CFP – Childhood and Visual Texts in/of Asia

Call for Papers
Childhood and Visual Texts in/of Asia

An international conference sponsored by the Taiwan Children’s Literature Research Association, the Department of Children English Education, National Taipei University of Education, and the Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award Executive Committee

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Venue: National Taipei University of Education

Visual texts such as comics and picture books have great impact on contemporary children—as they are entertained by the vivid pictorial images and lively stories, they acquire burgeoning knowledge and information from the words, from the pictures, or from the complex interweaving of words and pictures. As visual signals are replacing their verbal counterparts to mediate human perception of the world, professionals in the field of children’s literature and cartoon theories such as William Moebius, Will Eisner, and Scott McCloud face the irrevocable trend and take up the studies of picture books, comics, and graphic novels—forms that supposedly targeting at the child reader. While studies of visual and verbal interplay in genres mentioned above have been conducted for decades in the West, representation of Asia or Asian childhood through visual texts has not yet been sufficiently explored. Asia in fact has a long history of visual texts, with marvelous illustrators, cartoonists, and picture book writers. For example, in the 1920’s, Chinese painter and writer Feng Zikai integrated Western painting techniques into Chinese ink and wash paintings, creating a series of childlike comics. The purpose of this conference, therefore, is to explore, interrogate, and analyze the representations of Asian childhood through children’s visual texts. To this end, we invite paper proposals that engage the conference theme. Possible topics include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Picture Books Awarded by Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Book Award
  • Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Comics, Manga, Illustrated Books, Animations, Films
  • Asian Childhood Represented in Visual Texts
  • Representations of Ethnicity in Asian Visual Texts
  • Western Representations of Asia in Children’s Visual Texts
  • Oriental Aesthetics in Picture Books
  • Visual Literacy in Visual Texts
  • Children’s Visual Texts in Translation
  • History and/or Current Developments

Important dates

March 9, 2015: Abstracts Due
March 23, 2015: Notification of Acceptance
October 14, 2015: Revised abstract due for printing in the conference handbook
November 14, 2015: Date of Conference

Submit an abstract (300 words in English or 500 words in Chinese) and a short bio (50-100 words in English or 100-150 words in Chinese) to Carol Ku at and Jean Lai at