IRSCL Statement on Racial Injustice and Plan for Accountable Action

From the IRSCL Executive Board and the IRSCL Equity and Diversity Committee

In line with the 2017 IRSCL Statement of Principles and its commitment to advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented voices, languages, and cultures, the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) shares the collective and international grief and anger over the death of countless victims of racism and state-sanctioned violence around the world. The conjunction of long-standing economic and racial inequality, national and international histories of racism and violence, and current political tendencies in multiple regions around the world threaten the multicultural values we uphold. The IRSCL affirms its solidarity with scholars, students, writers, and all children, around the world, who are affected by racism, and expresses its support for the millions of protesters in the world who are working to change entrenched systems of inequality. Beyond words of solidarity, we also must translate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into concrete actions and policies.

As an organization the IRSCL commits to a plan of accountable action that includes but is not limited to the following measures:

  • Promote work by scholars of underrepresented groups while continuing to question power dynamics and privileges present in our academic field.
  • Include an IRSCL Equity and Diversity Committee Highlighted Panel at each IRSCL Congress
  • Ensure the inclusion of issues of equity and diversity in IRSCL Congress keynotes
  • Promote children’s writers and children’s literature reflecting diversity and/or addressing inequalities at the IRSCL Congress
  • Consider and address issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion through the IRSCL Mentoring Program
  • Consider equity and diversity and the value of scholarship on this subject as a significant factor in determining recipients of Awards and Grants
  • Support and promote the work of the IRSCL Equity and Diversity Committee and its stated aims:
  • To recognize and respect the differences that IRSCL members bring to the organization;
  • To create an environment in which all members feel a sense of belonging and acceptance within the IRSCL, especially early career scholars, and where everyone feels safe;
  • To advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented voices, languages and cultures in IRSCL meetings and congress presentations;
  • To promote and expand the study of children’s texts from across the globe;
  • To acknowledge the existence of diverse ways of knowing, being and presenting research.

As a multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic research society, we are resolved to stand with so many others in our scholarly community who work daily to ensure that children’s literature research and children’s literature embody our shared commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice, while giving special attention to its impact on children.

As researchers and educators, we are committed to dialogue, reflection, and public engagement. We call upon our members to use their expertise both in the classroom and in public forums to engage in discussions on inequalities and racial justice. Teaching, scholarship, and creative work can be powerful tools in the struggle against racism and the present day calls upon us to use them in this way. It has never been more important to support and expand Black and Africana studies, Postcolonial and Decolonial studies, and Indigenous studies and to teach the literatures born of struggle against racism. We affirm that the IRSCL will redouble its efforts to create a safe, equitable and just community in every place where we live, study, teach and work, beginning in our own organization and field.

Endorsed by:

Executive Board of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL)

Evelyn Arizpe (University of Glasgow, Scotland), IRSCL President

Åsa Warnqvist (Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, Sweden), IRSCL Vice-President and Treasurer

Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak (University of Wroclaw, Poland), IRSCL Board, Mentoring Coordinator

Debra Dudek (Edith Cowan University, Australia), IRSCL Board, Membership and Recording Secretary

Macarena García González (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), IRSCL Board, 2021 Congress Convenor

Sara Pankenier Weld (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), IRSCL Board, Awards and Grants Coordinator

Lies Wesseling (University of Maastricht, the Netherlands), IRSCL Past President, Archivist

Emily Keijzer (University of Winnipeg), IRSCL Administrator

Equity and Diversity Committee of the IRSCL

Vivian Yenika-Agbaw (Pennsylvania State University, USA), Equity and Diversity Committee Chair

Laretta Henderson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA), Equity and Diversity Committee Member

Sabeur Mdallel (Institut Supérieur des Sciences Humaines de Tunis, Tunisia), Equity and Diversity Committee Member

Xiaofei Shi (Soochow University, China), Equity and Diversity Committee Member

New issues of IRCL: 13.1 (July 2020) and the Congress special number

Message from IRCL:

Dear members,

We have two new issues of IRCL to share with you: 13.1 (July 2020) and the special number based on the Stockholm Congress theme of Silence and Silencing. Both are available at (tables of contents below). You will no doubt find much of interest in these issues and we encourage you to share the articles and reviews widely with students and colleagues.

We know that for many members life has been thrown into confusion by the coronavirus but perhaps that gives you more opportunities to read these special numbers and in that way stay in touch with colleagues and the discipline. Everyone on the IRCL team sends best wishes and we look forward to a time when we can gather at meetings and conferences face-to-face.


