CFP – Barriers, Borders, and Bridges

Call for Papers: 2018 ChLA Diversity Committee’s Annual Sponsored Panel
Children’s Literature Association Conference 2018
June 28-30, 2018
San Antonio, Texas

Barriers, Borders, and Bridges

Borders can be set to separate and demarcate; or, borders can demonstrate a limited boundary that distinguishes one thing or place from another; the margins of a particular location. Within these spaces, individuals and communities define and complicate notions of identity as they relate to these borders, often challenging real and assumed barriers. Bridges are structures designed to connect, typically over obstacles such as bodies of water that would otherwise hinder extending beyond. How does children’s literature extend borders or help readers cross borders and build bridges – of understanding, experiences, perspectives, and ways of knowing, thinking, and acting in the world?

The Diversity Committee welcomes paper proposals on all forms of borders and bridges, including but not limited to those that relate to the theme of water, in children’s literature. Our special interest in the theme of water is tied to the general ChLA conference theme of “Refreshing Waters: Springs, Rivers, and Literary Oases.” Water is symbolic in many ways related to breaking barriers, extending borders, and building bridges. Books such as Long Walk to Water (Park), Inside Out and Back Again (Thanhha Lai), Ninth Ward (Rhodes), and The Water Seeker (Holt) explore the (literal and metaphoric) relationships between barriers, borders, bridges and water. Even in Out of My Mind, Draper explores the main character’s cerebral palsy as it makes her feel like “a fish out of water” compared to her classmates, and could be read as an example of breaking intellectual barriers.

Other suggested topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Barriers or borders that impede the “flow” of communities
  • Folklore and folkloric figures of the borderlands
  • Rights of access and entry
  • Shifting or eroding borders or bridges
  • Emotional, social, or psychological borders
  • Race and racism in borderlands
  • Transnational or transoceanic bridging narratives
  • Racial geographies
  • Brokering or bridging languages
  • Xenophobia and immigration bias

For queries, please contact Domino Perez ( or Mary Henderson ( Email a 500-word abstract and a 2-page CV to Domino Perez ( by September 15, 2017. Authors of proposals selected for the panel will be notified by September 30, 2017. Scholars whose proposals are not selected will have the opportunity to submit their abstracts to the Children’s Literature Association’s general Call for Papers, which has a deadline of October 15, 2017.

CFP – Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century

Call for Papers
Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century
University of Pittsburgh
April 6-7, 2018

The past decade has witnessed an array of new forms of public and global interest in marginalized children, whether the incredible rise in the visibility of lesbian, gay, and transgender children, the international migrations of refugee children from Latin America and the Syrian conflict, or the over-incarceration and detention in the United States of undocumented and African American children. In a moment when the marginality of childhood and the child’s function as a signal of futurity are being refigured by these global and historical events, this conference seeks papers that reach across the many disciplines that study children to produce new ways of thinking that make sense of and respond to the complexity of their lives.

This two-day conference hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, the Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies Program, and the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh will explore how to conceptualize, theorize, and approach research on children and childhood in the rapidly changing context of the twenty-first century. Affirming a conceptual and methodological “play” across fields, a mode of intellectual curiosity and unsettling of boundaries, we invite participants to reimagine the place of the child and childhood in their home discipline, and to reimagine their home discipline through the figure of the child and childhood. There will also be several meet the author book panels featuring scholars with recent monographs on children and childhood.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • C.J. Pascoe (University of Oregon), author of Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School (2007)
  • Lauren Silver (Rutgers University), author of System Kids: Adolescent Mothers and the Politics of Regulation (2015)
  • Rebekah Sheldon (Indiana University, Bloomington), author of The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catastrophe (2016)

Proposals are invited for papers on a wide range of interdisciplinary work at the crossroads of childhood studies, children’s literature, and gender, sexuality, and race. We particularly welcome submissions in the following areas:

  • The racialization of childhood
  • Queer childhood studies
  • The transgender child
  • The digital and children’s use of new media
  • Girlhood and boyhood studies
  • Children as legible and/or invisible political agents
  • The medicalization of children
  • Blackness and futurity
  • Refugee, immigrant, and undocumented children
  • Segregation and inequity in education

Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be sent to by September 15, 2017.

Conference location: The Humanities Center at the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thanks to the generous support of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the Humanities center, there is no registration fee.

For more information, contact conference chair Julian Gill-Peterson at

CFP – Houses of Learning: Education in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature as Education

“Houses of Learning: Education in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature as Education”
The 2018 Biennial Conference of the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR)
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 12-14 July 2018

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Associate Professor Marah Gubar (MIT, author of Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature), Kate de Goldi (author of The 10pm Question, From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle, and other books), Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie (co-directors of the screen adaptation of The Changeover)

Events will include a reception hosted by the Friends of the historic Dorothy Neal White Collection of children’s books at the National Library.

Children’s literature has been both praised and derided for its educational function. The 2018 conference aims to explore the overlapping ways in which children’s literature may be related to education. Children’s literature may be about education (school stories realistic and fantastic, tales about learning and Bildungsroman); it may aim to be educational (readers and textbooks, moral tales and didactic fictions); and, as we are all well aware, it may be the subject of education in itself, as an academic discipline. We welcome critically reflective papers from a variety of perspectives, as indicated but not confined to the strands below.

Presenters are invited to submit abstracts exploring aspects of the conference theme: “Houses of Learning: Education in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature as Education.” Such explorations may address one of the following strands:

  • School stories (realistic and fantastic)
  • Didacticism in/of children’s literature
  • Education for national and world citizenship
  • Construction of childhoods (multiculturalism, ethnic identity)
  • Down with Skool: the subversiveness of children’s literature
  • Education and Diversity: Gender, Race and Power
  • Sexuality: boys and girls come out
  • Educational books and textbooks, School Journals, learning to read
  • Reader response, “the book and the child”
  • Animal stories and education
  • Children’s literature as an academic discipline, critical perspectives
  • Visual education: graphic novels and related modes, films, illustrators

Applicants are also welcome to submit abstracts exploring alternative strands that relate to the overall conference theme.


  • Should address the conference theme and should identify specific texts and/or critical approaches to be discussed.
  • For an individual, 20-minute paper, abstracts should be no more than 250 words.
  • Groups wishing to collaborate on the presentation of 90-minute panels (three 20-minute papers and time for questions) should submit an abstract of up to 500 words, detailing how the overall presentation will fit into the conference theme, the individual critical approaches taken by each speaker, and the envisaged structure for the session. All panel sessions should include time for Q&A with each speaker and with the entire panel.

Papers can address both critical and/or practice-led approaches to the study of children’s literature.

Select papers will have the opportunity to be developed for publication in the ACLAR journal Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature.

Submission Information
Abstracts should be submitted to with the heading “ACLAR abstract.”
Submission close: 20 NOVEMBER 2017

For more information on ACLAR, visit