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 ( and Janet Grafton (

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

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

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.

CFP – The Child and the Book Conference: Children’s Literature and Play

19-21 MAY 2016

The cultural determinants of play — free participation, separation and closure within a defined spacetime, uncertainty, unproductiveness, conformity to norms or fictionality — center on the following vital elements: agon (competition), alea (destiny), mimicra (imitation), and linx (stupefaction). Are these elements reflected in children’s play and its literary renderings? According to Swiss psychologist Édouard Claparède (1873-1940), the child exists to play. To paraphrase this statement, does the child exist to read or to be read to? Does literature addressed to children fulfil their ludic expectations? Does it compete with toys, computer games and other kinds of entertainment that do not demand fluent reading skills or the ability to interpret texts? How does it function within the economies and consumption of children’s culture?

The conference will be organized by the Faculty of Philology, the University of Wrocław, under the auspices of the Department of Polish Studies. It will be closely related to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Professor Jerzy Cieślikowski (1916-1977), a longtime employee of the Department of Polish Studies at the University of Wrocław. Jerzy Cieślikowski was the most distinguished Polish scholar in the field of children’s literature and the author of The Great Play: Children’s Folklore (1985). According to Cieślikowski, “play is the purpose of all the best things that children have taken from adults, what adults invent for them, what children create themselves, and what adults write for them. This is the seminal project encompassing children’s play, i.e. their creative efforts and re-creative endeavors, as well as their fascination and play with the word as such.” We invite papers related to the overall theme of the conference. Of particular interest are:

  • the child’s imagination and children’s folklore as sources of children’s literature
  • ludic adaptations and paraphrases of children’s literature classics
  • play in literacy education
  • play in bibliotherapy
  • play in picture books and toy books
  • reading as a pastime
  • linguistic playfulness as a stylistic device in children’s literature
  • case studies of children’s play with literature
  • reading as play in the new media environment

Please send an abstract of 300 words maximum and a short biography of 60 words to: (please use this email for further inquiries). Papers will be 20 minutes long maximum.
Deadline for abstract submission: 18 October 2015
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 20 December 2015
More information will be available before 31 December 2015

For participants from abroad: EUR 90
For participants from Poland: PLN 360
Conference dinner: EUR 30 (to be confirmed)

Hans-Heino Ewers (University of Frankfurt/M., Germany)
Kim Reynolds (Newcastle University, England)
Björn Sundmark (University of Malmö, Sweden)
William Teale (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
Emilya Ohar (Publishing and Printing Academy in Lviv, Ukraine)
Krystyna Zabawa (Academy of Ignatianum in Kraków, Poland)

Convenor: Dorota Michułka (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Secretary: Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Secretary: Katarzyna Biernacka-Licznar (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Bogumiła Staniów (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Barbara Kalla (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Natalia Paprocka (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Elżbieta Stolarska-Jamróz (University of Wrocław, Poland)

Vanessa Joosen (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Ǻse Marie Ommundsen (University of Oslo, Norway)
Marnie Campagnaro (University of Padua, Italy)
Georgia Kalogirou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
Ana Margarida Ramos (University of Aveiro, Portugal)

The Child and the Book conference annually attracts delegates from all round the world and offers a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to present their work and discuss it with established scholars. The 2016 conference will be organized in Wrocław, a multicultural city with a rich history, which will hold the title of the European Capital of Culture 2016. It has also been named the World Book Capital for 2016 by UNESCO. The Child and the Book conference will be a major contribution to the wide-ranging programme of cultural and scientific events related to these projects. As the conference dates coincide with the annual children’s book fair “Good Pages,” the conference programme will be flexible enough to enable the presenters to participate in this event.

Picturebooks, Democracy and Social Change Conference

Picturebooks, Democracy and Social Change
International Conference at the University of Gdańsk, Poland
17-18 September 2015
(in combination with a PhD-Workshop on 16 September 2015)

Picturebooks as multimedial art forms have always been used to convey political, social, and cultural ideas on different levels. Even more so, when societies are rapidly changing and political events influence cultural and social movements in a national or even international context. It might be asked, then, how these issues not only impact on the content, but also on the visual, narrative, and formal properties of picturebooks.

The topic of the fifth biannual picturebook conference is inspired by the location of the conference venue, Gdańsk – a specific historical place, where the social changes of new democratic countries in Europe emerged in 1989. Gdańsk is also an important place considering contemporary East European history and culture, as well as because of the political and social attitudes of these countries towards freedom and democracy. The conference will take place in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Gdansk, which is distinguished for its research tradition that investigates social change and resistance, education policy, and social exclusion in education, including such issues as gender, cultural minorities, disability, and the educational construction of differentiation.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars from different countries and different fields, (i.e. children’s literature research, picturebook theory, cognitive and aesthetic features of picturebooks, social sciences, history of art, linguistics, book history, and pedagogy), who explore various aspects of this newly developed field and who are interested in the conference’s main topic.

The draft programme is available here.

Conference organization:
Małgorzata Cackowska
Uniwersytet Gdański
Instytut Pedagogiki, Zaklad Filozofii Wychowania i Studiow Kulturowych
Bazynskiego 4

For registration as a listener and discussant please write an e-mail to conference organization and transfer the fee: 100 € (or 400 PLN) to the following bank account:

Uniwersytet Gdanski
Bank: Bank Pekao IV o/Gdańsk ul Kolobrzeska 43
IBAN: PL 59 1240 1271 1111 0010 4368 2415

Paying within Poland:
Bank: Bank Pekao IV o/Gdańsk ul Kołobrzeska 43
59 1240 1271 1111 0010 4368 2415

Important! Along with the name and surname of participant, please provide the following number in the message field on the transfer sheet: K792-15

IRSCL Congress Registration Open

The online booking for the 2015 IRSCL conference and accommodation is now live at:

The Congress runs from Saturday, August 8 to Wednesday, August 12 on the St John’s campus, University of Worcester. Accommodation is at the St John’s Campus where the conference will be held, and at the City Campus, both with high quality student flats. The City Campus is a 20-minute pleasant walk from the St John’s campus and a 20-minute walk from Worcester Foregate Street railway station. City campus is very close to restaurants for evening meals, and other facilities such as grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacy, and post office.

Breakfast is provided as part of your accommodation booking. The registration and help desk at the St John’s campus will be attended through the whole of each day of the conference.

Current Research in Children’s and Young Adult Speculative Fiction Conference

Wroclaw, 18 May 2014
Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture
Department of English Studies, Wroclaw University

9.00-9.10 Opening

9.10-10.40 Session One: Intertextuality and National Literatures
Chair: Terri Doughty

Daniel Hade (Pennsylvania State University, USA & Wroclaw University, Poland), Reworking Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”: Erdu’s Breadcrumbs and Disney’s Frozen
Magdalena Sikorska (Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland), The Uses of Architecture in Shaun Tan’s Work
Dorota Michułka (Wroclaw University, Poland), Looking for Identity: Polish Children’s Fantasy Then and Now

10.40-10.55 Coffee Break

10.55-12.25 Session Two: Horror and Gothic in Literature and Film
Chair: Daniel Hade

Agata Zarzycka (Wroclaw University, Poland), “I’m So Not-Goth I’m Goth”: Approaching Authenticity through Goth-Inspired Tropes in Contemporary Young Adult Popular Culture
Chloe Buckley (Lancaster University, UK), Post-millennial Children’s Horror: Parody, Pastiche and the Re-enchantment of Gothic in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie
Małgorzata Drewniok (Southampton University, UK), Changing Identity on the Small Screen: Transformations, Vampires and Language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

12.25-13.25 Lunch Break

13.25-15.25 Session Three: Language, Discourse, Conventions
Chair: Dorota Michułka

Mateusz Marecki (Wroclaw University, Poland), Scripts, Conceptual Metaphors and Cognitive Engagement: Making Sense of Motherhood in Lois Lowry’s Son
Marcin Rusnak (independent scholar), The Road Not Taken: Writing YA fiction in Poland and Its Potential, Dilemmas, and Challenges
Angelika Szopa (Wroclaw University, Poland), “It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done”: The Concept of Mythopoeic Fantasy as Reflected in Harry Potter Series
Jakub Krogulec, (Wroclaw University, Poland), Propaganda in Juvenile Speculative Fiction of the 1950s

15.25-15.40 Coffee Break

15.40 -17.40 Session 4: Dystopian/Utopian Texts
Chair: Magdalena Sikorska

Robert Gadowski (Wroclaw University, Poland), American Young Adult Dystopias: Under the Critical Eye of the Science of Memetics
Terri Doughty (Vancouver Island University, Canada), Putting the Punk in a Steampunk Cinderella: Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicles”
Aleksandra Bar (independent scholar) & Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak (Wroclaw University, Poland), Towards an Animal Utopia: Isobelle Carmody’s The Obernetwyn Chronicles as Ecopedagogical Practice
Blanka Grzegorczyk (Philological School of Higher Education, Wroclaw, Poland), “I Know a Place Called Wrong-Is-Right”: Reversing Binary Oppositions in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses Sequence

17.40-17.45 Closing

Challenges in the Learning of Literature and Language in the Digital Age

15th International Conference of the Spanish Association of Language and Literature Education
Challenges in the Learning of Literature and Language in the Digital Age
Universitat Politècnica de València – Universitat de València
19-21 November 2014

The Departments of Language and Literature Education (Facultat de Magisteri de la UV) and of Applied Linguistics (UPV) invite all those who are interested to participate in the 15th International Conference of the Spanish Association of Language and Literature Education, to be held in the Universitat de València and in the Universitat Politècnica de València from the 19th to the 21st of November 2014.

This Conference is hosted by the Spanish Association of Language and Literature Education (SEDLL), which is a non-profit organization for researchers of all educational levels and professionals who are concerned about the teaching and learning of languages, literatures and their audiovisual, non-verbal, verbal and expressive resources.

Within the theme “Challenges in the learning of literature and language in the digital age”, the objectives of this year’s conference are, on the one hand, to promote collaborative activities and projects, the exchange of ideas among different research groups and the possibility of learning more about SEDLL and the distinct groups working in the field of language and literature teaching in Valencia.

On the other hand, we believe that the conference will be an excellent opportunity to gather together individuals to discuss aspects related with teaching and to promote the interest and investigation in the topics addressed by the Association and the Conference.

The Conference will consist in plenary lectures, given by well-known experts in the field, workshops and round table discussions, in addition to panels for each of the topics included in the theme.



The conference main themes are as follows:

  1. Culture and Society in Teaching Language and Literature
  2. Linguistic Policies within the Peninsular and International Frame
  3. Language and Literature Didactics in L1
  4. Language and Literature Didactics in L2 and FL
  5. Didactics, Children’s and Young Learner’s Literature
  6. Technologies and Educational Innovation
  7. Language for Specific Purposes
  8. Literature and Language Didactics: Studies and Intercultural Intervention in Multilingual Contexts
  9. Literature and Language in Higher Education: Methodological Paradigms and Knowledge Transfer


Proposals will be considered in Catalan, Spanish, French, Galician, English, Portuguese, and Basque, and should be ascribed to the above conference themes.

Please bear in mind that the abstract submission deadline is June 1, 2014. The organizing committee will confirm receipt of proposals, and will notify presenters of accepted proposals before July 20, 2014.

Final papers should be submitted before December 10, 2014.

All participants wishing to be included in the publication of the proceedings should send their texts within the stipulated period and under the terms indicated in the next announcement.


Participants will have to register before September 15, 2014 and provide a proof of payment. In order to register, participants should previously create an account/user name. Then, they will be redirected to their private area where they can manage/consult their account. Full conference documentation, coffee breaks, and cultural events are included with the conference fees.


June, 1, 2014: Deadline for submitting proposals for papers.
July 20, 2014: Deadline for notifying authors of accepted proposals.
September 15, 2014: Deadline for paying registration fees.
December 10, 2014: Deadline for submitting final papers for publication.


Conference website:

Adventures in Wonder Worlds: The Power of Literary Fantasy

International Conference
Adventures in Wonder Worlds: The Power of Literary Fantasy
5-6 December 2013
Ateneo Veneto, Venezia Campo San Fantin, 1897

For further information contact Laura Tosi,


Thursday 5th December
Ateneo Veneto, Aula Magna

14.15 Welcome
14.30 First Session
Chair: Shaul Bassi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Introductory Remarks (Laura Tosi and Peter Hunt)
Why Reading Fantasy Is Good for Your Brain (Maria Nikolajeva, University of Cambridge; read by Morag Styles)
15.15 Break
15.45 Second Session
Chair: Shaul Bassi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Italian Children’s Fantasy – A National and International Perspective (Lindsay Myers, National University of Ireland Galway)
Pinocchio and Alice. The Power of International Fantasies: National Stereotypes? (Peter Hunt, Visiting Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Laura Tosi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
17.00 Discussion

Friday 6th December, Morning
Ateneo Veneto, Aula Magna

9.00 First Morning Session
Chair: Peter Hunt, Visiting Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Power in/of Fantasy in the Wonder Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin (Anja Müller, University of Siegen)
Friend or Foe: Versions of Morgan le Fay in contemporary YA literature (Monica Santini, University of Padua)
10.15 Discussion and Break
11.00 Second Morning Session
Chair: Peter Hunt, Visiting Professor, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
The Way to Wonderland: Doors and Portals in Children’s Fantasy (Jane Suzanne Carroll, University of Roehampton)
Wild Things: Children Responding to Fantasy in Picturebooks (Morag Styles, University of Cambridge)
12.15 Discussion

Friday 6th December, Afternoon
Ateneo Veneto, Sala Tommaseo

14.00 First Afternoon Session
Chair: Alessandra Petrina, University of Padua
Imagining the world through Alice’s eyes. The adventures of Alice by L. Carroll as Bildungsroman (Alessandra Avanzini, University of Ferrara)
The Wizard of Oz: Fantasy, Technology, Ecology (Francesca Orestano, University of Milan)
15.15 Break
15.45 Second Afternoon Session
Chair: Alessandra Petrina, University of Padua
Fantasy or Playing with Reality? Russell Hoban & the Thingness of Things (Victoria de Rilke, Middlesex University)
Emotions as Empowerment in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction (Rocio Davis)
17.00 Discussion and Final Round Table
Chair: Morag Styles, University of Cambridge