Freedom and Control in/of Children’s Literature

VILNIUS UNIVERSITY AND MARTYNAS MAŽVYDAS NATIONAL LIBRARY OF LITHUANIA invite established and young literary scholars, book historians, librarians and university teachers to participate in an international conference
Freedom and Control in/of Children’s Literature
Venue: Vilnius University, Lithuania
Date: December 13-14, 2012
Supported by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences

This is the first time that an international conference dedicated to children’s literature is organised in Lithuania. The idea for this conference suggested itself on the 20th anniversary of the reestablishment of Lithuanian Independence as well as the 20th anniversary of the Lithuanian section of IBBY. Conference participants are invited to present papers on the changes in children’s literature after significant historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. If possible, the presenters are welcome to talk about Lithuanian children’s literature. More broadly, the theme of the conference may be interpreted both as a freedom of the development and the understanding of children’s literature and as a range of themes and issues children’s literature deals with.

Official languages of the conference: Lithuanian, English, and Russian.
Selected papers will be published.

Conference plenary speakers:

Marija Nikolajeva, Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, Director of the Cambridge-Homerton research and teaching centre for children’s literature
Kęstutis Urba, Associate Professor at Vilnius University, Chairman of the Lithuanian section of IBBY

Conference subtopics:

  • Changes in children’s literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall
  • Contemporary children’s literature in post-socialist countries
  • Changes in the genres and modes of the children’s literature of the recent 20 years
  • Children’s freedom and/or control in their immediate environment (family, school, etc.)
  • Didacticism as control: change in the model
  • The old and new taboos in children’s literature
  • Freedom to interpret folklore freely
  • New approaches to history in children’s literature and the literature of young adults
  • Freedom to write anything…
  • Freedom to write in any way…
  • Freedom to translate good / bad children’s literature
  • The writer’s internal censor
  • The current book market as a form of censorship

The deadline for the submission of abstracts (no more than 300 words) and short CVs (no more than 150 words) is 30 June, 2012. You may also inform about your intentions to participate sooner – this would help us to plan the conference agenda more effectively. Please send your abstracts and CVs to the conference administrator, Ms Guoda Rudnickaite at The conferences organisers will inform everyone if their papers have been accepted and will send out invitations to the conference by 10 September, 2012.

The conference fee is 40 EUR, which will cover two lunches, coffee breaks and other conference expenses. For an additional fee the participants will also have a possibility to go on an excursion around Vilnius.