CFP – Strenae Special Issue: Toy Theories and Practices in the First Half of the 20th Century

Call for Papers
Special Issue of Strenae: Recherches sur les livres et objets culturels de l’enfance
Toy Theories and Practices in the First Half of the 20th Century

A toy might be a thing (found in nature), an object (factory-made) that children can seize and sometimes transform by changing its main function, or an object that they themselves create for the purpose of a game. Therefore, toys are also subject to the dual ambition of adults who want both to educate children, and to make them happy. They constantly offer toys created for children, in their name, on their behalf, but they do so according to representations conceived by adults, which differ according to time and place. Finally, children might – or might not – get hold of these objects.

In this special issue, we would like to consider the toy in its theoretical and practical dimensions, to take into account its materiality, its representations and its symbolic value (Michel Manson). Therefore, it is important to situate toys in their ideological, cultural and economic contexts, in order to see what does it tell us about children, both as a constructed and empiric/real figures, who both define the toy and is defined by it.

The first half of the 20th century appears as a turning point. During this period, the creation and production of toys follow and extend the nineteenth-century traditions in crafts as well as in fine arts, but also change them as they encounter the progress of industrial production. The toys made by adults for children gradually become more accessible, even before the rise of mass consumption in the 1960s. Moreover, this is a period of theoretical reflections on the shapes and functions of toys, that delve in particular the traditional opposition or association of their educational and/or entertaining functions. These reflections took part in highly ideological contexts that must be subjected to analysis, as in the USSR, in Nazi Germany or in fascist Italy. However, in the spirit of opening up borders that drives current research on totalitarian regimes, we favor here a double point of view: a diachronic one, in order to explore the continuities, breaks and inflections between the years prior to the establishment of these regimes and those of their existence; and a synchronic one, broadly opening the geographical area to the world in the whole, in order to examine the differences as well as the strong tendencies that came about on the transnational scale, the exchanges and the circulations.

This issue means to favor a plurality of disciplinary approaches and their interconnexions, in order to bring together a plural history of material and visual cultures, art, education or psychology, anthropology and aesthetics.

Several topics can be tackled in parallel or cross stories, examining theories and / or practices, imagined and / or real audiences. These might include, but are not limited to:

  • The economic circuits and the organization of design, factory production and distribution of toys: artists’ toys, craft toys, the beginnings of industrialization, places of sale.
  • The distribution and the different uses of toys, real and/or theorized as such; the places of use of the toy (private and public spheres), the modes of use of the toy, the game and the toy, toys made by children, appropriation of the toy by the child.
  • Theoretical and ideological approaches of the toy: theoretical reflections on the shape and the materials of the toys, representations of the child, critical reception of the toys.
  • The organization and the functions of collections, exhibitions and toy museums.
  • The toy and its educational issues (moral, psychological, aesthetic): the types and shapes of the toy according to age or gender, the role and place of the toy in the civic and military education of the child.
  • Circulation and transfers: contributions may favor the study of a particular country or focus on circulation and transfers between one or more countries.
  • Intermediality: circulations can also be considered between several aspects of the child culture, as for example in the relationship between books and toys (toy book, toys adapted from illustrations, toy representations in the books).

Proposals (500 words maximum) in French or in English have to be sent before January 14, 2019 to Strenæ, together with a short biography and bibliography.

The proposals will be examined by the scientific editor of the issue, Cécile Pichon-Bonin, and the editorial committee of the journal. Authors will be informed of the acceptance or rejection of their proposal by February 4. The complete articles (30 000 characters spaces and notes included) will be submitted before September 15, 2019. The accepted languages are French and English. Articles will be published in the 17th issue of the journal, Spring 2020.

CFP – Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks

Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks
7th International conference European Network of Picturebook Research
PhD workshop September 25, 2019
International conference September 26 – 28, 2019
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences / Høgskulen på Vestlandet – Campus Bergen – Kronstad

Call for Papers

Nonfiction picturebooks have been published concurrently with fictional picturebooks for decades, if not centuries. Clearly recognized as an art form on a par with fiction picturebooks, nonfiction picturebooks have been honoured with their own category for awards at the prestigious Bologna Children’s Book Fair since 1995. In spite of this, the scholarly field of picturebooks and picturebook theory have paid comparatively little attention to nonfiction picturebooks.

