IRSCL Congresses

2021 Congress, Santiago, Chile

2021 IRSCL Congress Logo

The 25th Biennial Congress of IRSCL will be held by the Center for Educational Justice (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), in Santiago, Chile, in October 2021. The Call for Papers for IRSCL2021: Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements is open! IRSCL2021: Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements will be a hybrid congress. The on-site version of the biennial will take place from October 26th through October 30th, and it will feature a satellite of online panels and activities in orbit from October 19th until November 3rd. Acknowledging the importance of the visual in our research field, IRSCL2021 will also include PechaKucha presentations. More information about the congress, its online satellite, and presentation formats is available here.

Congress Theme: Aesthetic and Pedagogic Entanglements

Congress Venue: Universidad Católica’s Campus Oriente Conference Center has been recently remodeled. It is located at the Providencia-Ñuñoa area in Santiago, at walking distance (10-15 minutes) from Metro Station “Chile-España” (on Line 3) with a number of hotel facilities, restaurants, and shopping centers situated nearby and excellent connectivity.

Convenor: Macarena García González


Call for Papers

The pedagogical and aesthetic aspects of children’s and young adults’ literature have often been pitted against each other. Yet, if we think of children’s literature as a participatory and mediated practice, the aesthetical 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 aesthetic 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 mediated practice questions art’s autonomy and 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 cannot take children’s cognitive and 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. But what if we take the death of the author seriously? 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? How is age produced and sustained in these relationships?

Thinking about possible synergies between the pedagogical and the aesthetic in children’s literature brings back questions on reception and (affective) engagement. It also provides us with insights into the entanglements of the publishing industry, the readers/viewers/consumers/users, the authors/artists, the practices of reading/sharing/discussing/reversioning and the new technologies, and at the same time, prompting reflections on our own (biased) academic work in this field.

Delegates will be invited to reflect on the implications of considering children not as ‘adults in the making’, but rather as readers and makers in their own right.

In this conference, we aim to strengthen the ties between children’s literature scholars, literacy and media experts and arts scholars to explore the 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 questions the essentialized positions of the adult and the child in educational contexts.

In this vein we suggest the following topics, but we also invite other paper and panel topics inspired by the congress’ theme:

Active readers:
- Creative and collaborative writing by youth and children
- Intergenerational collaborations
- The child as ‘prosumer’ of children’s media
- Reading and writing as playing
- Children reversioning stories
- Booktubers, fan-fiction and web-based communities inside and outside the classroom
- Initiatives in marginalized communities (refugee centers, jails, hospitals)

Research and Practice
- Child-led participatory research
- New materialism approaches to encounters with books
- New approaches to reader-response
- Cognitive approaches to aesthetics and pedagogy
- Intersectional approaches
- Arts-based methodologies
- Historical approaches to tensions between te pedagogic and the aesthetic

Ethics and Aesthetics
- Ethical-political role of authors in children's and YA literature
- Gate-keepers and the "mediator circle" in children's literature and media
- The aesthetic and/or pedagogic role of paratexts
- Representations of children as authors and artists in children's fiction and media.

See full call for papers for further details.

Past Congresses

2019 Stockholm, Sweden - Silence and Silencing in Children's Literature
2017 Toronto, Canada - Possible & Impossible Children: Intersections of Children's Literature & Childhood Studies
2015 Worcester, United Kingdom - Creating Childhoods: Creation and (Re)-Interpretation through the Body, Histories and the Arts
2013 Maastricht, The Netherlands - Children's Literature and Media Cultures
2011 Brisbane, Australia - Fear and Safety
2009 Frankfurt, Germany - Children's Literature and Cultural Diversity in the Past and the Present
2007 Kyoto, Japan - Power and Children's Literature: Past, Present and Future
2005 Dublin, Ireland - Expectations and Experiences: Children, Childhood and Children's Literature
2003 Kristiansand, Norway - Telling a World, Shaping a World.
2001 Klein Kariba, South Africa - Change and Renewal in Children's Literature
1999 Calgary, Canada - Children's Literature and the fin de siècle (Joint meeting with the Children's Literature Association)
1997 York, England - The Presence of the Past in Children's Literature
1995 Stockholm, Sweden - Reflections of Change: the last 50 Years in Children's Literature
1993 Geelong, Australia - Crossing the boundaries: Multiculturalism in Children's Literature
1991 Paris, France - The Applications of Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory to Children's Literature
1989 Salamanca, Spain - The History of Children's Literature
1987 Cologne, Germany - Books for children, Books for adults; The Relationship between them
1985 University of Quebec, Montreal - Literary Aspects of Fantasy and Fantastic Literature for Children and Young People
1983 Bordeaux, France - Portrayal of the Child in Children's Literature
1981 Moscow, USSR - International Dissemination of Children`s Literature Research; Trends in Teaching of Children's Literature, Status of Research in Specific Countries
1978 Exeter, Great Britain - Responses to Children's Literature: Children's Responses to Text and Illustrations
1976 Södertälje, Sweden - Problems of Translation in the Field of Literature for Children and Young People
1974 Boldern, Switzerland - Study of Reading Habits and Research on Sex Role Stereotyping in Literature for Children and Young People
1971 Frankfurt, Germany - Children's Literature as a Subject of Research