CFP – Home and Lived Spaces in Picturebooks from the 1950s to the Present

Home and Lived Spaces in Picturebooks from the 1950s to the Present
International Conference – September 28-29-30, 2017
University of Padua – Italy
Sala delle Edicole – Piazza Capitaniato, 3 – Padova

At an early age, home and lived spaces are much more than a simple body-space correspondence (Reimer, 2008; Perrot, 2011; Covato, 2014; Cantatore, 2015; Sachiko Cecire, et al., 2015). Lived spaces are constructed of sensory recalls, which, day after day, shape our idea of “home”, the espace vécu par excellence. Our sense of identity and belonging is influenced by various factors: personal experiences and relationships, the impact of the environment and sensory perceptions. Lived space is a point of reference for children; their body, which is a container, occupies an area inside another container, the house. Thus, the task to finding one’s own identity and a sense of belonging can also originate in one’s relationship with lived spaces. In literature, houses, habitations, walls and objects are imbued with an extraordinary narrative power, which is capable of penetrating the unexplored privacy of the family; and the most significant representations of the domestic environment can provide new insights into childhood (Beseghi, 1995).

In addition to substantially contributing to narrative plots, home environments also imply strong symbolic references. They provide a variety of narrative settings that can shift from sites of protection, love and care; to disquieting places of observation, deprivation, exclusion, deceptiveness and extreme rebellion. Like the houses themselves, their interiors (bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, attics, cellars, gardens, etc.) and the objects they contain (doors, windows, tables, chairs, cupboards, book shelves, beds, wardrobes, toys, etc.) can acquire narrative force and offer various interpretation keys. Objects and furniture are not just decoration; they play a vital role because they have a profound influence on the characters’ as well the readers’ sense of identity and belonging, and shape their idea of justice, goodness and beauty. The goal of the conference is to investigate and compare the development of the representation of home and lived spaces in picturebooks from the 1950s to the present.

We invite papers related to the overall theme of the conference, and to the following areas of interest:

  • historical developments and changes in the representation of home and lived spaces
  • social and cultural changes in children’s public spaces such as kindergarten, school, library, museums, shops, etc.
  • domestic environment and interior geography
  • depiction of lived spaces in nature (caves, islands, etc.)
  • the invention of fictional lived spaces and their influence on the child’s concept of home
  • interiors and their symbolic implications
  • objects and furniture that shape family relationships and self-identity
  • home and the child’s body
  • home and the child’s imagination

Please send an abstract of 300 words maximum and a short biography of 60 words as two attached Word documents to: Marnie Campagnaro: E-mails should be entitled: Conference Home and Lived Spaces in Picturebooks Abstract Submission.

Abstracts may be in Word with the following information:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) text of proposal, f) areas of interest, g) six keywords.

All abstracts and papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be written in English. Papers will be 30 minutes maximum, followed by a 15 minute discussion.

Deadline for abstract submission: January 10, 2017
Notification of acceptance: March 31, 2017

All submissions are reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by the members of the Advisory Board and Reading Committee.