CFP – Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Call for Papers: Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature Edited by Lisa Rowe Fraustino and Karen Coats

Arguably, the most powerful figure in a child’s life is the mother, whether she is present or absent. How have mothers been represented in literature produced for and shared with children and young adults, from the oral tales of the preprint era to the present? What attitudes toward mothers and motherhood are reflected by the texts? What maternal ideologies are inscribed in young readers, and does the genre or target audience make a difference? In what ways do the books themselves, often written by women, serve as metaphorical mothers for their readers?

For this proposed collection, we seek essays from a range of theoretical perspectives that address depictions of mothers, stepmothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, anthropomorphized mothers, stand-ins for mothers, metaphorical mothers, and “other” mothers in nursery rhymes, fairy tales, childhood lore, picture books, early reader chapter books, middle grade fiction, young adult novels, and film adapations of classic texts to examine how the field of children’s and YA literature contributes to the phenomenon Nancy Chodorow coined “the reproduction of mothering.”

350-500 word chapter proposals are due by November 30, 2013.

Proposals should be for original works not previously published (including in conference proceedings) and that are not currently under consideration for another edited collection or journal. If the essay is accepted for the collection, a full draft (5000-7000 words) will be required by May 15, 2014. Editors are happy to discuss ideas prior to the deadline.

Proposals and Final Essays should be submitted to: Lisa Rowe Fraustino ( and Karen Coats (