CFP – Children’s Literature Crossing Borders

American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting 2017
Utrecht, July 6-9, 2017
Panel: Children’s Literature Crossing Borders
Organizers: Melek Ortabasi (Simon Fraser University) and Vanessa Joosen (University of Antwerp)

Children’s literature has long been viewed as an agent for international peace. French comparatist Paul Hazard’s famous remarks from 1932 sum up the connotations of humanist universalism still associated with literature for young readers:

“[C]hildren’s books keep alive a sense of nationality; but they also keep alive a sense of humanity. … They understand the essential quality of their own race; but each of them is a messenger that goes beyond mountains and rivers, beyond the seas, to the very ends of the world in search of new friendships.”[1]

Key to the peacemaking ability of children’s literature, at least according to Hazard, is its willingness to cross national borders. The implicit competition among nations expressed by Hazard’s statement is borne out in the global literary market. The international production, dissemination, and reception of children’s literature is driven not by an innocent curiosity, as Hazard would have it, but rather by a complex set of economic and political forces that favor some languages and cultures while marginalizing many others. This panel stream wishes to expand our understanding of how children’s literature actually crosses borders by seeking paper proposals including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Children’s literature in translation
  • Representations of foreign nations and cultures (imagology) in children’s literature
  • Translating and translators of children’s literature
  • International reception of children’s literature
  • Translingual, bilingual or multilingual children’s literature
  • Politics in the transnational dissemination of children’s literature

According to the ACLA website, “paper submissions will open on Sept. 1, 2016 and will run through midnight (PST) on Sept. 23, 2016…Once paper submissions close on Sept. 23, seminar organizers will have until Sept. 30 to select the papers they would like to see in their seminar. After that point, seminars will be reviewed by the ACLA’s program committee for inclusion in the conference program. A reminder that you do not have to be a member of the ACLA to propose a seminar, or to submit a paper proposal to a seminar. You do, however, need to be a member and to register for the conference if you wish to present a paper, or moderate a seminar, at the conference itself. 2017 memberships in the ACLA, as well as registration for the 2017 ACLA Annual Meeting, will be available through the ACLA website beginning Oct. 1st, 2016.”

Please go directly to the ACLA submission page,, to upload your paper proposal to our panel (after September 1). You can search for our panel by its title: “Children’s Literature Crossing Borders.” If you have any questions or comments for us, please email Melek at and/or Vanessa at Issues with the ACLA website should be directed to their webmaster.

CFP – Berlin: Recent Images of a Metropolis in Narrative Media for Children and Young Adults

Call for Papers for Essay Collection
Berlin: Bilder einer Metropole in erzählenden Medien für Kinder und Jugendliche / Berlin: Recent Images of a Metropolis in Narrative Media for Children and Young Adults
Edited by Sabine Planka

“The city I’ve portrayed in details, has disappeared in front of my eyes: Shops have appeared in which English is the first language, restaurants, in which the food is edible, the dog’s mess has disappeared from the pavement. At first I believed that this would be short-lived and the developments would be corrected as time goes by. But then I had to realize that Berlin had changed again. I believed that writing a book 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall would present a constant image, but I was wrong.” (Hein 2015 (new ed.), p. 9/10, transl. by S.P.)

Jacob Hein’s formulation – sometimes provocative but always with a wink – when writing a traveller’s guide to Berlin shows that Berlin – both the political centre and cultural trend barometer – underlies and reacts seismographically to permanent changes. These changes have become part of literary and filmic narratives: every single media is giving birth to narrative that play out in Berlin – or make Berlin a protagonist as well. In 2006 Matthias Harder and Almut Hille stated, “More than 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin is an unknown city. […] Even for some of the citizens the ‘new’ Berlin is still a hidden secret. Besides that, outside Germany the interest in knowing much more about Berlin stems from a lively curiosity.” (Harder/Hille 2006, p. 7, transl. by S.P.)

Behind this statement lies the often asked question as to how the development of and changes in Berlin have been integrated into narrative discourses since the year 2000. Additionally, and of greater importance, is the question how the image of Berlin has changed after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany nearly 30 years ago. How is Berlin located topographically as a setting and a place where the story takes place? How have socio-political topics become part of the narration?

Associated with Harder’s and Hille’s statement, that Berlin “had to process abrupt historical changes and had to restructure its own existence” (p. 7, transl. by S.P.), the essay collection planned will focus on the metropolis Berlin in literary and film media published primarily around and after 2010, for children and young adults, that present the reader past, present and future with images and visions of Berlin. In 2007 Sylvia Schwab states in Deutschlandfunk: “Berlin has been awakened. Berlin is in. Berlin is in the middle of cultural debates. And Berlin is the topic of films, books and, over the past few years, also in children’s and young adult literature. New books written by Klaus Kordon, Gabriele Beyerlein, Waltraud Lewin, Katja Hildebrand und Reinhold Ziegler show this development“ (transl. by S.P.). 10 years after Schwab’s statement and therefore nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall her statement is still relevant today: Berlin is still in, it is still central – and it is still part of the narrative for children and young adults supplemented by new topics: flight and terror are presented in addition to the motifs of coping with the past, inclusion and integration that show a successful and desirable cultural cohesion.

Possible topics are:

  • Berlin in picture books/books for children and young adults as dystopian/utopian future scenarios: How do we live in the future?
  • Berlin as a final destination for refugees and immigrants and theirs hopes for a better life
  • Berlin as a place of inclusion and integration
  • Berlin as the centre of political decisions (for example season 5 of the TV-series “Homeland”, 2015)
  • The motif of a capital city/large city/metropolis: How is city life in a large city shown?
  • Future Berlin and ecological aspects
  • Berlin as topography (in general and special districts) and special places within the city (Alexanderplatz, Tiergarten etc.)
  • Architectural characteristics of Berlin that are of relevance to the narration (for example plattenbau vs. art nouveau villa)
  • Special authors who use Berlin as a setting for their stories, for example Erich Kästner, Klaus Kordon, Gabriele Beierlein, Waltraut Lewin and many more (analysis of single works is as welcome as the analysis of the whole oeuvre of an author)

Topics other than the ones stated above are very welcome and will be considered!

The timetable for the volume is as follows:

Deadline for abstracts: October 31, 2016
Feedback: November 30, 2016 at the latest
Submission for articles (completed): May 15, 2017
Review process and feedback due to: May/June/July, 2017

Publication is planned for autumn 2017.

The essays may be written either in German or in English, the essay collection will be published bilingually. Please note that an abstract of the article and 3-4 keywords should be given in the language other than the one used for the article and shall be prefixed to the article.

If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please e-mail an abstract of 500 words and a short CV to Dr. Sabine Planka ( Your abstract should outline your hypothesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email was lost in the depths of cyberspace. In that case, please re-submit. Please note that I will not include previously published essays in the collection.

CFP – Florida: Past and Present State(s) of Empire in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Call for Papers
ChLA Diversity Committee’s Annual Sponsored Panel
Children’s Literature Association Conference 2017
Tampa, Florida, June 22-24, 2017

Florida: Past and Present State(s) of Empire in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

In many ways, Florida represents both past and present tensions over history, race, displacement, language, and citizenship central to national debates. Florida’s popular image as a vacation spot veils its place as a site of Spanish and American empire. The city of St. Augustine’s claim as “the oldest city in the United States” masks its start as the first Spanish settlement (1565), which includes a history of colonization, displacement, war, violence, and cultural appropriation for Native Americans. Tensions remain today for Native Americans in the state (and throughout the U.S.) with the debate over complex issues such as cultural appropriation, revisionist histories, and undocumented violence against their community. In addition to Native Americans in Florida, generations of Latino/a and Caribbean immigrants call the Sunshine State home, including those from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Jamaica. Tampa’s Ibor City and St. Augustine were among the first places were AfroLatin@s settled in the U.S. (Juan Flores, The Afro-Latin@ Reader, 2012). The state’s legacy of Jim Crow segregation and racial violence has been documented by scholars studying local traumas such as Rosewood and the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

This panel seeks papers that explore topics inspired by Florida’s history, though works do not have to be set in Florida per se. We invite papers examining works by children’s and young adult authors depicting life in the“Old South” and Jim Crow segregation, Latin@ and/or Caribbean documented and undocumented migration, bilingual literature, Native Americans, AfroCaribbean, and AfroLatin@ representations, and travel and tourism.

Questions? Contact Marilisa Jimenez Garcia and Karen Chandler at and Email your 500-word abstract and 2-page CV by 15 September 2016, attaching them in .rtf, .doc, or .docks format, and including your email and phone number.

CFP – Special Issue of Bookbird: “Another Children’s Literature”: Writing by Children and Youth

Call for Submissions
“Another Children’s Literature”: Writing by Children and Youth

Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature invites contributions for a special issue on “another children’s literature”—one created by children and youth themselves. Usually, “children’s literature” has been assumed to be literature written by adults for children.

In this issue, however, we intend to focus on literature created by children and youth. While there has been some critical attention to the juvenilia of canonical authors and considerable educational and psychological interest in what children’s writing reveals about children, comparatively little attention has been paid to the literary dimensions of—and theoretical issues raised by—children’s and youths’ writing.

In the Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature (2010), Evelyn Arizpe and Morag Styles with Abigail Rokison consider writing by children a “neglected dimension of children’s literature and its scholarship,” wondering “whether children’s writing can be considered ‘literature’” and even whether children’s writing is “a genre in itself”: they conclude that “a serious study of children’s writing as literature is still to be written.”

This special issue on “another children’s literature,” recognizing with Juliet McMaster that “literature by children is a different matter from literature for children,” hopes to undo some of that neglect of literature written by children and youth. As David Rudd writes, “It might still be argued that unlike women and other minority groups, children still have no voice, their literature being created for them, rather than creating their own. But this is nonsense. Children produce literature in vast quantities.”

Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:

  • exceptional cases of important texts published by writers before they were adults, including both contemporary and earlier texts written by children and youth
  • publication (and obstacles to publication) of children’s and youths’ creative writing, including submissions to writing contests and literary anthologies in magazines and books
  • adult mediation, including censorship, of child- and youth-authored texts
  • in addition to fiction and non-fiction, drama, poetry, and song lyrics written by children and youth
  • collaborative writings of children and youth with adults
  • children’s and youths’ online “writing,” including blogging and fan fiction
  • potentially distinctive characteristics of writing by children and youth, including narratology, representation, plot, mode, language play, characterization, focalization, closure, or intertextuality

Full papers should be submitted to the editor, Björn Sundmark ( and guest editor, Peter E. Cumming ( by 1 October 2016.

Please see Bookbird’s submission guidelines for full submission details. Papers that are not accepted for these issues will be considered for later issues of Bookbird.

CFP – Encounters of the Playful Kind: Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships

Encounters of the Playful Kind: Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships
Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak and Barbara Kalla (Eds.)

Submissions are invited for chapters on possible intersections between children’s literature and play as spaces of encounters between imaginary childhoods and adulthoods as well as between real children and adults. On the one hand, the collection will draw on aesthetic approaches to children’s literature to explore the concept of intergenerational play as informing texts thematically and stylistically On the other hand, it will rely on methods developed within sociology of literature to discuss interage play as fostering extraliterary interactions between children and adults in the context of shared reading experiences. This volume will thus contribute to children’s literature studies, childhood studies, and play and culture studies.

Contributions are welcomed from a range of fields, such as literature, literacy and art education, popular culture, and games.

Possible areas of investigation:

  1. Literary representations of play shared between children and adults (e.g. family games, symbolic meanings of children’s play; intergenerational play as a device organizing the structure and poetics of a literary text; children’s play as inspiration of authors and illustrators; authors’ memories of childhood)
  2. Play as fostering reader relationships in informal and institutional contexts (e.g. child and adult readers as partners in home and school settings; meeting points between home literacies and formal reading instruction; intergenerational reading in cultural institutions; literary festivals; authors interacting with young readers outside the book; games developed out of books; children’s literature in the context of participatory culture)
  3. Metacritical and autoethnographic reflection on scholars’ play with child readers (e.g. the significance of play in researchers’ reading histories; professional reading vs. reading for pleasure; play with young readers as a research method)

An abstract of the proposal, maximum 300 words, with a brief CV of the author(s), maximum 40 words, should be submitted to Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak ( and Barbara Kalla ( by 30 September 2016. We will aim to reply to authors by 30 October 2016.

Abstracts accepted by the contributors will be used to produce a publishing proposal. Full manuscripts should be prepared by 31 January 2017 with the aim of completing revisions etc. for 30 June 2017 and publication by the end of 2017.

CFP – 2017 The Child and the Book: Interdisciplinary Links between Children’s Literature and the Arts

The Child and the Book: Interdisciplinary Links between Children’s Literature and the Arts
30 March -1 April 2017
Teachers’ Training Faculty, University of Valencia, Spain

The links between the different arts have always been very strong throughout history. The Renaissance’s Man is probably an archetype. Nevertheless, other examples like the tight relationship between artists during the Avant-Garde period show that the disconnection is very recent. This circumstance is probably related to that fact that arts have been included in scholarly studies, which has led to their specialisation. As a result, the different arts have been studied in isolated academic spaces without any relation among them. In addition, students have been very often deprived of seeing art as a whole. Many artistic manifestations have still included the interdisciplinary use of arts as a main expressive resource. This is the case of opera, the so-called global art, but also cinema or animation are current examples of a combination of arts.

For specialised critics Children’s Literature has always been considered a privileged field of study since it includes many different manifestations of artistic expression. Picturebooks are one of the most prominent ones, but then current multimedia devices have increased considerably the variety of supports and also resources linked to Children’s Literature that interact simultaneously.

The proposal for the 2017 edition of The Child and the Book Conference aims at exploring these issues. The main topic would be the relationship between Children’s Literature and Music, Fine Arts and other kind of artistic expressions.

Specific topics that we want to address include:

  • The relationship of music, fine arts and other kind of artistic expressions with children’s literature
  • Adaptations, intermediality, trans-mediality, cross-mediality
  • Animation and films for children and young adults
  • Opera, folktales and children’s literature
  • Fine arts and picture books
  • Ekphrasis in children’s books
  • New methodological approaches in the interdisciplinary use of arts in children’s literature

Papers will be up to 20 minutes long to allow short discussions in every session. You should respect as much as possible the topics of the conference. All the seminar rooms where the lectures will be carried out are fully equipped with AVA facilities, Powerpoint, internet etc.

How to apply:
Please send an abstract of 300- 500 words maximum to clearly stating:

  • The topic(s) you are working under regarding those listed above
  • An outline of your paper clearly stating the line of argument
  • Your name and surname
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your institution
  • A short biography of 50-100 words giving your name, institutional affiliation, one or two publications

Please, indicate if you are a junior researcher (master or PhD student, researchers who finished their PhD less than 7 years ago). Since The Child and the Book is a junior-researchers-focused conference, this category of scholars will be prioritised, although everybody is invited to send a proposal. In order to keep the conference small in size, we will not accept more than one presentation per person.

This is a three-day conference and it is expected that presenters will stay as long as possible in order to facilitate the contact and discussion with other participants. Please indicate if you are able to stay for the three days of the conference.

We intend to implement a program of couch-surfing addressed mainly to students in order to minimize costs for participants, and promote the cultural exchange between the students of our faculty and other people from abroad. Please, let us know if you would like to use this option.

Important dates:

The deadline for abstracts is November 28, 2016.
Notification of acceptance: December 24, 2016