasions …)
  • Magical food
  • Food fantasies/nightmares
  • Children, food, and the environment: climate change, ecocriticism, access to food based on class/nationality …
  • Expressing concern about food: alcoholism and temperance, food disorders, poverty and hunger

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

Emeritus Professor Peter Hunt, Cardiff University (UK)
Professor Nicola Humble, University of Roehampton (UK)
Professor Björn Sundmark, Malmö University (Sweden)
Dr Zoe Jaques, University of Cambridge (UK)

Please send abstracts of 300-500 words for 20-minute papers and a 100-word biography to the Conference Organizers, Dr Anna Gasperini and Professor Laura Tosi, at foodchildrenculture2021@gmail.com by 30 November 2020.
For further information, please visit the website FED – Feeding, Educating, Dieting

Note: the conference is envisaged as an in-person event; should this not be possible, an on-line version will be organized. We will provide updates about this in due course.

CFP: IRSCL 2021 Congress Aesthetics and Pedagogic Entanglements

Call for Papers

The pedagogical and aesthetic aspects of children’s and young adults’ literature have often been pitted against each other. Yet, if we think of children’s literature as a participatory and mediated practice, the aesthetical and the pedagogical dimensions are no longer opposed to each other. In the last two decades, we have witnessed an ‘educational turn’ in contemporary arts practices, where the emphasis is no longer on the finished aesthetic object, but on the processes and relationships established with the audiences and communities which become part of the art project, a process also facilitated by digital fora. Speaking of children’s literature as a mediated practice questions art’s autonomy and the limits of ‘non-art’; it brings the ‘death of the author’ not only to praise the ‘birth of the reader’ but also to foreground and question the conventions that sustain the artistic.

Since we cannot take children’s cognitive and literacy skills for granted, books tend to be recommended according to specific age ranges, while teachers and other adult figures involved (such as librarians, parents, and other caretakers, the so-called ‘gate-keepers’) try to facilitate an interpretation of the author’s intention. But what if we take the death of the author seriously? Will we still talk about the importance of understanding the text? What if we make children mediators and authors of children’s literature? Who is the ideal child that writes and reads? How is age produced and sustained in these relationships?

Thinking about possible synergies between the pedagogical and the aesthetic in children’s literature brings back questions on reception and (affective) engagement. It also provides us with insights into the entanglements of the publishing industry, the readers/viewers/consumers/users, the authors/artists, the practices of reading/sharing/discussing/reversioning and the new technologies, and at the same time, prompting reflections on our own (biased) academic work in this field.

Delegates will be invited to reflect on the implications of considering children not as ‘adults in the making’, but rather as readers and makers in their own right.

In this conference, we aim to strengthen the ties between children’s literature scholars, literacy and media experts and arts scholars to explore the possibilities of combining and rethinking the hermeneutical methods of the humanities, the experimental and empirical approaches of social sciences and arts-based research, as well as the contemporary anthropological and educational research that questions the essentialized positions of the adult and the child in educational contexts.

In this vein we suggest the following topics, but we also invite other paper and panel topics inspired by the congress’ theme:

Active readers:

  • Creative and collaborative writing by youth and children
  • Intergenerational collaborations
  • The child as ‘prosumer’ of children’s media
  • Reading and writing as playing
  • Children reversioning stories
  • Booktubers, fan-fiction and web-based communities inside and outside the classroom
  • Initiatives in marginalized communities (refugee centers, jails, hospitals)

Research and Practice:

  • Child-led participatory research
  • New materialism approaches to encounters with books
  • New approaches to reader-response
  • Cognitive approaches to aesthetics and pedagogy
  • Intersectional approaches
  • Arts-based methodologies
  • Historical approaches to tensions between te pedagogic and the aesthetic

Ethics and Aesthetics:

  • Ethical-political role of authors in children’s and YA literature
  • Gate-keepers and the “mediator circle” in children’s literature and media
  • The aesthetic and/or pedagogic role of paratexts
  • Representations of children as authors and artists in children’s fiction and media.

