The Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR) is affiliated with IRSCL and holds its conferences in alternate years to IRSCL Congresses. Here’s a report by incoming ACLAR President, Liz Parsons:
“Other Worlds in Children’s Literature: Fantasy, Reality and Imagination”
27th -29th June. Wellington, New Zealand
The 2008 ACLAR conference was hosted by Victoria University in the picturesque seaside city of Wellington.
The opening night included a superb cultural performance from students at Bishop Viard College, Porirua. This induction into local youth culture in the arts set the scene for a wide-ranging and compelling academic discussion of texts for children that delegates engaged in over the following two days. The breadth and depth of scholarship was particularly exciting and included international perspectives from Iran, Taiwan, India, the US, the UK, China and Japan as well as from Australia and our New Zealand hosts. Topics ranged from new approaches to historical texts to the most recent narratives. Presentations expanded the discipline parameters beyond traditional literature with research into computer games, magazines, film and television in ways that demonstrate the flexibility of our field’s intellectual engagement across the most contemporary platforms for storytelling that young people are accessing.