CFP – The Children’s Book as Material Object

The Children’s Book as Material Object
Call for papers for a symposium at The Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Date: Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Keynote Speaker: Philip Nel

The growth in digital media has led to a corresponding “material turn” in academic interest concerning the book as a material object. Children’s books in particular raise the question of the role of the physical and material form in communicating meaning. From the eighteenth century, children’s books have been marketed alongside (gender-specific) toys, and today, pop-up books, illustrated books, and textured books all attest to an interest in exploiting the physical nature of books for children. Children’s books also appear in many forms: picturebooks, comics, digital apps, and video games. This conference aims to explore the many physical forms that children’s books can take, and asks what we can learn from studying the materiality of the children’s book.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Materiality and reader-response
  • The materiality of the archive
  • The (non?) materiality of digital media
  • Ephemera, inscriptions, and paratext
  • The visual impact of the book
  • Children’s books as objects of play

Please submit a title and abstract of a maximum of 300 words, along with a bionote of up to 50 words, to by 1 February, 2017.

We are also accepting applications for the role of panel chair. Please send a 100-word application to by 1 February, 2017.