CFP – Young Adult Fiction and Theory of Mind

Young Adult Fiction and Theory of Mind

Many recent young adult novels probe the workings of the mind, at the same time inviting a sceptical and questioning reading stance. These texts draw attention to complex functions of memory, emotion and consciousness that are central to being and growing, often seeking to engage their adolescent readers through narrative games or formal experiment. These developments have been matched by the emergence of new forms of critical investigation, and an increase in the attention paid to relationships between readers and texts.

We invite papers exploring connections between contemporary YA and theory of mind, through thematic, narratological, or response-based enquiries. Possible topics might include: modes of empathy; nonhuman protagonists; remembering and forgetting; cognitive development; narrative and neurolinguistics; reading and feeling. Papers examining works from different English-speaking cultures, or offering comparative analysis with children’s or adult fiction are welcomed.

Please send your abstracts to the panel conveners:
Lydia Kokkola, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden (
Alison Waller, University of Roehampton, UK (

Panel format: short papers (15-20 minutes) followed by a panel discussion responding to predetermined questions. Open floor discussion. All presenters will have the opportunity to discuss their presentation prior to the conference.

Abstract length: 150 words
Deadline for Abstract: 26 February 2016
Confirmation of acceptance/rejection: 31 March 2016
Panel discussion via Skype / Adobe Connect: prior to conference, date to be determined.
Conference dates: 22-26 August 2016 (Galway, Ireland)