CFP – Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks

Verbal and Visual Strategies in Nonfiction Picturebooks
7th International conference European Network of Picturebook Research
PhD workshop September 25, 2019
International conference September 26 – 28, 2019
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences / Høgskulen på Vestlandet – Campus Bergen – Kronstad

Call for Papers

Nonfiction picturebooks have been published concurrently with fictional picturebooks for decades, if not centuries. Clearly recognized as an art form on a par with fiction picturebooks, nonfiction picturebooks have been honoured with their own category for awards at the prestigious Bologna Children’s Book Fair since 1995. In spite of this, the scholarly field of picturebooks and picturebook theory have paid comparatively little attention to nonfiction picturebooks.

Rather than dwelling on the reasons behind this lacuna within picturebook research, there is a need to bring together studies that attempt to remedy this deficiency, and to establish a theoretical framework or starting point for systematic and inventive approaches to various kinds of nonfiction picturebooks, both printed and digital. From pop-up books on urban development and big vehicles, to biographies about artists, adventurers, scientists, kings and queens, to graphic nonfiction on terrorism, the World Wars, and stem cells, to reference works such as atlases, encyclopaedias, ABC-books, and picture dictionaries, nonfiction picturebooks span a dizzying range of different themes, formats, and intended addressees. Central to the investigation of nonfiction picturebooks is the construction and validation of knowledge and the acknowledgement that the dissemination of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks varies according to the context (time, place, function) in which the text was created. Questions for inquiry include the kind of knowledge that is examined and why, and the ways in which knowledge is presented and organized in the book.

The 7th International conference of the European Network of Picturebook Research aims at being a conference, where analytical perspectives, methods, and frameworks are examined, tested and developed.

We invite papers related to the overall theme of the conference. Possible areas for investigation include, but are not restricted to:

  • The utilization of verbal, visual, audial, tactile and other multimodal strategies in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The presentation of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The implied reader in nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebooks across time, cultures, and languages
  • Picture dictionaries, concept books, and alphabet books
  • Digital nonfiction picturebooks
  • The paratexts of nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebook artists and artistic strategies

Please send an abstract of 300 words maximum and a short biography of 100 words as two attached Word documents to Nina Goga, E-mails should have the subject line: Conference nonfiction picturebooks.

Abstracts should include the following information:

  1. Author(s)
  2. Affiliation as you would like to appear in the programme
  3. E-mail address
  4. Title of proposal
  5. Text of proposal
  6. Selected bibliography with academic sources (3-5 references)
  7. Areas of interest
  8. Five keywords

All abstracts and papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English. Papers will be 30 minutes maximum followed by a 10 minutes discussion. All submissions are blind reviewed by the members of the Reading Committee.

Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2018
Notification of acceptance: March 15, 2019

Conference fee
Early registration fee (before May 15, 2019): € 60,00
Fee after May 15 (till July 31), 2019: € 95,00
Conference dinner: € 35,00 (drinks not included)

The European Network of Picturebook Research was established during the first picturebook conference in Barcelona in September 2007. The network was proposed by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen, Germany) who was a member of both the reading committee and co-organizer of the Barcelona-conference, and of the core group of picturebook researchers, which includes/d Evelyn Arizpe, Nina Christensen, Teresa Colomer, Elina Druker, Maria Nikolajeva, and Cecilia Silva-Díaz.

The aims of these conferences are
a. to foster international picturebook research
b. to promote young researchers who are focusing on the investigation of picturebooks
c. to publish selected papers presented at the conferences through international publishers or in peer-reviewed journals.