Special Issue of International Research in Children’s Literature
Intergenerational Desire in Children’s Literature
Guest editors: Christophe Van Eecke and Lies Wesseling
This special issue seeks to explore the diverse economies of intergenerational eroticism and sexuality that pervade children’s and young adult’s literature, both the books themselves and the dynamics between authors and readers.
There has always been speculation about Lewis Carroll’s and J.M. Barrie’s attitudes to children, while a well-known author like William Mayne was convicted of indecent assault. But what about the books themselves? Between author and child stands the book as mediator, which may speak about erotic or sexual relationships between adults and young persons, portray such relationships, or suggest them obliquely. Are such books tools for grooming a child, or can they also empower children’s own sexuality (a taboo topic in our culture)? How are such processes at work in the books themselves? How do young readers respond to such books? And how do authors put such books to use?
We want to explore the many ways in which children’s literature operates in the controversial area of intergenerational sex and eroticism. We welcome contributions on all aspects of this topic: articles on paedophile writers of youth literature and the sexual politics of their work; on children’s books about sexual or erotic relationships (“bonding”) between the generations; on the response of young readers to such books; on the erotic in children’s literature and its relation to the desires and needs of both author and reader, or on any other topic that illuminates this field. We especially welcome contributions that discuss little-known authors who write in non-English languages or contributions that reach out to other media and traditions such as the graphic novel for children, children’s films, new media and online publications (blogs, e-books), or the oral traditions of urban legend, fairy-tale, and children’s rhyme. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.
Abstracts (300 words) and a short bio (150 words) should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org before 28 February 2017. Deadline for submission of full articles will be 31 May 2017. Following review, deadline for finalised articles will be 15 August 2017.