The IRCL team


13.1 TOC 

Editorial: From the Senior Editor
Kimberley Reynolds

Imagining Colonial Environments: Fire in Australian Children’s
Literature, 1841–1910
Michelle J. Smith

Laundering Treasure in Stevenson’s Treasure Island
Suk Koo Rhee

Gaining Harmony: Glocal Subjectivity in Two Indonesian films for Children
Nia Nafisah

New Materialist Openings to Children’s Literature Studies
Macarena García-González and Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak

Streams of Consciousness: The Downriver Narrative in Young Adult Fiction
Ada Bieber and Richard Gooding

Representing Turks in Greek Children’s and Young Adult Fiction
Lissi Athanasiou-Krikelis

The Men Who Drew for Boys (and Girls): 101 Forgotten Illustrators of
Children’s Books 1844–1970. Robert J. Kirkpatrick
Dennis Butts

Staging Fairyland: Folklore, Children’s Entertainment, and
Nineteenth-Century Pantomime. Jennifer Schacker
Jennifer Duggan

The Embodied Child: Reading in Children’s Literature and Culture. Eds
Roxanne Harde and Lydia Kokkola
Deborah Thacker

Levi’s eerste kerstfeest. Jeugdverhalen over jodenbekering, 1792–2015.
[Levi’s first Christmas celebration. Children’s stories on Jewish
conversion, 1792–2015.] Ewoud Sanders
Charlotte van Bergen

Literary Studies Deconstructed: A Polemic. Catherine Butler
Gabriel Duckels

Przemiany współczesnej książki popularnonaukowej dla dzieci i
młodzieży (na przykładzie francuskiej oferty wydawniczej). [The
Transformation of the Contemporary Popular Science Book for Children
and Youth (Exemplified by French Publishing Offer)]. Agnieszka Wandel
Natalia Paprocka

Serce Pinokia: Włoska literatura dla dzieci i młodzieży w Polsce w
latach 1945–1989. [Pinocchio’s heart: Italian literature for children
and young adults in Poland, 1945–1989]. Katarzyna Biernacka-Licznar
Ewa Nicewicz-Staszowska

The Courage to Imagine: The Child Hero in Children’s Literature. Roni Natov
Krystyna Zabawa


Congress number TOC

Editorial: Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature
Elina Druker

Just Listen? Silence, Silencing, and Voice in the Aesthetics, Reception, and Study of Children’s Literature
Vanessa Joosen

Line Breaks, Page Turns, and Gutters: Formal Moments of Silence in Children’s Texts
Karen Coats

‘Unsilencing’ Chinese Indonesians through Children’s Literature
Herdiana Hakim

The Silencing of Children’s Literature Publishing in Hong Kong
Faye Dorcas Yung

The Acoustics of Nonsense in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Tales
Anna Kérchy

‘As Long as I Can Do, I Will Do for Children’: Sindiwe Magona’s Children’s Literature
Renée Schatteman

Israeli Children’s Literature about People with Disabilities
Yaakova Sacerdoti

Children’s Literature and Imaginative Geography. Edited by Aïda Hudson
Nina Goga

The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio: Exploring Their Parallel Worlds. Laura Tosi with Peter Hunt
Fabiana Loparco

Żywioły w literaturze dziecięcej. Ziemia [Elements in children’s literature: earth]. Eds Anna Czabanowska-Wróbel and Krystyna Zabawa
Krzysztof Rybak

Maps and Mapping in Children’s Literature: Landscapes, Seascapes and Cityscapes. Eds Nina Goga and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer
Josh Simpson

Wolność i wyobraźnia w literaturze dziecięcej [Freedom and imagination in children’s literature]. Eds Anna Czabanowska-Wróbel and Marta Kotkowska
Karolina Stępień

CFP: Dream-Chasers: Children and Success in Asia

Call for Papers

Dream-Chasers: Children and Success in Asia 

This collection aims to explore how success is conceived for children across Asia. Economic development in the region is re-shaping the way success is understood for children. What does a “successful” child look like? How does childhood agency influence ideas about success? How is success for children represented in literature, cinema, and popular media? In what ways are these images grounded in the historical, political, cultural, theoretical, or philosophical contexts in which they are produced and consumed? While there have been numerous empirically-driven research into conceptualisations of success among young people, how success is defined for children in the texts they consume is an under-researched topic. We seek contributions that examine representations of success for children in Asia.

Possible areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How does literacy / education relate to ideas about success for children?
  • Morality and ethics
  • Religion
  • Gender and/or sexuality
  • Race, ethnicity, and/or cultural difference
  • Class
  • Marginality and/or minority status
  • Parental expectations vs children’s desires
  • Juvenile delinquency

Please submit a 300 word abstract, current contact information along with a two-page CV as Word attachments to Sue Chen and Sin Wen Lau to by 15 August 2020. Authors will be notified by 30 September 2020. The deadline for finished essays is 15 February 2021.

Dr Shih-Wen Sue Chen is Senior Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She received her PhD in Literature, Screen and Theatre Studies from the Australian National University. Her research focuses on British and Chinese children’s literature and culture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. She is the author of Children’s Literature and Transnational Knowledge in Modern China: Education, Religion, and Childhood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and Representations of China in British Children’s Fiction, 1851-1911 (Routledge, 2013). Email:

Dr Sin Wen Lau is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Chinese Programme at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University. Her research interests include the anthropology of China, religion, gender, children and youth. She is the author of Overseas Chinese Christians in Contemporary China (Brill 2020) and co-edited Religion and Mobility in a Globalising Asia (Routledge, 2014). Her work has also been published in The Asian Studies Review, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, and in edited volumes. Email: