CFP – Queer(y)ing the World: International LGBTQ+ Literature for Young Readers

CFP: Queer(y)ing the World: International LGBTQ+ Literature for Young Readers

In the past few decades in English-speaking countries, we’ve seen a major increase to the number of children’s and young adult books published featuring LGBTQ+ themes. But what is the situation like in other languages and other cultures?

In this edited collection, we aim to explore LGBTQ+ literature for young readers around the world, particularly beyond the English-speaking countries/cultures. By LGBTQ+, we include: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, kink, intersex, non-monogamy, and more. We are interested in the intersection of literature, history, and politics, and we hope the various chapters will explore topics such as but not limited to:

  • How are sexualities and gender identities depicted in writing and illustration for younger readers? How are queer families and the construction of queer families portrayed?
  • How is this depiction influenced by the way the culture in question views queer identities?
  • What is the connection between LGBTQ+ rights and literature for children and young adults?
  • Who is writing this work and why?
  • Which companies are publishing the works?
  • What genres are these texts?
  • How do words and images interact in these books, if relevant?
  • How do LGBTQ+ identities intersect with other aspects of identity, including but not limited to ‘race’/ethnicity, dis/ability, class background, size, religion, and so on?
  • Are these works getting translated to other languages or are they themselves translations?
  • Are there different types of works being written by different groups within the cultures/countries?
  • What is the response of young readers (and parents, teachers, and other older readers) to the books?
  • How do libraries and library workers engage with these works?
  • How has the literature changed over time?
  • What sort of work remains to be done in this field?

Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words by 30 April 2017. We will reply with an acceptance or rejection of the abstract and feedback in the early summer and we anticipate that the due date for the submission of complete articles will be at the end of 2017. Articles will be 5000-7000 words, unless otherwise agreed upon. Guidance on style and referencing will be offered in due course. Abstracts and chapters should be in English, and any quotes in other languages should be translated as necessary.

Please contact Dr B.J. Epstein at and Dr Liz Chapman at with questions or to submit abstracts.

CFP – Translation Studies and Children’s Literature: Current Topics and Future Perspectives

Since the publication of pioneering works by Göte Klingberg, Riitta Oittinen and Zohar Shavit in the 1970s and 1980s, the translation of children’s literature has attracted the attention of many scholars in various fields. On 19 and 20 October 2017, KU Leuven and the University of Antwerp (Belgium) will organise an interdisciplinary conference on Translation Studies and Children’s Literature that aims to investigate the intersection between translation studies and children’s literature studies, offer a state of the art of current trends in the study of children’s literature in translation, and consider future perspectives for this field. How can the concepts, methods and topics used to study children’s literature contribute to the field of Translation Studies? What research questions are opened up by studying children’s books from a Translation Studies perspective? And what potential avenues have only recently been opened up, or remain as yet uncovered? The conference will take place on the occasion of the academic retirement of Prof. dr. Jan Van Coillie (University of Leuven), a pioneer in this area of study.

We welcome proposals on topics relating to promising lines of research integrating Translation Studies and Children’s Literature Studies, including:

  • globalisation/localisation/glocalisation (including English as a lingua franca)
  • ideological shifts in the translation process
  • ethical aspects of translating children’s literature
  • the reception of translated children’s books
  • the role of institutions and mediators (translators, publishers, agents, critics etc.)
  • intermedial translation (including digital picturebooks)
  • the benefits of applying literary approaches such as digital humanities or cognitive sciences to the study of children’s literature in translation
  • new impulses from established approaches such as stylistics, memory studies, genetic criticism or reception studies

The conference will be held in Brussels (19 October 2017) and Antwerp (20 October 2017) and will be preceded by a master class on translating Children’s Literature (for Dutch-speaking students) on 18 October 2017 in Brussels. The working language of the conference will be English although simultaneous interpreting can be provided upon request (please indicate in your proposal).

Keynote speakers are:
Gillian Lathey (University of Roehampton London, UK)
Cecilia Alvstad (University of Oslo, Norway)
Emer O’Sullivan (University of Lüneburg, Germany)
Jan Van Coillie (University of Leuven, Belgium)

Please send your proposals (300 words) by March 15, 2017 to We will give notice by April 30, 2017.


CFP – Any Signs of Childness? Peter Hollindale’s Signs of Childness in Children’s Books (1997), 20 Years On

Any Signs of Childness? Peter Hollindale’s Signs of Childness in Children’s Books (1997), 20 Years On
Day Symposium, 05/05/2017
Department of Education, University of York (UK) – H/G21, The Eynns Room

I wish to argue here that childness is the distinguishing property of a text in children’s literature, setting it apart from other literature as a genre, and it is also the property that the child brings to the reading of a text.

Twenty years ago, Peter Hollindale coined the term “childness” to qualify, or rather evoke, the particular feel of those discourses which express with unique intensity something of the quality of being a child in a certain place and time. Childness, Hollindale argued, is not a static property; always situated, it occurs through reading events, and signals a successful exchange between text and young reader.

This compelling but also elusive concept, although very often mentioned in children’s literature studies, has arguably been underused; children’s literature theorists have not engaged with that text as much as with Hollindale’s other celebrated work, Ideology and the Children’s Book (1988). Yet the “I know it when I see it” dimension of childness continues to condense much of the seduction and frustration of children’s literature as an object of study. In this symposium, we welcome scholarly contributions that reread, update, reevaluate, rethink, or trace the legacy of, Hollindale’s concept in the light of two decades of children’s literature theory and criticism. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Childness and contemporary children’s literature theory
  • Childness and exchange: “kinship” and “difference” models; generational gaps and “cultural time-gaps”; adult-child relationships; childness and “adultness”
  • The reading event: potential uses of “childness” in empirical work
  • Childness and sociological, political and intersectional approaches to children’s literature
  • Childness beyond children’s literature: childhood studies, education, sociology and philosophy of childhood; general literary theory
  • Childness beyond children’s books: multimedia, film, cultural and material productions

We welcome abstracts of 300 words from researchers and postgraduates before February 5, 2017. To submit an abstract or for any questions, please email

CFP – Special Issue of Children’s Readings: The 1917 Revolution and Children’s Literature

Call for Papers
Children’s Readings 12
1917 год и детская литература – The 1917 Revolution and Children’s Literature
Issue Publication: October 2017
Issue Editors: Sara Pankenier Weld and Svetlana Maslinskaia
Journal website:

We propose to dedicate issue 12 of Children’s Readings [Detskie chteniia] to the centennial of the 1917 Revolution.

Samuil Marshak formulated the widely accepted conception of Soviet children’s literature: “One cannot live only on one’s legacy, however great it might have been. We must ourselves create our present and future – a new literature, which fully reflects our time and even glimpses further into the future.” Marshak repeatedly spoke about new authors, new themes, new protagonists – about the new “big literature for the young.” Such a contrast-based history of children’s literature, clearly divided into a “then and now” demarcated by the events of the year 1917, has been reproduced uncritically during the course of the entire Soviet (and post-Soviet) period in domestic and foreign research and textbooks for higher education.

A “pre-revolutionary” and “post-revolutionary” periodization proves typical in the structure of histories of Russian children’s literature in the 20th century: the 1918 article by Kormchy styles itself as a Rubicon between old and new literatures and the post-revolutionary body of “progressive” children’s writers is construed as a team of like-minded confederates: “Gorky + Chukovsky + Marshak’s editorship.” On the whole, literary production for children in the second half of the 1910s-1920s is described in terms of an opposition to tradition, the overcoming of old themes and genres, a rupture in individual artistic practice, and so on.

In our view, this view demands further scrutiny. Of course, it is impossible to deny the fact that, after the revolution, the set of authors changed, publishers and editions appeared and disappeared, some works were forbidden, while each year some were reissued, new illustrators arrived, the range of literary themes and plots was renewed, new types of protagonists emerged, and so on. However, it is not clear in which ways and when there occurred (and if there did really occur?) a break between pre-Soviet and Soviet periods in the historical development of children’s literature. Did it primarily pertain to the organization of the literary process or did it alter the very character of literary texts? Is it possible to speak of stages in the development of Russian children’s literature or does a stage-based approach simplify the historical picture of its development?

We invite you to consider the following questions:

  1. Did a rupture in literary tradition occur in the year 1917? If it did occur, then how was it manifest and in what way did it proceed? Is it possible to propose a model not based on conflict for the changes occurring in children’s literature in the 1910s and 1920s?
  2. What did critics of the 1920s mean when they spoke of pre-revolutionary traditions in children’s literature? What, in your view, might be considered innovative in children’s literature of the 1920s and 1930s, and what might appear to be a development of the pre-revolutionary period?
  3. Did any forgotten experiments in children’s literature from the beginning of the 1910s reappear under new historical circumstances? Was it, in fact, principally new forms that were being put forward?
  4. How did modernism and the avant-garde figure in children’s literature of the 1910s-1920s? Was the revolution a reason for the gradual crowding out of modernism in the 1920s? What were the reasons for the fate of the avant-garde in Soviet children’s literature?
  5. Is it possible to consider the period of the 1920s-1930s a time of degradation/launching of children’s literature?
  6. What were the historical trajectories of work by children’s writers and illustrators beginning in the pre-revolutionary period and then continuing “under the Soviets” or in the “emigration”?
  7. How has children’s literature developed in other countries with similar historical situations of revolutionary upheaval? Is it possible to identify some common patterns?

Formatting guidelines for articles:
The proposed length of the articles is between 6,000 and 8,000 words including the bibliography.
Language of your submission: English or Russian.
The deadline for submission is June 1, 2017.

Your inquiries and submissions should be directed to the following address: