CFP: The Child and the Book Conference

The Call for Papers for The Child and the Book Conference [May 2022] closes on the 15th November.

We are accepting paper, panel, and poster proposals. More details are available here:

The conference will be delivered in hybrid format because we wish to make it as accessible as possible. Both in person and online formats will feature keynotes, panel discussions, roundtables, and other inspiring activities.

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

CFP: New Articles on Poetry in Barnboken

Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research presents four new articles within the theme “Poetry for Children and Youth.”

Berit Westergaard Bjørlo takes a closer look at examples of visual and verbal humour in two contemporary Norwegian poetry picturebooks, with particular emphasis on the interplay between the poems and illustrations. Reading nonsense poetry as play and creative thinking, Claus K. Madsen and Lea Allouche highlight the different uses of nonsense in Danish Birgitte Krogsbøll and Kamilla Wichmann’s Funkelgnister.

Johan Alfredsson examines the function of poetry and the picture book format in Tove Jansson’s classic The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My, demonstrating how the combination of these aspects can influence how child readers make sense of the narrative. Exploring the transferral of poetry from book to stage, Silje Harr Svare and Anne Skaret analyze a stage performance for children based on Norwegian author Rolf Jacobsen’s poetry which originally was published for adults. The four articles are written in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, with abstracts in English.

Guest editors of “Poetry for Children and Youth” are Johan Alfredsson (PhD, University of Gothenburg, Sweden), and Anne Skaret (Professor, University of Applied Sciences, Norway).

We also publish seven new reviews of recently published theoretical literature, such as Derritt Mason’s Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and
Culture and Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks. Theoretical and Analytical Approaches edited by Nina Goga, Sarah Hoem Iversen, and Anne-Stefi Teigland. The seven reviews are written in Swedish and Norwegian.

Barnboken is an Open Access journal. All content is available for free downloading. Read all the articles and reviews here.

CFP: Children’s Literature in Education – Special Issue Aesthetic Approaches to Baby Books

Aside from Perry Nodelman’s landmark article “The Mirror Staged: Looking at Pictures of Babies in Baby Books” (Jeunesse, 2010) and chapters in Emergent Literacy (edited by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, 2011), few studies have paid attention to the aesthetics of books for infants up to three years old.

While, to some extent, baby books can be examined and analysed using the usual tools of picture book analysis and general narrative, stylistic and critical theories, it is puzzling that this huge and varied category of texts has not yet been granted its own theorisation. This may be, in part, because academic interest in the infant, who etymologically – as we are told ad nauseam – “does not speak”, is less obvious in literary fields than in the fields of neuropsychology or medicine, for which babies are an almost obsessive focus. Yet babies’ incommensurable differences in size, perception, literacy, comprehension, motricity, status, etc., to their peers even a couple of years older, warrant special examination, too, of the aesthetics of texts dedicated to them.

In this special issue, we want to consider the literariness and the artistic aspects of books intended for that very specific audience. We are looking for contributions on topics such as – though not limited to:

  • The poetics of books for babies
  • Theorising baby books
  • Genre, format and medium
  • Visual, sensory and tactile aspects of baby books
  • Bath books, pushchair books, toy-books and other object-books
  • Books for newborns
  • Characters in baby books
  • Baby books of colours, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.
  • Pop-up books for babies
  • Wordless baby books
  • Musical books and sound books for babies
  • Classic baby books and baby books as presents
  • Ideological or political approaches to baby books
  • Cognitive poetics and the baby book
  • Historical studies of baby books
  • Baby books in translation

Please send a 400-word abstract to Clémentine Beauvais,, before February 1st, 2022.

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by February 15th, 2022 and a first draft of the article will be due on October 1st, 2022, for publication in 2023.

Selective bibliography

Bernstein, R. (2020). “You Do It!”: Going-to-Bed Books and the Scripts of Children’s Literature. PMLA, 135(5), 877-894.

Beveridge, L. (2017). Chewing on Baby Books as a Form of Infant Literacy: Books are for Biting. In More Words about Pictures, ed. P. Nodelman, M. Reimer & N. Hamer (pp. 18-29). Routledge.

Kümmerling-Meibauer, B. (Ed.). (2011). Emergent literacy: children’s books from 0 to 3 (Vol. 13). John Benjamins Publishing.

Nodelman, P. (2010). The Mirror Staged: Images of Babies in Baby Books. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 2(2), 13-39.

Pereira, D. (2019). Bedtime books, the bedtime story ritual, and goodnight moon. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 44(2), 156-172.

Sundmark, B. (2018). The Visual, the Verbal, and the Very Young: A Metacognitive Approach to Picturebooks. Acta Didactica Norge, 12(2), Art. 12, 17 sider.

NEWS – Seminar: PiCoBoo: A Research Project and an Open-Access Database with Dr. Francesca Tancini

Date: Thursday 11 November
Time: 5:00pm GMT
Register here:

Dr. Francesca Tancini, University of Newcastle, will be speaking to the University of Reading’s Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing Research Seminar on her project: “PiCoBoo: a research project and an open-access database”

The PiCoBoo project aims to assess the significance of 19th-century European picture books, printed in colour for children, as a catalyst for major cultural and social changes.

It makes accessible a large corpus of picture books, so far dispersed across countries and institutions, only partially retrievable through local catalogues, not always correctly described and in a not-uniformed way. The database now provides almost 600 books, with hundreds of digitised images included and not retrievable elsewhere on the web.

PiCoBoo project has been hosted by the Children’s Literature Unit at Newcastle University, in partnership with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, and with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This online event is free and open to all. Please register your interest to receive the Zoom link here:

NEWS: Modernity, Memory, and Asian Childhood International Conference

Dear IRSCL colleagues,

You are cordially invited to join an international conference to be held on November 20, 2021 at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. It is now organized as a virtual conference for all English sessions.

For more details, please visit the conference website:

Registration is free, but is required to attend the conference.  Register by November 10, 2021 at:

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,” held virtually in October and anchored geographically in Santiago de Chile. This was the first IRSCL Congress to be held in Latin America, and it extended 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 (,, and the journal editor, Roxanne Harde ( 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: IRSCL21 Congress Special Issue – Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements

The pedagogical and aesthetic aspects of children’s and young adult literature have often been pitted against each other. Yet, if we think of children’s literature as a participatory and mediated practice, the aesthetic and the pedagogical dimensions are no longer opposed to each other.

In the last two decades, we have witnessed an “educational turn” in contemporary arts practices, where the emphasis is no longer on the finished object, but on the processes and relationships established with the audiences and communities which become part of the art project, a process also facilitated by digital fora. Speaking of children’s literature as a participatory and mediated social practice questions the limits of “non-art;” it brings the “death of the author” not only to praise the “birth of the reader,” but also to foreground and question the conventions that sustain the artistic.

Since we do not take children’s literacy skills for granted, books tend to be recommended according to specific age ranges, while teachers and other adult figures involved (such as librarians, parents, and other caretakers, the so-called “gate-keepers”) try to facilitate an interpretation of the author’s intention.

However, what ways of engaging with literacy do we allow to exist beyond reader-response approaches to reading and reading mediation? Will we still talk about the importance of understanding the text? What if we make children mediators and authors of children’s literature? Who is the ideal child that writes and reads? Who is the ideal adult that would read a child’s text? How is age produced and sustained in these relationships?

Thinking about possible synergies and entanglements between the pedagogical and the aesthetic in children’s literature raises questions about reception and affective engagement.  That is, the flow of emotions and affects between texts, readers and other materialities. It also provides us with insights into the multiple relations of children’s literature with the publishing industry, readers / viewers / consumers / users, authors / artists, the practices of reading / sharing / discussing / re-versioning, and new technologies. Acknowledging these multiple relations prompts also reflections on our own (biased) academic work in the field.

Childhood studies has argued for the importance of considering children not as “adults in the making,” but rather as makers in their own right.

In this issue, we aim to advance the implications this approach has for the ever-growing field of children’s literature studies, highlighting the interconnections with literacy, education and media studies. We invite contributions exploring the methodological possibilities of combining and rethinking the hermeneutical methods of the humanities, the experimental and empirical approaches of social sciences and arts-based research, as well as the contemporary anthropological and educational research that question the essentialized positions of the adult and the child in relation to children’s literature and media.

In this vein, we suggest the following topics, but we also invite other articles inspired by the congress theme:

  • Creative and collaborative writing by youth and children
  • Intergenerational collaborations in children’s culture
  • The child as :prosumer” of children’s media
  • Reading and writing as play
  • Children re-versioning stories
  • Booktubers, fanfiction, and web-based communities
  • Child-led participatory research
  • New materialism approaches to encounters with children´s books and media
  • Decolonial epistemologies in children’s literature
  • New approaches to reader-response
  • Arts-based research
  • Historical approaches to tensions between the pedagogic and the aesthetic
  • Ethical-political role of authors in children’s and YA literature
  • Representations of children as authors and artists in children’s fiction and media

Please send full papers by 20 December 2021 to the special issue guest editors Macarena García-González (, Soledad Véliz (, and Andrea Casals (

Selected articles will be published in the third issue of 2022.

