CFP: Assembling Common Worlds Conference

Assembling Common Worlds:
An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment and Young People’s Literature and Culture
Vancouver Island University, June 11-13, 2021
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

In the past year, we have witnessed continents burning, islands and coastal regions flooding, and increases in extinctions of flora and fauna. While concern over the human impact on the environment has existed for decades, there is a new sense of urgency demanding a cognitive shift to transform our understanding of our place in and impact on the physical world, as well as of our relationships with the other life forms cohabiting the earth. More broadly, Tom Oliver calls for rethinking concepts of identity and the individual (The Self Delusion, 2020). Similarly, Posthumanism provides ways of rethinking the boundaries of the human and nonhuman. Donna Haraway has provided language to understand naturecultures (2003) and emphasized the importance of “staying with the trouble” as we work at making kin with nonhuman others, resisting the Western hierarchical view that values human above other lives (2016). Of especial relevance, then, is openness to multiple ways of knowing the natural world, including Indigenous ways of knowing and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) (see Nelson and Shilling, eds. 2018).

Specifically regarding children’s culture, Affrica Taylor has noted the importance of “common worlds (or common worlding) as dynamic collectives of humans and more-than-humans, full of unexpected partnerships and comings together, which bring differences to bear on the ways our lives are constituted and lived” (2013, p. 78). Too often those studying young people’s literature and culture work in isolation from those working in environmental humanities, childhood studies focused on children in the Anthropocene, and education for sustainability. Much of the most productive scholarship on these concepts and processes has been interdisciplinary. There is much to be gained in both methodology and understanding by communication and collaboration between literary scholars, educators, environmentalists, philosophers, and scholars of childhood and youth experiences and culture.

Conspicuously missing from this list are children and youth themselves. While there has been ongoing discussion in the Social Sciences and Health and Human Service fields on participatory research involving children and youth (Aldridge 2015; Dickens 2017) since Alderson first drew attention to the absence of their voices (1995), this is only recently emerging in literary studies and other humanities fields (Deszcz-Tryhubczak 2016, 2018, 2019). Since some of the leading ecological activists today are youth, such as Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Autumn Peltier (Anishinabek Nation), and since children and youth will live the longest with the effects of environmental degradation, their voices must be part of the conversation.

Assembling Common Worlds intends not only to explore traditional disciplinary ways of understanding eco-literacy and eco-activism in children’s and youth literature and culture, but also to bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of fields to find productive opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in tackling the challenges of generating intergenerational dialogue on current environmental concerns. In addition to paper sessions, the conference will also feature a methodological workshop and involvement of child and youth participants.

Conference conveners welcome proposals for 20-minute papers or 90-minute panels on any of the following topics:

  • Making kin between human and non-human in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • More-than-human worlds in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • Eco-literacy in children’s or youth literature and culture;
  • Imagining the Post-Anthropocene;
  • The evolving capacity of eco-criticisms to address environmental change;
  • Indigenous knowledge or TEK in children’s or youth’s literature and culture;
  • Regeneration of connections between children or youth and nature;
  • The role of children or youth in food security;
  • Young people’s eco-citizenship and/or eco-activism;
  • Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks for understanding children in and of nature;
  • Intergenerational creative and/or cultural projects addressing environmental issues;
  • Participatory research with children or youth on literary or cultural expressions of eco-literacy and/or eco-activism;
  • Children’s and youth’s creativity is/as response to the current environmental crisis.

Proposals of 250 words and brief biographies are due June 29, 2020. This early deadline is to facilitate applications for grant monies.

The conveners hope to offer some travel support for graduate students and under employed scholars.
The conveners also plan to publish an edited collection of selected papers from the conference.

Please send proposals and brief biographies to Terri Doughty ( and Janet Grafton (

CFP: Non-Fiction Renaissance Due to the Climate Crisis?


Non-fiction renaissance due to the climate crisis?

Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics is an international open access journal. The aim of the journal is to develop cross-disciplinary discussions on children’s literature and its interaction with other art forms.

We are currently inviting contributions to a discussion on the status and development of non-fiction for children and young adults.

The UN’s focus on the 17 sustainable development goals that all countries should achieve within 2030 has encouraged a vast range of activities. International climate conferences are inspiring local ones. Children are eager to participate. School strikes have spread worldwide. Thus, the interest in knowledge about the global climate and global ecosystems has reached a new level. Non-fiction for children ought to be a suitable source for such information, hence the questions: Has the climate crisis given rise to an increased production of non-fiction texts for children and young adults? What are the aesthetics of texts aimed to meet children’s need for knowledge?

In non-fiction books, the readers are often encouraged to perform learning activities. Digital media may offer interactive opportunities for participation. Thus, another question: Does a potential non-fiction renaissance take place in paper books or in digital media, such as enriched e-books, computer and application games, rather than in paper books? If so, how does the change of media influence the aesthetics?

Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics is seeking articles discussing these questions.

