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.

NEWS: 2021 Book Week – A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Event: 2021 Book Week: A celebration of children’s literature

Date: Tuesday 19 October 2021

Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Central Time)

Hybrid Event: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis or via livestream

Book Week is the University of Minnesota’s celebration of children’s literature, with an annual author guest talk since 1941. This year’s speaker is Eliot Schrefer and for the first time we’ll be streaming the event live. Which means it’s open and free to anyone interested.

Hybrid Event

This year’s event will be hybrid, which means you have the option to attend in person or livestream the lecture from home. During registration, you must select IN PERSON or VIRTUAL. The deadline to register for attending in person is October 13, 2021.

Register here:

Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and authors organized at the University of Minnesota since 1941. The event attracts teachers, librarians, educators, students, and audiences passionate about young readers’ literacy. Over the past 79 years, Book Week has featured some of the most notable authors of children’s and YA literature, including Madeleine L’Engle, Kate DiCamillo, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Gene Luen Yang. Book Week is hosted by faculty and graduate students from the children’s literature program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The guest author’s books are available for sale and autographing.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at the McNamara Alumni Center, for a discussion with Eliot Schrefer.

Free and open to the public. CEUs available.


  • 5:30-6:15 PM Reception and Opening
  • 6:15-7:00 PM Eliot Schrefer, “It’s lonely out there for a human: How literature for young people can bond us with the natural world.”
  • 7:00-7:30 PM Discussion and Q&A
  • 7:30-8:30 PM Book signing

Eliot Schrefer’s books will be available for purchase from the Red Balloon Bookshop.

2021 Book Week features Eliot Schrefer

Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times has called his work “dazzling… big-hearted.” He is also the author of two novels for adults and four other novels for children and young adults. His books have been named to the NPR “best of the year” list, the ALA best fiction list for young adults, and the Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best.” His work has also been selected to the Amelia Bloomer List, recognizing best feminist books for young readers, and he has been a finalist for the Walden Award and won the Green Earth Book Award and Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. He lives in New York City, where he reviews books for USAToday.

Title: “It’s lonely out there for a human: How literature for young people can bond us with the natural world.”

Description: Children have a natural inclination to anthropomorphize the world around them, effortlessly assigning emotional states to the non-human. Zoology has classically encouraged us to do the opposite, to avoid assigning human feelings to non-human animals. But how might this “anthropodenial” maintain the narrative of human exceptionalism that has fueled environmental degradation and climate change … and how might literature for young people provide a hopeful solution?

NEWS: Call for Nominees

Are you – or is one of your students – working on a dissertation on the teaching and learning of literature?

Please consider applying to the Shelby Wolf AERA Literature SIG Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Literature.

Click here for criteria and follow this link to apply:

If the link to the criteria doesn’t work, copy and paste this address:

Nominations are due Jan. 16 @ 11:59 PM (Pacific Time).

Don’t hesitate to email Nora Peterman, ( if you have questions.

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,; Jennifer Miskec,

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: and

*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.