See full call for papers for further details.

More information on the Congress, its modality, dates and its main theme is available on our website (https://www.irscl2021.com/). We are looking forward to hosting you in Santiago!

CFP: Assembling Common Worlds Conference

Assembling Common Worlds:
An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment and Young People’s Literature and Culture
Vancouver Island University, June 11-13, 2021
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

In the past year, we have witnessed continents burning, islands and coastal regions flooding, and increases in extinctions of flora and fauna. While concern over the human impact on the environment has existed for decades, there is a new sense of urgency demanding a cognitive shift to transform our understanding of our place in and impact on the physical world, as well as of our relationships with the other life forms cohabiting the earth. More broadly, Tom Oliver calls for rethinking concepts of identity and the individual (The Self Delusion, 2020). Similarly, Posthumanism provides ways of rethinking the boundaries of the human and nonhuman. Donna Haraway has provided language to understand naturecultures (2003) and emphasized the importance of “staying with the trouble” as we work at making kin with nonhuman others, resisting the Western hierarchical view that values human above other lives (2016). Of especial relevance, then, is openness to multiple ways of knowing the natural world, including Indigenous ways of knowing and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) (see Nelson and Shilling, eds. 2018).

Specifically regarding children’s culture, Affrica Taylor has noted the importance of “common worlds (or common worlding) as dynamic collectives of humans and more-than-humans, full of unexpected partnerships and comings together, which bring differences to bear on the ways our lives are constituted and lived” (2013, p. 78). Too often those studying young people’s literature and culture work in isolation from those working in environmental humanities, childhood studies focused on children in the Anthropocene, and education for sustainability. Much of the most productive scholarship on these concepts and processes has been interdisciplinary. There is much to be gained in both methodology and understanding by communication and collaboration between literary scholars, educators, environmentalists, philosophers, and scholars of childhood and youth experiences and culture.

Conspicuously missing from this list are children and youth themselves. While there has been ongoing discussion in the Social Sciences and Health and Human Service fields on participatory research involving children and youth (Aldridge 2015; Dickens 2017) since Alderson first drew attention to the absence of their voices (1995), this is only recently emerging in literary studies and other humanities fields (Deszcz-Tryhubczak 2016, 2018, 2019). Since some of the leading ecological activists today are youth, such as Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Autumn Peltier (Anishinabek Nation), and since children and youth will live the longest with the effects of environmental degradation, their voices must be part of the conversation.

Assembling Common Worlds intends not only to explore traditional disciplinary ways of understanding eco-literacy and eco-activism in children’s and youth literature and culture, but also to bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of fields to find productive opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in tackling the challenges of generating intergenerational dialogue on current environmental concerns. In addition to paper sessions, the conference will also feature a methodological workshop and involvement of child and youth participants.

Conference conveners welcome proposals for 20-minute papers or 90-minute panels on any of the following topics:

  • Making kin between human and non-human in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • More-than-human worlds in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • Eco-literacy in children’s or youth literature and culture;
  • Imagining the Post-Anthropocene;
  • The evolving capacity of eco-criticisms to address environmental change;
  • Indigenous knowledge or TEK in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • Regeneration of connections between children or youth and nature;
  • The role of children or youth in food security;
  • Young people’s eco-citizenship and/or eco-activism;
  • Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks for understanding children in and of nature;
  • Intergenerational creative and/or cultural projects addressing environmental issues;
  • Participatory research with children or youth on literary or cultural expressions of eco-literacy and/or eco-activism;
  • Children’s and youth’s creativity is/as response to the current environmental crisis.

Proposals of 250 words and brief biographies are due June 29, 2020. This early deadline is to facilitate applications for grant monies.

The conveners hope to offer some travel support for graduate students and under employed scholars.
The conveners also plan to publish an edited collection of selected papers from the conference.

Please send proposals and brief biographies to Terri Doughty (terri.doughty@viu.ca) and Janet Grafton (janet.grafton@viu.ca).

CFP: Rethinking Childhood

International Scientific and Artistic Conference
Zadar, Croatia
September 24-26, 2020

Conference theme
Guided by modern scientific postulates that justify the scientific dialogue between different scientific fields, whilst striving for a more comprehensive approach to a particular scientific problem, the project is conceived as an interdisciplinary scientific dialogue between the fellow scholar participants, with the goal of merging various scientific, artistic and methodological perspectives in their studies of childhood. Postmodern paradigm shift in the perception of the child and the childhood, based on the change of the childhood image – from the child as a passive to an active member of the social community; from childhood as a developmental stage to the conception of childhood as a social construct – strongly influenced the social sciences and humanities, thus leading to the need for active reflection on the child and childhood. In postmodern scientific polyphony, it is justified to discuss the concept(s) of childhood as something structured upon different scientific discourses, as confirmed by the researchers and scientists from various scientific backgrounds that lately converge around the new paradigm of childhood studies.

Following the established framework, the conference will focus on the following general topics:

  • The institutional context of contemporary childhood
  • the familial context of contemporary childhood
  • the culture of childhood today
  • new literacy – the challenges of today

The presentation themes and abstracts are to be submitted via the official conference site: http://conference.unizd.hr/childhoodzd2020/ .

The abstract, which is to be submitted in both Croatian and English, ought to emphasize the main idea and the goals of the paper, to state the methodology used, present the results, include the most important postulates and conclusion. In addition to abstract (the length of which can range from 250 to 500 words), five keywords in Croatian and English need to be included.

Modes of participation: plenary session, presentations by sections, art exhibition.

Official languages of the conference: Croatian and English.

Important Dates:
April 1, 2020: abstract submission deadline
April 15, 2020: preliminary acceptance notice
June 1, 220: submission deadline
June 1, 2020: application deadline for artworks
June 15: second notice
September 1, 2020: registration fee deadline
September 1, 2020: submission deadline for artwork
September 24-26, 2020: conference duration

For more information on the conference and the CFP, please visit the website.

CFP: Female Creations in Literary and Intercultural Education

Overview
The II CICELI faces the challenge of studying and making visible the creativity of women in formal, non-formal and informal education. Therefore, it focuses on the study of poets, playwrights or narrators whose work is included or can be included in the curricula of schools, high schools and universities, both in literature subjects as in others where the reading is presented transversally. Proposals addressing female filmmakers and artists are also accepted, as well as research on fictional characters through a gender studies approach, all of which should be relevant to either compulsory schooling, higher education or educational experiences outside of regulated models. Within these themes, there is room for comparative studies or research measuring the presence of female authors and artists in literary or intercultural education in any territory, not forgetting the pedagogical impact of didactic materials, textbooks or other creative publications, such as illustrated albums or animation productions, aimed at a growing, heterogeneous audience immersed in a process of constant learning. The meeting is aligned with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN), specifically with the Sustainable Development Goals belonging to the ‘people’ axis (SDGs 1-5), making “leave no one behind” our motto. Finally, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Historia de una maestra (1990) with the opening of a topic dedicated to its author, Josefina Aldecoa (1926-2011), and including a performance, within the framework of the congress, of theatrical adaptation of this novel by Paula Llorens.
Keynotes
CICELI schedules plenary lectures by internationally renowned personalities such as Emmanuel Le Vagueresse (Université de Reims-Champagne Ardenne, France), Juan de Dios Villanueva Roa (Universidad de Granada, Spain), Genoveva Ponce Naranjo (Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, Ecuador) o Teresa Fernández-Ulloa (University of California, Bakersfield, United States).
Women writers, illustrators, playwrights and actresses will be invited, including Mar Benegas, Rocío Araya or Paula Llorens. Furthermore, the novelist and scholar Inma Chacón has also confirmed her participation.
Suggested Topics
Researchers are invited to send proposals for presentations, posters and panels related to the Sustainable Development Goals 1-5 (‘people’ axis) in research or in teaching and related to the following topics:

  1. Literary genres and the development of literacy, intercultural or ecological competence from children’s to higher education, in formal or non-formal contexts.
  2. The role of the arts and literature in the promotion of educational co-education and equity or inclusion (cinema, TV series, transmedia narrative, comic, painting, sculpture…).
  3. Research on female writers and illustrators of children’s and youth literature.
  4. Equality between men and women in illustrated albums or animation productions.
  5. Studies on female protagonists or fictional characters that promote equality or that represent diversity in all its richness and complexity.
  6. Didactic proposals or experiences based on work created by women or other individuals marginalized because of disability, sexuality, race, religion, etc., from all time periods and areas.
  7. Environmental humanities and educational applications of ecocriticism and ecofeminism.
  8. Education as a literary, artistic or filmic topic from a social justice perspective.
  9. Comparative studies on equality, equity or social justice in the curriculum, in textbooks or other didactic materials.
  10. Female teachers, professors and researchers as creators of educational experiences (for children or young adults and in adult education).
  11. Approaches to the figure and work of Josefina Aldecoa.

Proposal Requirements and Deadline
Please submit the title and abstract of your proposal (around 250 words), and a short biography (one paragraph) through this online platform before March 8th, 2020. Acceptance will be notified two weeks after the deadline.

English, Spanish and Catalan are accepted languages for in-person presentations; in the case of special panels, posters and virtual presentations (*), all official EU languages are accepted. Please find more information on our website. Should you have any doubts, enquiries may be sent to ciceli@uv.es.

(*) The possibility of virtual participation is open: send now the title and summary of your contribution and specify your virtual or face-to-face participation once your proposal is accepted.

For more information about the conference and CFP, please visit www.ciceli.es.

CFP: Assembling Common Worlds: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment and Young People’s Literature and Culture

Assembling Common Worlds: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment and Young People’s Literature and Culture

Vancouver Island University
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
June 11-13, 2021

In the past year, we have witnessed continents burning, islands and coastal regions flooding, and increases in extinctions of flora and fauna. While concern over the human impact on the environment has existed for decades, there is a new sense of urgency demanding a cognitive shift to transform our understanding of our place in and impact on the physical world, as well as of our relationships with the other life forms cohabiting the earth. More broadly, Tom Oliver calls for rethinking concepts of identity and the individual (The Self Delusion, 2020). Similarly, Posthumanism provides ways of rethinking the boundaries of the human and nonhuman. Donna Haraway has provided language to understand naturecultures (2003) and emphasized the importance of “staying with the trouble” as we work at making kin with nonhuman others, resisting the Western hierarchical view that values human above other lives (2016). Of especial relevance, then, is openness to multiple ways of knowing the natural world, including Indigenous ways of knowing and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) (see Nelson and Shilling, eds. 2018).

Specifically regarding children’s culture, Affrica Taylor has noted the importance of “common worlds (or common worlding) as dynamic collectives of humans and more-than-humans, full of unexpected partnerships and comings together, which bring differences to bear on the ways our lives are constituted and lived” (2013, p. 78). Too often those studying young people’s literature and culture work in isolation from those working in environmental humanities, childhood studies focused on children in the Anthropocene, and education for sustainability. Much of the most productive scholarship on these concepts and processes has been interdisciplinary. There is much to be gained in both methodology and understanding by communication and collaboration between literary scholars, educators, environmentalists, philosophers, and scholars of childhood and youth experiences and culture.

Conspicuously missing from this list are children and youth themselves. While there has been ongoing discussion in the Social Sciences and Health and Human Service fields on participatory research involving children and youth (Aldridge 2015; Dickens 2017) since Alderson first drew attention to the absence of their voices (1995), this is only recently emerging in literary studies and other humanities fields (Deszcz-Tryhubczak 2016, 2018, 2019). Since some of the leading ecological activists today are youth, such as Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Autumn Peltier (Anishinabek Nation), and since children and youth will live the longest with the effects of environmental degradation, their voices must be part of the conversation.

Assembling Common Worlds intends not only to explore traditional disciplinary ways of understanding eco-literacy and eco-activism in children’s and youth literature and culture, but also to bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of fields to find productive opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in tackling the challenges of generating intergenerational dialogue on current environmental concerns. In addition to paper sessions, the conference will also feature a methodological workshop and involvement of child and youth participants.

Conference conveners welcome proposals for 20-minute papers or 90-minute panels on any of the following topics:

  • Making kin between human and non-human in children’s or youth’s literature and culture
  • More-than-human worlds in children’s or youth’s literature and culture
  • Eco-literacy in children’s or youth literature and culture
  • Imagining the Post-Anthropocene
  • The evolving capacity of ecocriticism to address environmental change
  • Indigenous knowledge or TEK in children’s or youth’s literature and culture
  • Regeneration of connections between children or youth and nature
  • The role of children or youth in food security
  • Young people’s eco-citizenship and/or eco-activism
  • Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks for understanding children in and of nature
  • Intergenerational creative and/or cultural projects addressing environmental issues
  • Participatory research with children or youth on literary or cultural expressions of eco-literacy and/or eco-activism
  • Children’s and youth’s creativity in/as response to the current environmental crisis

Proposals of 250 words and brief biographies are due June 29, 2020. This early deadline is to facilitate applications for grant monies.

The conveners hope to offer some travel support for graduate students and under-employed scholars.

The conveners also plan to publish an edited collection of selected papers from the conference.

Please send proposals and brief biographies to Terri Doughty (terri.doughty@viu.ca) and Janet Grafton (janet.grafton@viu.ca).

Cultural Representation of Transnational Childhoods: European-Australian-American Perspectives

Cultural Representation of Transnational Childhoods: European-Australian-American Perspectives
Symposium, Saturday, 13 May 2017, 9am – 6pm
Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław
Room 212, ul. Kuznicza 22
Wrocław, Poland

Convenors
Dr Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, University of Wrocław
Dr Dorota Kołodziejczyk, University of Wrocław
Dr Katarzyna Kwapisz Williams, The Australian National University

It is assumed in Western culture that children have a natural need for a stable and safe domestic and familial environment (Holloway & Valentine 2000). Yet research reveals that the number of children whose everyday lives have been marked by mobility and the risks it entails is increasing substantially (Ní Laoire et al. 2010). Child-centered migration studies show that children often become actors in the immigration process as they negotiate identifications with places and cultures. Acknowledging and understanding children’s agency and their active participation in the mobility of their families, e.g. as language and cultural brokers, requires a transnational literacy (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011) and reliance on child-centered critical and pedagogical methodologies aimed at examining the influence of transnationalism on children’s lives (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011). While much attention has been given to these phenomena in sociological studies of childhood, children’s movement across geopolitical borders also needs to be analysed from a cultural perspective. This symposium will explore past and contemporary representations of transnational childhoods in literature, film and other media that foreground the mobile nature of children’s lives, encouraging reflection on children’s experience of mobility as an essential factor in their cognitive and emotional development.

Chasing Mythical Beasts: The Reception of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture as a Transformation Marker

Chasing Mythical Beasts…The Reception of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in Children’s & Young Adults’ Culture as a Transformation Marker
International Conference, Warsaw, 12–15 May, 2016
http://mythicalbeasts.obta.al.uw.edu.pl/

The project Chasing Mythical Beasts…The Reception of Creatures from Graeco-Roman Mythology in Children’s & Young Adults’ Culture as a Transformation Marker explores how mythical creatures change when incorporated into the evolving youth culture. It is supported by the Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives given by the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to its Alumni across the world. The Award is designed for all disciplines, in order to promote pioneering formats for multilateral academic cooperation and to enhance understanding between individual countries or cultures (see website for more information).

We are meeting on May 12-15, 2016, for an international conference under the Honorary Patronage of the Polish Young Academy, to present and discuss our research results.

A special exhibition of illustrations and photos at the University of Warsaw’s Gallery will accompany the conference.