Rather than dwelling on the reasons behind this lacuna within picturebook research, there is a need to bring together studies that attempt to remedy this deficiency, and to establish a theoretical framework or starting point for systematic and inventive approaches to various kinds of nonfiction picturebooks, both printed and digital. From pop-up books on urban development and big vehicles, to biographies about artists, adventurers, scientists, kings and queens, to graphic nonfiction on terrorism, the World Wars, and stem cells, to reference works such as atlases, encyclopaedias, ABC-books, and picture dictionaries, nonfiction picturebooks span a dizzying range of different themes, formats, and intended addressees. Central to the investigation of nonfiction picturebooks is the construction and validation of knowledge and the acknowledgement that the dissemination of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks varies according to the context (time, place, function) in which the text was created. Questions for inquiry include the kind of knowledge that is examined and why, and the ways in which knowledge is presented and organized in the book.

The 7th International conference of the European Network of Picturebook Research aims at being a conference, where analytical perspectives, methods, and frameworks are examined, tested and developed.

We invite papers related to the overall theme of the conference. Possible areas for investigation include, but are not restricted to:

  • The utilization of verbal, visual, audial, tactile and other multimodal strategies in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The presentation of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The implied reader in nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebooks across time, cultures, and languages
  • Picture dictionaries, concept books, and alphabet books
  • Digital nonfiction picturebooks
  • The paratexts of nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebook artists and artistic strategies

Please send an abstract of 300 words maximum and a short biography of 100 words as two attached Word documents to Nina Goga, E-mails should have the subject line: Conference nonfiction picturebooks.

Abstracts should include the following information:

  1. Author(s)
  2. Affiliation as you would like to appear in the programme
  3. E-mail address
  4. Title of proposal
  5. Text of proposal
  6. Selected bibliography with academic sources (3-5 references)
  7. Areas of interest
  8. Five keywords

All abstracts and papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English. Papers will be 30 minutes maximum followed by a 10 minutes discussion. All submissions are blind reviewed by the members of the Reading Committee.

Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2018
Notification of acceptance: March 15, 2019

Conference fee
Early registration fee (before May 15, 2019): € 60,00
Fee after May 15 (till July 31), 2019: € 95,00
Conference dinner: € 35,00 (drinks not included)

The European Network of Picturebook Research was established during the first picturebook conference in Barcelona in September 2007. The network was proposed by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen, Germany) who was a member of both the reading committee and co-organizer of the Barcelona-conference, and of the core group of picturebook researchers, which includes/d Evelyn Arizpe, Nina Christensen, Teresa Colomer, Elina Druker, Maria Nikolajeva, and Cecilia Silva-Díaz.

The aims of these conferences are
a. to foster international picturebook research
b. to promote young researchers who are focusing on the investigation of picturebooks
c. to publish selected papers presented at the conferences through international publishers or in peer-reviewed journals.

CFP – Walking in Other Worlds: Fantastical Journeys of Children’s Agency

Call for Papers
Walking in Other Worlds: Fantastical Journeys of Children’s Agency
Editors: Ingrid E. Castro and Jessica Clark

We are seeking completed submissions for an edited volume that interrogates representations of child and youth agency in fantasy. Our collection Walking in Other Worlds: Fantastical Journeys of Children’s Agency explores child and youth agency in the context of fantasy popular cultural forms. These sources of analyses may include television, cartoons, films, novels, toys, comic books/graphic novels, advertising, storytelling/folklore, fashion, art, video games, etc. An academic publisher is connected to this project.

Representations of children’s agency in fantasy can be analyzed from a variety of grounding points. For example, chapters might consider the intersection of agency and:

  • Friendships/Dating
  • Family/Intergenerational Relations
  • Pets/Animals/Nature
  • Age/Time
  • Material Culture: Permanent/Impermanent
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity/Class
  • Bodies/Sexuality/Disability
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Education/Work
  • Innocence/Knowledge
  • Space/Place/Location
  • Genre/Era

(This list is by no means exhaustive and we are happy to consider any work which places representation of children’s agency in fantasy at its center).

We will be including chapters by authors from a variety of disciplines, nationalities, and viewpoints, reflecting the contemporary study of and with children and childhood. In their submissions, authors are expected to engage with both their own discipline’s work on children/youth/agency as well as the interdisciplinary Childhood Studies work on children/youth/agency.

All accepted chapters must be written by PhD holders, as per publisher stipulation. Please submit to:

Due date for submission of completed drafts: October 15, 2018

Jargon-free drafts should be 7,000-9,000 words in length, Times New Roman 12 font, double spaced, Chicago Style in-text references. Please use endnotes, not footnotes, for any additional information or useful commentary when necessary.