NEWS: IRSCL Congress Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements

We are happy to announce that registrations for the upcoming congress of our research society, Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements, are now open.

Those of you who are IRSCL2021 delegates will receive an announcement similar to this one, but in this opportunity, we wished to reach out to IRSCL members who did not submit a proposal for the congress.

IRSCL2021 will take place virtually from October 19 to the 29th. The event will be powered by Whova, a virtual platform that specializes in participative gatherings with similar magnitudes to our congress. Whova will provide participants with access to the event’s schedule in their corresponding timezone, with the chance of adding presentations to their personal calendars, and also feature an array of social activities that go beyond zoom presentations (discussion forums and user-led events, among other features to be announced further on).

IRSCL members will be entitled to register as audience in the congress for free, but you do need to register: please visit our registration page, and fill in the registration form entering the discount code “IRSCLMEMBER21.”

The deadline for audience registrations is October 10th!

If you have any questions about the registration process, do not hesitate to contact Congress Coordinator Ja’nos Kovacs (jskovacs@uc.cl). He will be happy to assist you.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you in October!

CFP: Dimensions of Multiculturality in the Latest Works for Children and Young Adults

The challenges of the 21st-century related to the nature and dynamics of diverse intercultural relations are becoming increasingly evident, both in Poland and in the world. They are reflected, among others, in various works for children and young adults. Literary works, films, television series, comic books, theatrical performances, or video games presenting issues of multiculturality have the potential to raise awareness of the importance of specific social problems, occurring both locally and on a global scale.

By inviting you to reflect on contemporary strategies for constructing images of multiculturality in various media targeted at children and young adults, we suggest it to be considered broadly. This category, which in research on works for young audiences includes mainly reflections on the relationships of ethnic and ‘racial’ groups, is nowadays increasingly often based on a capacious definition of culture.

A decade ago, in 2011, Ambika Gopalakrishnan in the monograph Multicultural Children’s Literature: A Critical Issues Approach stated that multicultural children’s literature draws from the social and cultural experiences of groups that were previously underrepresented, and its aim is to show the significance of these experiences, resulting from differences not only in ‘racial’ and ethnic origin, but also in gender, psychosexual identity, class, age, economic status, (dis)ability, etc. Earlier, in 2009, Maria José Botelho and Masha Kabakow Rudman in Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature: Mirrors, Windows, and Doors signalled that the category of ‘race’ cannot be viewed in isolation from the power relations resulting from class and gender inequalities, since any “cultural difference” is a historical and socio-political construct.

The category of multicultural children’s literature appeared as early as the 1960s, and research on it – which at that time focused mainly on ‘racial’ and ethnic diversity – began to develop rapidly in the last decade of the previous century. Mainly analysed was national literature, especially created in the USA, Canada, and Australia (Rudine Sims Bishop, John Stephens, Junko Yokota, and Hazel Rochman, and in the 21st century, for example, Sharyn Pearce and Miriam Verena Richter). Perhaps the most cited – so far – are monographs by Mingshui Cai (Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: Reflections on Critical Issues from 2002) and by Botelho and Kabakow Rudman (cited above).

Over time, scholarly works published in English ceased to concern only English-language literature, but began to take into consideration, for example, Spanish (the research of Macarena García-González), Greek (Meni Kanatsouli, Theodor Tzoka), Portuguese (Ana Margarida Ramos), Scandinavian (Ingeborg Kongslien), and Chinese (Chengcheng You) literature, as well as films and TV shows (Sharon Bramlett-Solomon and Yvette Roeder, Erynn Masi Casanova, Karen Wells). So far, only one monograph devoted (though not entirely) to literary studies of multicultural children’s and youth literature, edited by Bernardeta Niesporek-Szamburska and Małgorzata Wójcik-Dudek, has been published in Poland; in the book, individual authors analyse various aspects of literary images of cultural diversity, among others, from the perspective of translation studies, postcolonialism, gender studies and queer studies, as well as taking into consideration the goals of multicultural and intercultural education.

Krystyna Kamińska (W stronę wielokulturowości w edukacji przedszkolnej, 2005) and Przemysław P. Grzybowski (among others: Edukacja europejska – od wielokulturowości ku międzykulturowości, 2009; Edukacja międzykulturowa – konteksty. Od tożsamości po język międzynarodowy, 2012; Inni, Obcy – ale Swoi. O edukacji międzykulturowej i wspólnocie w szkole integracyjnej, 2018 – work written with Grzegorz Idzikowski) devoted their monographs to the last issue. Polish researchers have also published a dozen or so scholarly articles – on multi- and interculturality understood as ethnic, national, and ‘racial’ diversity – from the perspective of literary studies (Katarzyna Smoter, Beata Gromadzka, Joanna Żygowska, Weronika Kostecka, Wójcik-Dudek, Krzysztof Rybak, Marta Jadwiga Pietrusińska, Ewelina Rąbkowska, Anna Fornalczyk-Lipska) and pedagogy (Lucyna Sadzikowska, Karolina Wawer, Anna Janus-Sitarz).

In the past two decades, works have also been published presenting the results of research on the texts for children and young adults that present constructions of: disability (in Poland – mainly by Alicja Fidowicz, and abroad – Tamma Berberi and Viktor Barberi, Tina Taylor Dyches and Mary Anne Prater, Zana Marie Luttfiya and Nancy Hansen, Debra L. Minarick, Martin F. Norden, and Patricia A. Dunn), non-heteronormativity and transgenderism (Dominik Borowski, Katarzyna Reszczyńska-Urban, Danielle Glassmeyer, Gwendolyn Limbach, Tison Pugh, Amanda Putnam, Michelle Ann Abate and Kenneth B. Kidd, Derritt Mason), gender (Grażyna Lasoń-Kochańska, Adrianna Zabrzewska, Gael Sweeney, Roberta Seelinger Trites, Tricia Clasen, and Holly Hassel), age (Vanessa Joosen).

Macarena García-González in the monograph Origin Narratives: The Stories We Tell Children About Immigration and International Adoptions (2017) rightly noticed that narratives not only reflect certain ideologies, but also constitute them. This is why we believe that it is important to carefully study the strategies used by authors of texts for children’s and young adult culture. Therefore, we invite you to submit scholarly articles on the following topics, taking into consideration the above-mentioned broad understanding of multiculturality:

  • The ego-centric category of ‘otherness’ versus the equality-driven notion of diversity – ways of conceptualizing and presenting cultural differences in the 21st-century cultural texts for children and young adults;
  • Strategies for sensitizing young audiences to cultural diversity – by blurring or emphasising differences between specific groups, presenting various models of intercultural relations, creating an internal or external perspective of a multicultural community, etc.;
  • Ideological messages and methods of shaping the diegetic world in cultural texts – how do they show social reality? What do they enhance and what do they marginalise? Who do they give the voice to – and on what terms? What patterns of thinking do they reproduce and perpetuate, and which ones do they question and transform?

We also encourage you to send texts not related to the topic of the issue to the Varia and Review Articles sections.

To read more about the journal, including our submission procedure, please visit our platform, http://www.journals.polon.uw.edu.pl/index.php/dlk (to change the language to English, please click the ‘globe’ button at the top of the page.) We use APA style, British English, and publish articles up to 45 000 spaced characters.

You can also find us on Facebook: http:www.facebook.com/dlkuw/

Deadline for submitting articles: December 31, 2021

 

 

CFP: Nature Writing

Biodiversity, climate change, and the relationships between humans and animals, plants, and landscapes have been central themes in children’s and young adult literature and media for some years. Stories about friendships between children and animals bring animal characteristics and agency to the fore; climate fiction for young adults modifies post-apocalyptic scenarios and fantastic novels engage with discourses about trees, roots and their networks; nonfiction (picture) books aim to raise awareness of the beauty and diversity of life in forests, in the depths of the sea and on the edges of cities, sometimes in aesthetically advanced ways – to mention just a few examples of the trend evident in all genres.. The theme, it must be noted, has long been profitable for publishers and one for which ever new publications are issued, albeit frequently devoid of any innovative emphasis in content.

A look at current and historical children’s and young adult literature nonetheless shows that the perspectives of neo-materialist theory, cultural animal and cultural plant studies as well as eco-critically oriented literature and media studies can produce new readings or re-readings. It could be postulated that children’s literature has demonstrated, since the Romantic era, a special connection between children and nonhuman creatures, with the latter characterised by unconventional agency. In this respect, it tells alternative stories of human–nature entanglements which are worth investigating.

Despite the conspicuous presence of nature themes, their analysis and reflection in children’s and young adult literature and media research remain a desideratum. Ecocritical approaches have so far been focused on the level of content and representation; beyond that, special attention has been paid to the development of didactic concepts in connection with a more sustainable lifestyle. But against the backdrop of New Materialism and the current animal turn and plant turn, a paradigm shift becomes apparent: New knowledge about the coexistence of humans and nonhuman beings is not simply represented in literature and media, but is produced descriptively and narratively or brought forth in visual, aural and audiovisual processes. “Writing nature” demands that we reflect upon hitherto circumventable anthropocentric positions of observation and narration. And while the discussion about climate change often remains abstract and oriented towards numbers, literature and media can find aesthetic means to model the changes in the natural environment and our shared world, to render the relations between humans and nonhuman beings narratable, and to make them tangibly experienceable. This kind of aesthetic work is of special interest here.

The sixth volume of the open-access, peer-reviewed Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung | GKJF (Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society) will address the contemporary as well as the historical dimensions of relationships to nature and landscape in children’s and young adult literature and media, especially the processes of writing nature.

Contributions should address the manifold implications of this complex topic from both theoretical and object-oriented perspectives in its various narrative and medial forms (novels, short prose, poetry, plays, picturebooks, nonfiction, comics, graphic novels, audio media, films, TV series, computer games).

Contributions may be in German or English. And while articles on German children’s literature and media are particularly welcome, the editors also welcome proposals on other cultural and linguistic areas.

Possible topics, aspects, approaches and focal points, each with reference to children’s and young adult literature or media, are:

  • Nature writing
  • Ecocritical approaches
  • Neomaterialist approaches
  • Narratology and knowledge
  • The interface between nature knowledge and esotericism
  • Utopia, dystopia
  • Fantasy and worldbuilding
  • Nature and horror / dark idylls / ecohorror / weird fiction
  • Human–nature relations and gender
  • Materiality

Beyond the focus theme, the Yearbook will publish up to three open contributions – in German or English – on questions of children’s and youth literature and media from a historical or a theoretical perspective; proposals for these contributions are also welcome.

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words for a contribution on the focus theme or for an open contribution by 15 September 2021. The proposal should provide a short summary of the questions being addressed, establish theoretical positions and name the main literature to which the contribution will refer.

Notices of acceptance and invitations to submit a full manuscript will be sent out, together with a style sheet, by 15 October 2021.

The contribution itself should not exceed 40,000 characters (including spaces, footnotes and bibliography), and should be submitted to the editors as a Word document by 01 March 2022.

We look forward to receiving your proposal. Please send it to: jahrbuch@gkjf.de.  The Yearbook 2022 will be published online in December 2022.

 

CFP: Questioning the Canon: Rethinking the Golden Age of Children’s Literature

The “Golden Age” of children’s literature, which features British and American texts produced during the mid-19th century into the early 20th century, introduced readers to enduring characters and situations that are firmly established in our cultural imagination. However, canonical Golden Age children’s books reveal a context that was rife with conflict and exclusion.

Indeed, calls for diversity in children’s literature have drawn attention to the tendency to revisit the same famous texts when teaching and writing about the Golden Age, but these texts are only a small sample of the literature available featuring and written for children during this era. As scholars from Michelle H. Martin to Kate Capshaw and Anna Mae Duane have shown, children’s literature during this time period was not exclusively white-centric. Additionally, many contemporary revisions and adaptations now seek to provide new perspectives on Golden Age texts, addressing or amplifying voices that are missing in the source text.

This special issue, then, will interrogate and seek alternatives to canonical Golden Age children’s literature. We welcome submissions that question what lies beyond the canonical. Whose voices are missing from texts like Alice in WonderlandThe Wind in the Willows, or What Katy Did, and where can we find these voices? How can we reconsider the canon of the Golden Age? Moreover, how useful is the term “canon” in an era when recuperative work and revision challenge prevailing perceptions of well-known texts?

Possible questions to explore include but are not limited to: 

  • What we call “the Golden Age of children’s literature” is really “the Golden Age of Anglophone children’s literature.” How might literature for children written outside the United States, Canada, Great Britain, or Ireland challenge and/or affirm hegemonic perceptions of the Golden Age canon?
  • Similarly, how does the circulation of texts by Indigenous people and people of color during the Golden Age time period affect a hegemonic conception of 19th-century childhood?
  • In what ways do 19th-century texts resist the valorization of the Romantic child?
  • How do we best teach what is missing from canonical texts? Do we need to teach the source texts in order to teach the revisions?
  • How do the characteristics usually associated with the Golden Age appear in noncanonical texts?
  • How do contemporary revisions of canonical texts revise problems with the source material?
  • What is the role of digital spaces and fan engagement in revising Golden Age texts?
  • What makes these texts worthy of being deemed part of a “Golden Age,” and who gets to make that determination?
  • What does the term “canon” mean for contemporary and future children’s literature scholarship?

Papers should conform to the usual style of the ChLAQ and be between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length. Please send questions and completed essays to Jill Coste (jill.coste@gmail.com) with “ChLAQ Essay” in the subject line. Essays must be submitted by June 1, 2022, and the selected essays will appear in the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 48.2 (Summer 2023) issue. High-quality submissions that are not included in the special issue can be considered for future issues of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly.

CFP: Latin American Children’s Literature and Culture

The development of research about children’s and young adult literature in Latin America and the Caribbean has transpired in close relationship to reflections on pedagogical praxis and enquiries around how to foster, encourage and mediate literary reading practises. This seems to be a distinctive feature of research in the field of children’s and young adult literature both in Spanish and Portuguese speaking geographies, and one that has intersected with two other fields of study: literature didactics and the social exercise of literacy promotion. Within the realm of the didactics of literature, and under the premise that good children’s books teach their readers “how to read”, research showed that an increasingly thorough description of works of literature for children would allow a deeper understanding of the repertoire of literary teachings they may offer.

From this perspective, book analysis has been carried out in constant dialog with reflections on the educational potentialities these cultural objects may tender when used in school contexts. In the praxis and theorisation of literacy promotion, on the other hand, research has oriented itself towards how the use of children’s and young adult literature in diverse social contexts could contribute to citizenship participation and to sustained grapplings with exclusion mechanisms that frequently and pervasively haunt and ballast Latin American countries. In this field, reflection on books seems to accompany reflections on the mobilisation of reading in contexts marked by the participation of children and young people, markedly those defined by crisis.

In tandem with the progressive consolidation of studies about children’s and young adult literature in Latin America in these two fields, the last few years have witnessed a hatching of critical texts that review works meant for children and young adults from the frameworks of literary studies, aesthetics and cultural studies. This has resulted, at least in part, in the publication of a significant number of works on the aesthetic and literary trademarks of children’s literature, an intellectual production that has been particularly prolific around picturebooks. In parallel, the attested presence of researchers contributing from cultural studies has summoned and drawn upon fields of knowledge such as history, philosophy and sociology, emphasising the (re)production of ideologies in works of art, and bringing into focus the ways and modes in which children’s and young adult literature engages with diverse social phenomena. An array of studies has also delved into historical revisions in which questionings that go after childhood imaginaries and its intersections with discourses the concepts of nation and future seem particularly relevant.

This Call for Papers springs from the team convening the 25th biennial congress of the International Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL), titled “Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements”, to be held virtually in October, and anchored geographically in Santiago de Chile. This will be the first IRSCL Congress to be held in Latin America, and it extends an invitation to review the magnitudes, emphases and languages of research being carried out in our region, which for the purposes of this CFP encompasses Latin America and the Caribbean. We invite contributions that expand the possible approaches and engagements with literature produced in the continent, understanding its close relationship with wider cultural fields, the expansive array of fictions for children and young adults, such as audiovisual narratives, theatre, music and video games, amongst many others.

Moreover, the present Call for Papers arises in times of social and political reconfigurations, marked by an increasing demand for regional epistemologies that as a result of their geographical and cultural anchoring allow for the valuation of localised and territorialised cultural productions. It is thus that we encourage contributions sustained on and in dialog with critical theories produced both in and about the region (decolonial and anticolonial studies, subaltern studies, Caribbean studies, Indigenous epistemologies, among others).

This Call for Papers invites researchers from all over the world to contribute to the study of children and young adult’s literature and culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In this vein, we invite contributions focusing on, yet not limited to:

  • Tensions and dialogs between the Eurocentric canon and Latin American traditions
  • Texts written (or promoted) by children and young adults
  • Journals, magazines, cartonera publishing houses, zines and other forms of independent publishing.
  • Migrations, displacements and in-transit identities
  • Problematization of ethnic imaginaries: whiteness, blackness, territorial resistances and visibilities of Indigenous epistemologies
  • Post-extractivism and post-Anthropocene imaginaries
  • Ecopoetry and ecocritical approaches
  • Regional literary epistemes: oral traditions and other cultural expressions in native languages and Creole linguistic variants in the continent.
  • Editorial rescues and novel repertoires for childhood.
  • Poetry, theatre, visual narrative and other contested fields of culture for children and adolescents.
  • Adaptations and translations

Please send your manuscript to the guest editors (mgarciay@uc.cl, felipe.munita@uc.cl, isabel.ibaceta@uoh.cl) and the journal editor, Roxanne Harde (rharde@ualberta.ca) by the 30th June 2022. Email subject: “IRCL Special Issue Latin American Children’s Literature and Culture.” The submission should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, a brief bio (c. 100 words) and 3-5 key words. Please follow the IRCL style guide.

CFP: “Nevertheless, she persisted”: Girls, Literature for Girls, and the Politics of Persistence Studies

Special issue of Women’s Studies

In 2017, Mitch McConnell explained his silencing of Senator Elizabeth Warren by stating, “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

“Nevertheless, she persisted” has become a feminist rallying cry, but literary girls have been expected to be persistent long before McConnell made this phrase famous. Indeed, persistence has been applied to innumerable heroines of girls’ literature, from Jo March to Anne Shirley, Cassie Logan, Starr Carter, and Katniss Everdeen. Characters such as these persevere in the face of hardship and oppression, accomplishing the impossible while challenging familial and societal norms. In so doing, they have created a specific narrative for readers: if a girl character persists, she can do anything, and thus, so can real life girls.

This special issue of Women’s Studies examines persistence in girls’ literature by questioning the narrative that girls are expected to persist. Are girls ever allowed to give up?  What emotional labour is associated with persistence? We seek papers from a global audience of scholars that draw on current Girlhood Studies and children’s literature scholarship to examine the ongoing theme of girlhood persistence. Topics may include:

  • girls’ persistence in lesser-known texts
  • persistence by Othered protagonists (including racialized girlhoods, sexualized girlhoods, trans or fluid girlhoods, and/or girls with disabilities)
  • the context of real-life girl readers and real-life girl writers
  • historical contextualization of persistent girls in children’s or young adult literature
  • persistent girls and political movements, such as civil rights, climate change, gender equity, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and disability rights among others
  • biographies of persistent girlhoods

Deadlines: Please submit abstracts of 500 words and a brief biography by June 1, 2021 to Amanda Allen (aallen36@emich.edu) and Miranda Green-Barteet (mgreenb6@uwo.ca). Articles of 6,500 words will be due on Nov. 1, 2021. This special issue of Women’s Studies is slated for publication in late-2022.

 

CFP: Players and Pawns: Political Childhoods, Political Children

Special Session, MLA (Modern Language Association) 2022
Location/Dates: Washington DC, 6-9th January, 2022
Deadline for submissions: March 5, 2021
Organization: Children’s Literature Division, MLA
Contact email: mgreenb6@uwo.ca

“Think of the children,” we say, again and again using the child as the object of political discourse. Policies and laws governing everything from education and public health to minimum wage and sexual relations are enacted with the intent of protecting children and improving their lives. So often, however, children are denied the ability to be perceived and accepted as political agents themselves. In fact, when children and teens, such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint), and David Hogg, among many others, become involved in politics, adults often criticize their efforts, arguing that children possess neither the experiences nor the knowledge to be involved in political discussions or to advocate for policy changes.

As children’s and YA literature affirms, children and teens both are used for the political gain of others and are themselves interested in politics. Drawing on children’s and YA literature, as well as films and other forms of youth media, this panel considers what it means to be a political child and/or how children are used by politicians. In other words, in what ways are children players in the game of politics, and in what ways are they pawns?

Papers might consider the following questions:

  • What are the politics of the child?
  • How is the political child constructed by adults? By children?
  • What kinds of childhood are instrumentalized by people in positions of power, and to what end?
  • What does it mean to “fight for the children?” How does the desire to protect children affect political children? What is the politics of childhood without the guise of futurity?
  • What is the child’s role in politics? Who is included and excluded from being a political child?
  • In what ways do children and teens resist political power? How might children politicize themselves?
  • Which possibilities or which limitations of children’s agency are inherent in political discourse?
  • How does the political child collaborate with the political adult?
  • What is the connection between anti-fascism and children’s and youth media?

Please submit 300-word abstracts and a brief biography to Miranda Green-Barteet (mgreenb6@uwo.ca) by March 5, 2021.

CFP: Nightmare Before Christmas

CFP:  Nightmare Before Christmas (Key Films/Filmmakers in Animation series, Bloomsbury)

This edited collection will consider Nightmare Before Christmas as a milestone in animation and film history as well as a key cultural object with lasting impact. The book will be inserted in Bloomsbury’s Key Film/Filmmakers in Animation series.

In the thirty years since its release, Nightmare Before Christmas has drawn repeated academic attention. Many of these contributions have seen the film as an entry point to larger arguments about Tim Burton’s work, whether in terms of its animation (Cuthill 2017), representations of gender (Mitchell 2017), and use of fairy tales (Burger 2017). Less often, Nightmare Before Christmas has been considered in relation to other frameworks, such as its presence beyond the film industry, in theme parks (Williams 2020a, 2020b), and the way it negotiated changing cultural expectations of children’s media and horror (Antunes 2020). Though this literature has shed light on several aspects of the film’s significance, there is to date no sustained scholarly inquiry that brings these insights together and examines the historical and cultural significance specifically of Nightmare Before Christmas. This edited collection seeks to address this gap, considering the different layers of meanings and history of Nightmare Before Christmas from pre-production to the present day.

Nightmare Before Christmas was released quietly in 1993 under Disney’s Touchstone banner and sold primarily on the art-house appeal of its animation technique, amid fears that a close association with child audiences would harm Disney’s reputation. But the film was an immediate success and has since been reclaimed by Disney as one of its most beloved family titles. Growing into a cult phenomenon, Nightmare Before Christmas still cultivates a dedicated fandom across the globe today with an array of merchandise, tie-in products, and other media.

Nightmare Before Christmas marks an important moment of technological development in stop-motion animation, and the technique has continued to have a key presence in the industry, particularly associated with horror- and gothic-inspired narratives (Selick’s Coraline and ParaNoman, or Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie), where it blurs questions of suitability for child audiences and continues to fuel debates about the art of animated films and its target audiences. Indeed, the specific combination of stop-motion and children’s horror in Nightmare Before Christmas is key to how the film has negotiated genre, suitability, and other cultural categories in its original and retrospective reception, questions which often become tangled with ideas of nostalgia.

More recently, Nightmare Before Christmas continues to serve as a point of reference for negotiations of genre and of the boundaries between mainstream and niche cultures, both on screen and in spaces of fandom. Its many afterlives expand well beyond the film industry, occupying manga and comic books , board games, and other paraphernalia, as well as physical rooted localities through events such as the live-staged musical, theme parks, and in exhibits (Hicks 2013), as well as through the fan practices that the film has inspired, such as fan fashion (Cuthill 2017) and makeup, cosplay, textual production, and transcultural fandom.

How can we best understand Nightmare Before Christmas and its significance in the history of film and animation? What is Nightmare Before Christmas’ legacy thirty years on, and how does it continue to challenge and delight audiences, scholars, and industry today?

This book aims to collect diverse and original insights into the meanings and impacts of Nightmare Before Christmas from a range of disciplinary perspectives and methods. Some suggested topics include:

  • Nightmare Before Christmasin animation and film history;
  • animation and genre (musicals/fairy tales/horror/family/etc);
  • narrative structure in Nightmare Before Christmas and the audience;
  • stop-motion as animation technique and cultural object;
  • animation and branding practices;
  • Nightmare Before Christmasas seasonal media (Christmas/Halloween);
  • suitability, animation, and young audiences;
  • children’s horror animation before and after Nightmare Before Christmas;
  • animation and nostalgia;
  • animation, technology, and art;
  • the music of Nightmare Before Christmas(songs, covers, re-releases, etc.);
  • the politics of representation in Nightmare Before Christmas;
  • childhood in Nightmare Before Christmasand its associated texts and practices;
  • authorship and associated debates (Burton/Selick/Elfman/Disney), including the links between Nightmare Before Christmasand other works;
  • franchises and franchising relationships;
  • live and experiential events linked to the film (live musicals, theme park attractions, the Beetle House restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, Tim Burton exhibitions, etc.);
  • transmedia and merchandise (Funko figures, action figures, board games, clothing and make-up, cookbooks, etc.);
  • transnational critical and audience/fan reception;
  • fandom, subcultures (Goth/emo), and fan practices, including transformative works (fan animation, fanfiction, fan videos,…);
  • cosplay and the body in Nightmare Before Christmas

Questions and informal discussion can be directed to any of the three co-editors: Filipa Antunes (a.antunes@uea.ac.uk), Brittany Eldridge (brittany.eldridge.18@ucl.ac.uk), and Rebecca Williams (rebecca.williams@southwales.ac.uk). Formal proposals (under 300 words) and short bio should be emailed to Rebecca Williams by 3 May 2021.

 

CFP: Streetwise: Children’s Literature and Culture in the Modern City

CFP: for a MLA 2022 (Washington D.C.) Allied Organization Non-Guaranteed Panel

Co-sponsored by ChLA (Children’s Literature Association) and MSA (Modernist Studies Association)
Organizer: Kristin Bluemel, Monmouth University
Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2021

Streetwise: Children’s Literature and Culture in the Modern City

Over ten years ago Karin Westman bemoaned the “lack of discussion between the two terms children’s literature and modernism” in her editor’s introduction to a Children’s Literature Association Quarterly special issue on “Children’s Literature and Modernism: The Space Between” (283). Acknowledging the significance of Juliet Dusinberre’s “landmark” contribution Alice to the Lighthouse (1987) and Kimberley Reynolds’s Radical Children’s Literature (2007), she maintained that “even when individual authors connected to children’s literature read through a modernist critical lens, these contributions often get absorbed into existing critical conversations about children’s literature or existing critical conversations about modernism” (284-85). Returning to this argument in 2013 in “Beyond Periodization: Children’s Literature, Genre, and Remediating Literary History,” Westman cites the same exemplary models –Dusinberre, Reynolds — as she calls for “children’s literature [to become] an organizing principle for literary history” (464). This proposed MLA ChLA-sponsored special session, co-sponsored by the Modernist Studies Association, assumes that opportunity, not defeat, lies in Westman’s largely unanswered call. Navigating the streets of the modern city through children’s literature and culture, it does indeed promise to reorganize modernist literary history. It seeks to inspire critical conversations about original research that draws from and contributes to the fields of children’s literature and modernist studies; generate excitement about collaborative projects between ChLA scholars and scholars in the Modernist Studies Organization; provide session participants with a clearer sense of how our research on children’s texts and urban spaces can enrich theorizations of modernism and modernity; and guide next steps towards institutionalizing our work.

This “Streetwise” special session engages with the following questions: How did children’s literature of the late-nineteenth through early- to mid-twentieth centuries respond to and shape the modern city? How did the metropolitan materials and practices of adults – their books, places, and movements – shape the institutions, representations, and objects of childhood? The goal of this panel is to bring together scholars working at the intersection of children’s literary/cultural studies and modernist studies in order to answer these questions and open up new subjects, methods, traditions, and affiliations for future research.

Proposals for papers that treat diverse writers and voices, both within and outside of the canons of modern children’s and modernist literature, are especially encouraged. Possible topics for investigation include relations between the forces and forms of ideology (e.g., race, class, gender, region), space (e.g., pavements, playgrounds, parks), genre (e.g., jump rope rhymes, illustrated novels, picture books), period (e.g., pre-World War I, Depression era, wartime), aesthetics (e.g., middlebrow, avant-garde, commercial), literary history (e.g., of diverse nations, sexes, ethnic groups), media (e.g., print, radio, films), and institutions (e.g., urban schools, Theatre for Young Audiences, Girl Scouts) associated with or impinging upon children’s literature and urban culture.

Please send 400-500 word abstracts by March 1, 2021 to Kristin Bluemel at kbluemel@monmouth.edu. Inquiries welcome.

CFP: MLA 2022: Anima Mundi: Finding our Shared Ecological Experience in Non-environmental Children’s Literature

Heidi A. Lawrence, University of Glasgow

ChLA Non-Guaranteed Session
Anima Mundi: Finding our Shared Ecological Experience in Non-environmental Children’s Literature

In his landmark text, Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life (2013 [2002]), Andy Fisher defines ecopsychology as a project through which humans may hopefully come to realize how our human psyche and the psyche the world around us, internally relate to “nature,” and how they are the “interior and the exterior of the same phenomenon” (Fisher 205) Theodore Roszak (1996) calls this shared anima mundi the “ecological unconscious” (320-21). For Fisher, this reunification of mind and environment is about “refusing all dualisms or splittings of reality (nonduality perhaps being ecopsychology’s main pivot), seeking integrations instead” (Fisher 205). This contrasts with Cheryll Glotfelty’s definition of ecocriticism as “the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment” (1996: xvii). Instead, ecopsychology is the study of the relationship between human beings and their physical environment. The idea of a shared psyche (or soul) between humans and nonhumans, between the organic and inorganic, and between the occupants of Earth and the occupants of other planets and stars across the universe must, of course, be multicultural, or it will not succeed, argues activist Carl Anthony (Anthony 264). In order to understand how the human-nature relationship can be healing, ecopsychology must acknowledge and seek for healing for the many cultures and peoples who have been dispossessed environmentally (Anthony 267). The close relationship between humans and their ecosystems is present in many children’s and YA fantasy and highly imaginative novels. Elements of these relationships are also present in more realistic children’s and YA fiction spanning at least the last 150 years. And as the Anthropocene accelerates and is accompanied by increased climate-change denial, the question arises – how can those who resist the concept of climate change be reached in a personal way that might allow them to see past pain and shame and guilt to their shared experience with the tree in the local park, or with the clouds scudding past on a windy day? Reading, not with an eye for how literature and the environment are in relation, but with an eye for how humans and the environment are in relation, may provide insights into the multiplicity of experiences humans share with the world around them.
This non-guaranteed session will investigate the question of human embeddedness in the ecosystem in non-environmental children’s and YA literature, whether fantasy, highly imaginative, or strongly realistic. This may include picture books as well. Non-environmental texts are those without an obvious past, present, apocalyptic, or post-apocalyptic environmental agenda; such texts may more easily reach those who struggle to accept climate change through tapping into such things as childhood memories of outdoor experiences or favorite family stories of outdoor play.

Topics might include:

  • Non-traditional outdoor education in non-environmental children’s literature
  • Established kinship between children or adolescents and a particular part of their ecosystem.
  • Evidence of ecojustice in non-environmental children’s/YA literature.
  • Representations (or a lack of representations) of kinship between children and the ecosystem in marginalized communities.
  • Socially and culturally appropriate representations or issues of cultural (mis)appropriation in non-environmental children’s literature.
  • Multicultural non-environmental children’s books and representations of kinship with nature.
  • Children or adolescents empowered through kinship with any organic or inorganic figure/character/object
  • Imaginary friends derived from some aspect of the environment.
  • A life-sustaining psychological bond between a child or adolescent and some part of the environment.
  • Outdoor play as an established part of a childhood routine.
  • A sense of wonder implicit in the experience of the child or adolescent character
  • Healing or nurturing aspects of nature in the child’s life

By March 1, 2021: Please send 400-500-word paper proposals and a 250-word bio to Heidi A. Lawrence, Heidi.Lawrence@byu.edu
Please use the subject heading “MLA 2022: Anima Mundi CFP.” If possible, please use a valid academic email address or an email address that clearly contains your name and comes from an identifiable email service. These steps will help me verify that it is safe to open your email and attachments. Thank you very much.