CFP – Special Issue of Girlhood Studies: Queering Girlhood

CFP: Queering Girlhood – Special Issue of Girlhood Studies

In the more than ten years since Marnina Gonick directly challenged the field by asking, “Are queer girls, girls?” (2006: 122), girls’ studies has grown into a formidable, expansive, and increasingly recognized area of academic discourse. Yet, while one might not characterize the “pairing of the words queer and girl” as “virtually unthinkable” in the scholarship today, as Susan Driver (2007: 28) found it then, there remains a distressing inability to dislodge girlhood from its (hetero)normative grounds. The stubborn persistence of white, affluent, able-bodied, Western heteronormative girlhood continues to plague critical work on girls and girl cultures, even as there are repeated calls by major scholars in the field to subvert and complicate this normative girl (Kearney 2011; Projansky 2014). Particularly with the increasing visibility and recognition of transgender and gender diverse girls, the queer girl again most pressingly (and perhaps inevitably) confronts girls’ studies with the imperative to re-examine the very definition of girlhood—a project that, as Whitney Monaghan’s recent work promises, might productively “denaturalise” the “girl” (2016: 35) anew as an entrée into further critical inquiry.

This Special Issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal takes up the project of bringing the queer girl from the margins to the center of girls’ studies by inviting articles from various disciplinary perspectives that explore the experiences and representations of queer girls, as well as the impact of queer girl cultures on the understanding of girlhood. When they appear in public discourse or popular representations, which happens far too infrequently, queer girls usually act as representative of a problem to be solved, a phase to grow out of, or a minor point within a larger debate about young female sexuality. In considerations of queer youth, they again find themselves marginalized or silenced by a seemingly inescapable focus on their male peers. Theirs are, in short, voices we too rarely hear and experiences too rarely figured. Yet, because they are so obviously marginalized by and/or resistant to normative constructions of gender and sexuality, queer girls provoke a number of important critical questions for definitions of youth and of girlhood.

Contributions to this special issue may consider, among others, the following critical questions:

  • How have normative notions of heterosexual childhood/adolescent development dominated understandings of young female sexuality and, therefore, disregarded the complexities of female sexuality and pleasure, or relegated queer sexualities to what is thought of as a temporary phase?
  • How might a disruption of gender binaries or a rejection of fixed gendered designations truly redefine girlhood which has for so long been founded in notions of femininity or so called feminine (and masculine) experiences or behaviors?
  • How does the queer girl have an impact on explorations of female friendship, female bonding, and close-knit groups such as those found in fan cultures or creative production?
  • What histories or archives of queer female experience have been lost from view or silenced in service of a dominant narrative on girlhood?
  • How are queer girls shaped by their position at the intersection of identities based in race, age, class, and/or ability?
  • How do queer girls consume, participate in, critique, and/or negotiate the dominant discourses around girlhood in popular culture that so often exclude their experiences? Do queer girls consume popular culture differently? If so, how? Do queer girls produce different popular culture and other creative media?
  • How do definitions and experiences of queer girlhood vary around the world? How has a particularly white and Western figure of queer girlhood limited the sense of diverse queer girl experiences?
  • What youth subcultures do queer girls participate in and/or create and how might their subcultural practices challenge prevailing notions of female subcultural experiences?
  • How have queer girls engaged with new technologies such as digital media production, mobile apps, social media, and platforms like YouTube and blogging, and for what purposes or ends?
  • What kinds of social and political activism have queer girls been engaged in or even spearheaded and how might their practices further inform our notion of queer and/or girl activism more broadly?

Guest Editor
Barbara Jane Brickman is guest-editing this themed issue. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Media and Gender Studies at the University of Alabama. Her research interests are in girls’ studies, feminist film theory, gay and lesbian studies, and American popular culture. Since the publication of her first book, New American Teenagers: The Lost Generation of Youth in 1970s Film, she has written a volume on the 1978 film musical Grease for the Cinema and Youth Cultures series. She is also the founder and director of the Druid City Girls Media Camp in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Article submission
Please direct inquiries to Barbara Jane Brickman ( and send expressions of interest and/or abstracts to her by 19 February 2018. Full manuscripts are due by 16 July 2018. Authors should provide a cover page giving brief biographical details (up to 100 words), institutional affiliation(s) and full contact information, including an email address.

Articles may be no longer than 6,500 words including the abstract (up to 150 words), keywords (6 to 8 in alphabetical order), notes, captions and tables, acknowledgements (if any), biographical details (taken from the cover page), and references. Images in a text count for 200 words each. Girlhood Studies, following Berghahn’s preferred house style, uses a modified Chicago Style. Please refer to the Style Guide on the website: If images are used, authors are expected to secure the copyright themselves.

For more information, see

Driver, Susan. 2007. Queer Girls and Popular Culture: Reading, Resisting, and Creating Media. New York: Peter Lang.
Gonick, Marnina. 2006. “Sugar and Spice and Something More Than Nice? Queer Girls and Transformations of Social Exclusion.” In Girlhood: Redefining the Limits, ed. Yasmin Jiwani, Candis Steenbergen and Claudia Mitchell, 122–137. Montreal: Black Rose Books.
Kearney, Mary Celeste. 2011. “Girls’ Media Studies 2.0.” In Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture, ed. Mary Celeste Kearney, 1–14. New York: Peter Lang.
Monaghan, Whitney. 2016. Queer Girls, Temporality and Screen Media: Not ‘Just a Phase.’ London: Palgrave.
Projansky, Sarah. 2014. Spectacular Girls: Media Fascination and Celebrity Culture. New York: NYU Press.

CFP – Neglected Newberys: A Critical Reassessment at the Centennial

CFP: Neglected Newberys: A Critical Reassessment at the Centennial
Volume editors: Sara L. Schwebel and Jocelyn Van Tuyl

In anticipation of the one hundredth anniversary of the American Library Association’s Newbery Medal (1922-2022), submissions are welcomed for a volume devoted to critically-neglected Newbery Award-winners.

About the Volume
Since the inception of the Newbery Medal in 1922, Newbery novels have had an outsized influence on American children’s literature, figuring perennially on publisher’s lists, on library and bookstore shelves, and in K-12 school curricula. As such, they offer a compelling window into the history of U.S. children’s literature and publishing as well as changing societal attitudes about what books are “best” for American children. Nevertheless, many Newbery Award winners—even the most popular and frequently taught titles—have attracted scant critical attention.

This volume offers a critically- and historically-grounded analysis of representative Newbery Medal books and interrogates the disjunction between the books’ omnipresence and influence, on the one hand, and the critical silence surrounding them, on the other.

The editors seek at least one previously unpublished essay per decade (1920s-2010s), with each essay to focus primarily on a single Newbery Medal (not Newbery Honor) title for which little or no literary scholarship exists. We welcome submissions from both emerging and established scholars.

We specifically seek a diversity of Newbery authors, genres, themes, and book settings, but also investigations of how diversity is treated or, especially for earlier works, silenced in the texts.

Avenues for exploration include: neglected categories and sub-genres (horse books, maritime adventure stories, regional literature, retold folktales, one-hit wonders for children by well-known authors); reception and book history (alterations of text to avoid offensive language and imagery, both immediately after the Medal and decades later); critical readings of problematic texts; Newbery winners and their archives; hypotheses regarding critical neglect: the rise of Children’s Literature as an academic field long after the Medal’s inception; the disjunction between the Newbery’s historical whiteness and heteronormativity and current developments in literary criticism; a possible disconnect between librarians who award the medal, K-12 teachers who recommend the books, and university professors who are rewarded for publishing literary criticism.

Submission Information
E-mail the editors ( and for access to the spreadsheet of books on which we are soliciting contributions, contributor resources, and additional specifications to ensure continuity throughout the volume.

The deadline for initial proposals of approximately 500 words is April 1, 2018.

We anticipate requesting completed essays of 6000-7000 words by early 2019 (subject to the publisher’s requirements).

CFP – IRCL Special Issue: Curating National Children’s Literatures

Special Issue of International Research in Children’s Literature
Curating National Children’s Literatures
Guest editors: Karen Sands-O’Connor, Lucy Pearson and Aishwarya Subramanian

This special issue seeks to examine the curation of “national” children’s literatures: how are national canons created and sustained? How is the notion of a national literature defined, and which voices are included?

The term “national,” like “classic” and “canonical,” confers prestige, but in doing so creates a hierarchy of values which frequently privileges the voices of a dominant group above all others. Indeed, ideas of “nationhood” are frequently predicated on ideas of exclusion as much as inclusion. Because the reifying of children’s literature means longer shelf-life, sales, and interest, such curation of a nation’s children’s literature matters. The contemporary increase in global migration, shifting international relationships, and the growing prominence of isolationist and nationalist movements around the world suggest that now is a useful moment to focus on the question of national children’s literatures. How are such canons compiled, and who has a stake in the creation, promotion, and maintenance of the idea of a national children’s literature? Which voices dominate, and how might more heterogeneous national literatures be curated?

Taking a broad view of “curation” as practiced across publishing, education, awards and prizes, and other cultural fields as well as by museums and archives, we invite abstracts for papers on the curation of national children’s literatures. We particularly welcome papers that consider how or if non-majority groups within a nation find space/place within the national conversation about children’s literature, and papers which consider how new national literatures are formed in countries which have historically lacked a strong indigenous children’s literature.

Abstracts due: 1 January 2019; completed papers 1 April 2019, publication July 2019.

New ISSCL Podcast – Come Away, Oh Human Child!: The Adaptation of Adult Texts for a Child Audience

IRSCL member the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature is pleased to announce that its third podcast, which addresses the topic of adapting adult texts for children in the context of the work of two of Ireland’s most renowned authors (Jonathan Swift and W. B. Yeats), can be accessed at

In the podcast, Anne Markey explores the relationship between children’s literature and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in this, the 350th anniversary of the author’s birth, and Noreen Doody discusses issues involved in editing The Moon Spun Round: W.B. Yeats for Children.

Call for International Research in Children’s Literature Executive Editor

The term of office of the International Research in Children’s Literature Executive Editor expires in 2018. Scholars (normally mid-career or beyond) who would be interested in taking up this positions are invited to contact IRCL Editor Kimberley Reynolds ( to seek further information if so desired. It is an honorary position – IRSCL is not able to offer remuneration – but it is intellectually and professionally rewarding. You will find the description of the roles and duties of the Executive Editor below.

Roles and Duties

  • Support the Senior Editor with feedback on submissions and content as required – written notes for Editor
  • Discuss with Editor content of next issue and order of articles
  • Receive copy edited and marked up articles from Copy Editor
  • Receive copy edited and marked up reviews, check copy edit
  • Check copy edit and mark-up of articles
  • Keep database of authors
  • Confirm Table of Contents with Editor and prepare for typesetter
  • Confirm end matter with Editor and prepare for typesetter
  • Prepare Delivery Sheet for Edinburgh University Press
  • Create a new Dropbox folder under Edinburgh University Press Dropbox heading for relevant issue and upload all text files as Word doc and images as jpeg
  • Let Edinburgh University Press know that upload is complete
  • Receive and check all proofs
  • Receive and take in all acceptable authors’ corrections. Where corrections are not acceptable contact authors and let them know which ones were not taken in and why.
  • Mark up all corrections and scan relevant proof pages as pdf files
  • Upload corrected files to Edinburgh University Press Dropbox folder

If you are interested in applying for this position, please provide us with:

  • A CV, including a list of publications
  • A brief letter of motivation (1 A4 at the most), stating why you think you are fit for the job

You can address your letter to:, before January 5, 2018. The Executive Editor will be selected by the executive board, following the advice of the Editor, Kim Reynolds, and the current Executive Editor, Mark MacLeod.

IRSCL Mentoring Program

IRSCL invites young children’s literature researchers (including undergraduate students and recent PhD graduates) to apply and benefit from the mentors’ expertise and guidance related to:

  • Teaching/Curriculum development
  • Article/book publication
  • Job market
  • Conference presentation skills
  • Networking
  • Grant applications

We are initially offering 20 mentee places, which we will try to allocate by matching the mentees’ needs with the mentors’ expertise. Once we have matched the mentors and mentees, we will ask them to negotiate the means of communication and time commitments. We hope that the mentors and mentees are able to begin their collaboration at the beginning of February 2018.

If you are interested in participating in the program as a mentee, please fill in and submit the online application form until 15 January, 2018.

Please email Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak at if you have any questions.