Sessional Assistant Professor in Children’s, Childhood & Youth Studies at York University

The Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University invites applications for a one-year Sessional Assistant Professor position in Children’s, Childhood and Youth Studies (Diasporic and Global Youth Cultures) to commence July 1, 2017. Applicants must have a PhD in the humanities or a relevant discipline. The program seeks outstanding scholars whose research interests and projects address the lived experiences and cultures of children and/or youth from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective. Preference will be given to applicants whose work addresses child and/or youth cultures in a global context. While the candidate’s own research can vary in content, we are seeking scholars whose research and teaching can highlight youth social justice advocacy and community engagement practices. Applicants must demonstrate excellence or the promise of excellence in teaching and scholarly research. Demonstrated expertise in research with children and/or relevant work experience with children and/or youth is a requirement. Pedagogical innovation in priority areas such as experiential education and technology enhanced learning is an asset. The appointment carries a teaching load of three full courses or the equivalent.

York University is an Affirmative Action (AA) employer and strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community. The AA program, which applies to Aboriginal people, visible minorities, people with disabilities, and women, can be found at or by calling the AA office at 416-736-5713. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Temporary entry for citizens of the U.S.A. and Mexico may apply per the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or citizens of Chile may apply per the provisions of the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA).

Applicants should submit a signed letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a teaching dossier, and a sample of their written work (no longer than 20 pages) and arrange for three confidential letters of recommendation to be sent directly to Professor Andrea Davis, Chair, Department of Humanities, 206 Vanier College, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2017. All York University positions are subject to budgetary approval.

CFP – Didactics and the Modern Robinsonade for Young Adults

CFP: Didactics and the Modern Robinsonade for Young Adults
Edited Collection

The literary and historical influence of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe on the Western literary canon cannot be overstated. Its publication heralded the arrival of the novel form and engendered greater public interest in reading literature in the eighteenth century. It was Rousseau who said of Robinson Crusoe that it is “the one book that teaches all that books can teach.” Indeed, in his treatise Emilius and Sophia: or, A New System of Education, Rousseau advocated for the use of Defoe’s novel as an instructional tool for the education of young minds, wanting Emilius to read only Defoe during his formative years.

Encoded within Robinson Crusoe – and in other popular Robinsonade narratives that followed it – were specific ideological lessons concerning, among other things, masculinity, civility, and the roles young British men/adolescents were expected to fulfil as part of Britain’s imperial mandate. R.M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island, for example, as a boys’ adventure novel, inculcates within the young adult reader a sense of national duty and homosocial pride: it also provides the reader with an idea of those specific, practical skills that would be needed in order to survive on a desert island. The Robinsonade genre, then, is largely an instructional one, and one that provides the young adult reader with specific lessons (both implicit and explicit) about how to be – an adolescent, an adult, a dutiful patriot, et cetera.

Didactics and the Modern Robinsonade for Young Adults seeks to explore the inherent didacticism of the Robinsonade genre and to examine specifically the lessons that more modern and contemporary iterations of the Robinson Crusoe story have inculcated within young adult readers. Each chapter in the collection will focus on a different Robinsonade narrative, and, more specifically, on the instructional function of the island/islanded setting and the edification of the young adult protagonist(s) that occurs through his/her/their interactions with the topography/other inhabitants. While a great deal of work has already been carried out on Robinsonade narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this collection will examine those works of Robinsonade fiction that were written after 1900, and which have received much less critical attention as a whole.

Contributors are invited to submit proposals for chapters of 6,000 words in length on any Robinsonade narrative for young adults/adolescents written after 1900 across a variety of media (literature, film, television etc.) and that specifically address issues of didactics and the instructional edification of young adults. The term “Robinsonade” may be interpreted broadly, and chapter topics may include (but are certainly not limited to):


  • M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud
  • J.M. Barrie’s The Admiral Crichton
  • H. DeVere Stacpoole’s The Blue Lagoon
  • Carol Ryrie Brink’s Baby Island
  • Captain W.E. Johns’ Biggles in the South Seas
  • William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Pincher Martin
  • Raykond Abrashkin and Jay Williams’ Danny Dunn on a Desert Island
  • Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Calder Willingham’s Providence Island
  • Charles Logan’s Shipwreck
  • William Steig’s Abel’s Island
  • Thomas Berger’s Robert Crews
  • Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
  • Terry Pratchett’s Nation

Other Media

  • Gilligan’s Island (TV Series)
  • Fantasy Island (TV Series)
  • Cast Away (Film)
  • Survivor (TV series)
  • Lost (TV series)
  • Flight 29 Down (TV series)
  • Lost in Blue (Video game)

Please send your proposals along with a short biography and a writing sample (of no more than 1,000 words) to