NEWS: New Collection of Essays: Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature

How is silenced affirmed in the Moominvalley? What functions do the lullaby fill? What is the situation of children’s book publishing in today’s Hong Kong? And what is hidden in the gaps of silence in books for young readers? These are some of the questions addressed in a newly published collection of academic articles on silence and silencing in children’s literature.

Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature consists of nineteen contributions based on presentations held during the IRSCL Congress 2019: Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature, including the five keynotes. The contributions address the central role of silence and silencing in literary texts for young readers, examining who is allowed to speak, how silence is manifested aesthetically, and how voices are silenced for political or cultural reasons.

The book is a collaboration between the co-organizers of the IRSCL Congress 2019 and includes an introduction by the editors and Congress organizers Elina Druker, Björn Sundmark, Åsa Warnqvist, and Mia Österlund. It is published by Makadam Publishers and is part of the Swedish Institute for Children’s Literature’s monograph series (no. 156).

Purchasing the Book

Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature is available for purchase via Amazon:

It is also available for purchase via Makadam Publishers’ website. Please see instructions in English at the bottom of the page:

NEWS: In Memoriam Vivian Sishu Yenika-Agbaw

Dear members of IRSCL,

On September 30, 2021, our esteemed colleague Vivian Sishu Yenika-Agbaw passed away, way before her time, after a brief but fatal illness.

She was affiliated to Penn State University, USA, as a Professor of literature and literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where she taught courses in children’s and adolescent literature in Penn State’s residential and World Campus programs. Her research interests were informed by critical theories (critical multiculturalism, postcolonialism) as well as reader response theory and focused on Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Literacies, West African and African Diaspora Youth texts and Power issues in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Her Cameroonian-American background positioned her to notice the upsurge of children’s literature from, and about Africa, her continent of origin, and other regions of the world whose literatures are not being intellectually engaged in a systematic manner as they should. She studied how such literatures are received across the globe by educators, and how it is critically engaged by scholars to enable an on-going dialogue.

She was the author of Representing Africa in Children’s Books: Old and New Ways of Seeing (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor of an impressive number of edited volumes such as Race, Women of Color and the State University System: Critical Reflections (with Amarilis Hidalgo-de Jesús, 2011); Fairy Tales with a Black Consciousness: Essays on Adaptations of Familiar Stories (with Ruth McKoy Lowery and Laretta Henderson, 2013); African Youth in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture: Identity Quest (with Lindah Mhando, 2014); Adolescents Rewrite their Worlds: Using Literature to Illustrate Writing Forms (with Teresa Sychterz, 2015) and Using Nonfiction for Civic Engagement in Classrooms: Critical Approaches (with Ruth McKoy Lowery, 2018).

In addition to teaching and research, Vivian served on various committees, such as committees that award prizes for quality’s children’s literature, such as Children’s Africana Book Award; The Golden Baobab Literary Prize; the Notable Books for a Global Society. She also committed herself to organizations that aim to strengthen internationalism and diversity in the study of children’s literature such as the overseas planning committee for the 6th biennial Pan African Reading-for-All conference (International Reading Association affiliate) that convened in Dar Es Salaam in 2009, and the International and the Diversity Committees of ChLA. Last but not least, she served IRSCL as a member of the executive board and as chair of the first Equity and Diversity Committee.

We deeply regret her premature death, as she played such a key role in promoting diversity and equity in the study of children’s literature. We will remember her as a remarkably reliable and professional colleague with an unrelenting commitment to social equity. Our thoughts are with her husband and children, her friends and her colleagues at Penn State, as well as all those who have collaborated with her.

NEWS: Q&A with Professor Roxanne Harde

Date and time: 19th November, at 5 pm Warsaw time, on Zoom.

Register: To attend event, please send an email to by 17 November, 2021.

The IRSCL Executive Board would like to invite members to Academic Writing and Publishing in Children’s Literature Studies, a Q&A with Professor Roxanne Harde.

Professor Roxanne Harde, the Senior Editor of IRCL, will kindly share her expertise as to how to get published in our field.

She is Professor of English and department chair at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Faculty. A Fulbright Scholar and McCalla University Professor, Roxanne researches and teaches American literature and culture, focusing on children’s literature and popular culture. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, and her most recent books are The Embodied Child, coedited with Lydia Kokkola (Routledge, 2017), winner of the IRSCL 2019 Book Award, and Consumption and the Literary Cookbook, coedited with Janet Wesselius (Routledge 2021), winner of the SAMLA 2021 Best Book Award. Roxanne is also the Senior Editor of International
Research in Children’s Literature.