CFP: Children’s Literature in Place – Surveying the Landscapes of Children’s Culture (an Edited Edition)

 

In Place: A Short Introduction, human geographer Tim Cresswell argues that “place” is space that people have made meaningful. While landscapes can be observed objectively, and spaces may be abstract, places are imbued with personal and cultural meaning and attachment. The landscapes, spaces, and places of children’s culture are varied and diverse. Here we propose a survey of the changing landscapes of children’s culture, the expected and unexpected spaces and places that emerge as and because of children’s culture.

We invite submissions for an edited collection dedicated to individual, international, and interdisciplinary considerations of the changing landscapes of contemporary children’s literature, media, and culture, from methodology to content. In particular, we seek explorations of “place” in all of its forms: the places of fiction; physical and virtual children’s places; finding one’s place in children’s culture; the new and expanding places of children’s culture; the places from which scholars approach, assign value to, and collaborate on children’s culture; and even children’s culture’s place in popular culture.

It is our aim to build on the impressive body of international research on children’s literature, media, and culture by considering essays on literary and media phenomena as well as individual case studies focused on the changing landscapes of children’s culture, the places and spaces that make up today’s children’s cultural geography in a time of change.

Chapter topics might include:

  • The place of children’s culture in popular culture
  • Significant landmarks in/of children’s culture
  • Cross- and transmediated places and spaces (e.g., amusement parks, theme parks, film sets, virtual tours)
  • Children’s book festivals and children’s places
  • Children’s literature and travel worldbuilding
  • Visual landscapes
  • Toy landscapes
  • Adaptation, publishing, and diversity
  • Digital era access and collaboration
  • Showcasing and display
  • Ecocriticism and children’s literature and culture
  • Expanding landscapes: new places, cartographies, and pathways
  • New ways of seeing children’s literature through collaboration / interdisciplinarity
  • Crossover spaces

By featuring a variety of forms and approaches to storytelling, including different literary and media formats, modalities, and practices, we hope to gain a variety of insights into the changing landscapes of children’s culture, its spaces, places, and contexts. We would especially like to encourage interdisciplinary scholarly collaborations, international multi-author projects, and, in the spirit of this collection, academic conversations about aspects of children’s culture that don’t have an obvious scholarly place.

Deadline for abstract submissions: December 1, 2021

Contact: Željka Flegar, flegarzn@longwood.edu; Jennifer Miskec, miskecjm@longwood.edu

Essays should be 5,000-7,000 words in length, in MLA format.

Proposals (no more than 1,000 words, including a short bio) are due on December 1, 2021 to the editors: flegarzn@longwood.edu and miskecjm@longwood.edu

*We are currently working with a publisher. We hope to make decisions about accepted articles by mid-January. Full articles would be due by August 1, 2022.

CFP: Dreams

In past years, the International Committee of the Children’s Literature Association has organized a special panel focusing on children’s and young adult literature from a specific country at the conference. This year, we are hosting a themed panel at the ChLA annual conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 2-4.

To that end, we seek paper proposals on the topic of “Dreams” that approach this theme from an international, non-Euro-American perspective. Preference will be given to papers that examine texts originally written in languages other than English and/or created by authors and illustrators from communities beyond Anglo-American children’s and YA publishing traditions, including global indigenous communities. Topics could include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dreams as the vision of what is possible, including political / social change
  • Children’s dreams, aspirations or nightmares (literal and figurative)
  • Adults’ dreams or visions about childhood
  • Dreams as expressions of cultural desires, aspirations or fears
  • Dreams as a narrative device (“it was all just a dream”)
  • Dreams and storytelling as imaginative work
  • Freudian understandings of dreams as “wish fulfillment” as well as other interpretive paradigms that come from non-western traditions
  • Symbolism and meanings of dreams in various cultures (e.g. Dreamtime)
  • Dreams of other places, spaces, and opportunities
  • Dreams as a way of memorializing/recovering the past
  • Dreams as a way to make sense of or to re-imagine selfhood
  • Dream worlds vs lived realities
  • Inter-generational dreams/visions
  • Dreamers and visionaries

Since there might be an option to present at the conference virtually, we encourage scholars and students who are based outside of North America to submit proposals.

Please submit a 350-word abstract and a 200-word biographical statement with the subject line, “ChLA 2022 Themed Panel Submission” to nithya.s@txstate.edu by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) September 30, 2021.

Two abstracts will be selected, and the authors will receive “The ChLA International Honor Award,” which includes a grant of $500 each to cover expenses related to the conference (such as the membership and registration fees). Those papers selected for the International Focus panel will accompany a presentation by the Distinguished Scholar who will be invited by the committee to present at the conference.

Authors of proposals selected for the panel will be notified by October 10, 2021.  The International Committee encourages those scholars who are not selected for the Themed Panel to submit an abstract through the general Call for Proposals so that international children’s literature will become part of other panels at the conference.

The deadline for general submission to the ChLA 2022 Annual Conference is October 15, 2021.

CFP: “City in a Forest”

Atlanta holds any number of monikers—Hollywood of the South or the Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, for example. Indeed, local residents also refer to Georgia’s state capital as the “City in the Forest.”

And so, for ChLA 2022: Atlanta, the first in-person meeting of the Children’s Literature Association since 2019, we’d like to grapple with the questions, contradictions, and possibilities that arise in considering the concept of a “City in a Forest” within the context of young people’s literature and media.

Children’s literature scholars have long grappled with the ways in which young people have been associated with the natural world, whether that be to nostalgize an idyllic, pastoral past or to emphasize youth’s wild, untamed behavior. But children are also used in culture as markers of the future, which is often conflated with progress, industry, and metropolitan spaces.

As Rebekah Sheldon notes, “The child became legible not only as a record of the past but as the recipient of a specific biological inheritance freighted with consequences for the future.” The figure of the child, in other words, becomes a site of promise, possibility, and protection.

Critics have explored the implications of an ideological nexus between city and nature on many fronts, from perspectives of environmentalism to that of hybridity. As we ponder relationships between the city and the forest within and beyond children’s literature, we can also look to and learn much from Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurisms, and other frameworks that explore the ecosystems of individual and social identity.

We see this in Melissa Jenkins’s study of the flying motif in Black picture books. Jenkins identifies how characters make sense of the divides between country and city, past and future in the ways that they “map, mark, and delineate as part of pointed socioeconomic critiques, responding to the difficulties of urban life by expanding the accepted geographies of black experience and politicizing projects of urban ‘uplift.’” While in The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Georgian Bay Métis Council), the central characters travel through trees surrounding dystopian urban spaces, finding and creating renewal most profoundly amid a type of Indigenous “city in the forest” where they join like-minded resisters, explains Patrizia Zanella.

Such narratives exist within and around Atlanta, a city marked by contradiction, trauma, and prosperity. It wrestles with how to negotiate its past with its present, and continues to experiment with future paths that will both support a diverse metropolitan area and embrace its natural environs. For instance, Clarkston, a suburb of Atlanta, has the highest number of refugees per capita in the United States, and many local refugee organizations focus their efforts on creating community spaces that take advantage of Atlanta’s “forest”—community gardens, co-ops, and summer camps for children. But stories of the refugee experience also take into account the hardships of landscape, such as Linda Sue Park’s Long Walk to Water or Fabio Geda’s In the Sea there are Crocodiles. Nature can be a source of terror and solace in stories of refugees, and we encourage papers that explore this unique Atlanta population.

We invite proposals that examine, from any number of angles or interpretative lenses, this concept of “City in a Forest” within children’s and young adult literature, media, and culture. Papers might address:

  • Utopian and dystopian spaces
  • Trees as characters or central story locations
  • Nature and nostalgia
  • Literature or media about or set in Atlanta
  • Atlanta as liminal space
  • International and farmer markets within cities
  • Afrofuturism
  • Migrant experiences in urban and rural settings
  • Steampunk
  • Food justice and accessibility
  • Reproductive futurity
  • Racial and queer ecologies
  • Ideas of hybridity
  • Nature as an idyllic past or future
  • Fantasy as a space that explores/complicates nature
  • Garden and greenery landscapes in the city
  • Post-apocalyptic landscapes and cityscapes
  • Stories of the displaced or refugee populations
  • Posthumanism and ecopoetics
  • Relationship between urban and rural in Civil Rights Movement

Additionally, given the welcome response to the introduction of pedagogy posters at ChLA 2021, we invite proposals for these for ChLA 2022 as well. Pedagogy poster proposals may be submitted in addition to or instead of paper proposals. They should focus on specific approaches to teaching children’s / YA literature or media and provide take-away ideas for adoption/adaptation into the classroom.

Proposals may be submitted here.

Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2021

The 49th Annual Children’s Literature Association Conference, “City in a Forest,” will take place June 1 – June 4, 2022 in Atlanta, GA.

Please note that papers previously accepted for Seattle 2020 may be presented in Atlanta or may be held over for Seattle 2023, which retains the same 2020 CFP.

CFP: 53rd Annual Georgia Conference on Children’s Literature

We are excited to be organizing a face-to-face conference for March 18–19, 2022 after having had an online conference last year. Our 53rd Georgia Conference on Children’s Literature will have a great line-up of authors and illustrators, as well as an exciting list of sessions.

The two-day conference will be held at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel and is organized by the Department of Language and Literacy Education.

But we need you to make it happen!

We are now accepting proposals for breakout sessions at our 2022 conference. We welcome submissions from teachers, school library media specialists / librarians, graduate students, college faculty, authors, illustrators, and others with knowledge and enthusiasm to share about the field of children’s / young adult literature.

Abstract is limited to 50 words (this is what will appear on the conference program).

Paper or presentation description is limited to 250 words.

All papers must be original.

While breakout sessions are open regarding theme, they usually address one of these four areas:

  • Children’s / YA literature in the classroom
  • Children’s / YA literature as life inspiration
  • Public libraries and children’s / YA literature
  • Inquiry into children’s / YA literature

NOTE: Acceptance notification will be available early December 2021. If your proposal is accepted, all presenters and co-presenters are required to register for the conference (including registration cost) by the early registration deadline (date TBD) in order to be included on the program and present at the conference.

Please submit your proposals here.  We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Deadline: October 31, 2021

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.