We hereby invite submission of articles on themes related to non-fiction, such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • How, and to what degree, do non-fiction texts pay heed to the current political situation? What is the pedagogical approach in such texts?
  • Non-fiction for children today is venturing at a definition. What is it, what does it aim to do, and how?
  • Is children’s increased political activity and interest influencing non-fiction publications in number and form?
  • Non-fiction’s subjects: Are they new, or a slight twist on the old? Has the scientific level, target group and literary form developed accordingly?
  • Visual and verbal presentation styles: Do they adapt to traditional children’s literature, or to the documentary, or are they indebted to other influences? What are non-fiction aesthetics today?
  • In what media is non-fiction developing? In paper book, comics, picturebook, enriched e-books, literary computer games, picturebook applications, etc.

Submit your article or your idea for an article as an email attachment to by 1 September 2020.

Do not include any contact information in the article itself. Please send the title of the article and a brief presentation of the author in a separate file.

Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics accepts articles in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and English. The journal uses double-blind review and publishes articles continuously.

The journal is designated scientific level 1 in NSD (Norway and Sweden), the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Authorization list for serials (Denmark), and in Publication Forum (Finland).

For more information, see



Position Posting: Special Collections Librarian for the Arne Nixon Center

Special Collections Librarian at the Henry Madden Library, Arne Nixon Center, California State University.

Assistant/Associate Librarian

Anticipated starting salary: $86,000 annually

The Henry Madden Library seeks a highly motivated, creative and forward-thinking Special Collections Librarian for the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, who will curate the collection and bring it to its full potential as a research collection. This is a full-time, tenure-track librarian faculty position. The successful candidate will collaborate with teaching faculty from multiple disciplines (for example, Art and Design, Art history, English, Creative Writing, and History) to develop high-impact classroom practices and library instruction sessions that advance the University’s goal of excellence in teaching, learning and innovation. Experience with applications to textual analysis, creative writing, illustration, and the history of children’s literature (especially as it relates to racial and ethnic diversity, foreign language materials, LGBTQ+ issues and social justice) is highly desirable. The ANC Librarian serves as an ambassador from the Library to the University and the larger community, finding a balance between the academic purpose of the ANC while using its collections and programs to build relationships in the community to support and expand the Center. The ANC Librarian is an active participant in the shared governance of the library and in the academic life of campus. The successful candidate will be a fully integrated member of the library faculty and will be expected to meet all of the requirements for retention, tenure and promotion, including service to the campus and the community. Tenure-track librarians receive an official probationary plan, mentoring and funding. Specific assignments are dependent on departmental needs and the background of the individual.


Required Education (from an accredited institution or foreign equivalent.):
1. An earned M.I.L.S (or equivalent) from an American Library Association-accredited institution or program recognized by the American Library Association as an international equivalent.

Required Experience

  1. Three to five years professional experience as a special collections librarian.
  2. Minimum of one year of professional experience providing research, reference and instruction support in an academic or research environment.
  3. Minimum of one year of professional experience managing the daily activities of a unit or department.
  4. Minimum of two years of successful supervisory experience.
  5. Demonstrated curatorial, organizational and planning skills with excellent attention to detail.
  6. Demonstrated ability to work effectively, both independently and in cooperation with faculty, staff, and students from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds regardless of age, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation or disabilities.
  7. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Preferred Experience

  1. Demonstrated understanding of children’s literature research and research trends in the field.
  2. Demonstrated facility and successful experience with current and emerging technology as it applies to collection management, outreach, and instruction.
  3. Experience creating or maintaining a collection development policy for a multifaceted collection.
  4. Experience working with digital collections.
  5. Experience with overseeing, planning and preparing department or collection budgets.
  6. Experience in developing working partnerships with diverse academic departments and campus units and organizations.
  7. Demonstrated ability to build community relationships and increase support for the Center.
  8. Experience with planning, organizing and executing successful events.
  9. Experience designing and setting up exhibits.
  10. Experience with grants and private fundraising.
  11. Experience with working with an advisory board or friends group.
  12. Experience with copyright issues and advanced research assistance.
  13. Excellent presentation skills.
  14. Experience with assessment tools and methods.
  15. Foreign language ability.

Application Procedures

For best consideration, apply by May 25, 2020.  This position vacancy remains open until filled.  Apply online at and attach the following:

  1. Letter of interest or cover letter specifically addressing all elements of required experience. Please also address any of the preferred qualifications you may have.
  2. Current curriculum vitae.
  3. Names and contact information of three professional references
  4. Statement addressing your commitment to working with faculty, staff, and students from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  5. Philosophy on community engagement and donor relations.
  6. List of past publications or professional creative activities or a statement of research interests and potential publications, projects or presentations.

Candidates invited for an on-campus visit must submit by mail/e-mail within the designated deadline. The Search Chair will send information and requests for these items.

  1. Three current letters of recommendation (dated within 12 months of full consideration date.)
  2. Official transcripts.

Committee Information

Search Chair: Tammy Lau
Henry Madden Library

For full job vacancy announcement, please visit: