Children’s and young adult literature and media offer a symphony or polyphony of sounds. The word “sounds” evokes a whole concert of related associations. The term relates to a spectrum of auditory phenomena that encompasses the complex areas of tone/sound, word/language and music as well as noises of all kinds. It also leads to questions of sensory perception(s) as well as to sound art, be it in classical, experimental or popular culture forms. Literary sounds range from the multifarious aspects of the lyrical (poems, lyrics, etc.) to questions of intermedial references in texts; specific sounds and soundtracks are also audible in children’s and young adult media.
But it doesn’t just thrum and throb in young adult novels; sounds are also audible in picturebooks, for example, and political and ideological messages can be transmitted in all medial forms via sound. Narratological aspects are showcased when the voice of the narrator, the childlike tone or the fast beat of a novel are alluded to. Sounds can be interwoven with speech melodies, introduced with foreign-language quotations or underlaid with montaged and collaged noises. The chirping and rustling of nature is depicted via sounds, the (literary, composed) symphony of the big city sets a sound monument to metropolises.
In media contexts, too – both in the field of acoustics and in visual media – sounds are of central importance. Hence the relevance of probing the connections between sound and media development as mirrored in all media products and practices for children and young adults.
The open access, peer-reviewed Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung | GKJF (Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society) 2021 will focus on the theme of Sounds, examining the historical and contemporary dimensions of this complex subject. Contributions to this fifth volume of the Yearbook should address implications of the topic in its various medial forms (narratives, picturebooks, comics, graphic novels, films, television, computer games and apps) from both a theoretical and material perspective.
Contributions may be in German or English. While contributions 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 adult literature or media are:
- Linguistic forms, narrative forms, narratives;
- Intermediality and materiality;
- Visual media (especially picturebooks, graphic novels);
- Interdisciplinary aspects of the sound arts;
- Acoustic media;
- Audiovisual media: films, series;
- Sensory perception, emotional research;
- Music and singing;
- Political aspects, ideological implications (e.g. “right-wing rock”);
- Anthropological issues.
Beyond the focus theme, the Yearbook will publish up to three open contributions – in German or English – on questions of children’s literature and media from a historical or a theoretical perspective; proposals for these contributions are also welcome.
Please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words for a contribution on the focus theme or for an open contribution by 15 September 2020. The proposal should provide a short summary of the questions being addressed, establish theoretical positions and name the main literature to which the contribution will refer. The contribution itself should not exceed 40,000 characters (including spaces, footnotes and bibliography), and should be submitted to the editors as a Word document by 01 March 2021.
Please send your proposal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to receiving your proposal. A style sheet will be sent once your proposal has been accepted. The Yearbook 2021 will be published online in December 2021.
Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung | GKJF
Prof. Gabriele von Glasenapp, Universität zu Köln
Prof. Emer O’Sullivan, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Prof. Caroline Roeder, PH Ludwigsburg
Prof. Ingrid Tomkowiak, Universität Zürich