CFP – 2019 Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society: Fact, Fake and Fiction

Call for Papers for the Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society (Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung|GKJF) 2019
Topic: Fact, Fake and Fiction

Since Donald Trump made the microblogging service Twitter the central communication medium of his policy, there is a constant talk of “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Whether we actually live in a “post-truth age” today is an open question, but there is no doubt that playing with fact and fiction has reached a new level of staging and stylisation in the media public sphere.

The case is somewhat different for literature, as a fictional text is precisely defined by the feature that it does not claim to be verifiable in extra-linguistic reality. Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously declared in 1817 that “a willing suspension of disbelief” was the prerequisite for reading and understanding a literary text. But what can the fictional contract between author and reader be if, for example, the histoire of a narrative contains explicit or implicit falsehoods, or an unreliable narrative instance exists on the level of the discourse? How do recipients deal with literary and medial illusions and lies?

The question of the relation between fact and fiction is equally relevant relevant for information books, as each view of the world and the things in it is selective and from a specific perspective. Where are the boundaries between truth and invention, between the factual and the fictional? How far can the reduction of complexity in information books for children go before the simplification becomes a distortion, a deception?

Contributions for the third volume of the open access, peer-reviewed Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society (Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung|GKJF), should address implications of the topic of “Fact, Fake and Fiction” in its various medial forms (narratives, picture books, comics, graphic novels, films, television, computer games and apps) from both a theoretical and material perspective. Articles may be in German or English, and while articles on German children’s literature and media are particularly welcome, the editors also welcome proposals on other cultural and linguistic areas.

Possible themes and approaches with reference to children’s or young adults’ literature or media are:

  • The boundary between the novel and non-fiction, and hybrid forms in between
  • The boundary between feature film and documentary, and hybrid forms in between
  • The motifs of deception, lie, masquerade, topsy-turvy world
  • The figure of the con man
  • The genres of the tall tale, the Munchenhausen-like cock-and-bull story, the picaresque novel, tales of Cockaigne, alternate history, scripted reality
  • Unreliable narration
  • Narrating with contrapuntal image-text combinations
  • Pseudotranslations between fake and fiction
  • Fictional authors, fictional editors

Beyond the focus theme, the Yearbook will publish up to three open contributions on questions of children’s literature and media from a historical or theoretical perspective; proposals for these open contributions are also welcome.

Formalities:

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words for an article on the focus theme or for an open contribution by 10.10.2018. The abstract should provide a short summary with reference to theoretical positions, and name the main literature to which the article will refer.

The article itself should not exceed 40,000 characters (including spaces, footnotes and bibliography), and should be submitted to the editors as a Word document no later than 01.03.2019.

Please send your abstracts to:
g.glasenapp@uni-koeln.de
emer.osullivan@uni.leuphana.de
caroline.roeder@t-online.de
michael.staiger@uni-koeln.de
ingrid.tomkowiak@uzh.ch

We look forward to receiving your proposals. A style sheet will be sent once the abstract has been accepted. The Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society (Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung|GKJF) 2019 will be published online in December 2019.

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