CFP – Essay Collection on Robert Cormier

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Essay proposals are sought for a volume of original critical essays on Robert Cormier’s fiction as part of the anticipated relaunch of Palgrave Macmillan’s New Casebook series. All essays in the volume will be new and original pieces of work.

The aim of the volume is, primarily, to “show undergraduate readers how recent debates, issues and developments in the field of children’s literature, and in modern critical theory, have affected approaches to” Cormier’s works. Essays that take a range of approaches to Cormier’s work are therefore sought.

Essays (of around 6,000 words) will be due in March 2011.

Please email a 400-500-word essay proposal and a 150-word biographical paragraph by 1 September 2010 to:

Adrienne Gavin

Dr Adrienne Gavin
Reader in English
Department of English
Canterbury Christ Church University
Kent CT1 1QU, UK

CFP – Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Troubling Childhood

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This panel will explore those figurations of child that do not fit within the normative geography of child representation–what Jacqueline Rose refers to as the “impossibility” of childhood.

The transgressive child challenges deeply-held convictions about the naturalness of childhood, particularly as childlike bodies are defined as “vulnerable,” “dependent,” “innocent,” and simultaneously asexual/heterosexual. Indeed, childhood is frequently haunted by the spectre of of its own failure, and this panel examines those troubling children who, by their transgression, trouble the boundaries of childhood.

Though definitions of “childhood” are diffuse, potential panelists should understand the focus to be pre-adolescent, and not synonymous with teenage or high school-age subjects. Proposals are welcome from all areas of media culture, all historical periods, all cultural contexts, and all methodological approaches. Special consideration will be given to those proposals that engage with Childhood Studies and cultural studies interrogations of childhood.

Possible topics:

  • Child sexuality on screen
  • The savage child
  • Girl culture/Boy culture
  • The child as trickster
  • The opaque or unknowable child
  • The queer child
  • The too-perfect child
  • Pedophilia and/or incest
  • The violent/criminal child
  • The child as alien/ghost/possessed
  • Perverse fantasy and play
  • Delinquency and danger
  • The corrupted child
  • Childhood as a site of trauma
  • The child as gateway to the “beyond”

The 2011 SCMS Conference will be held in New Orleans, March 10-13 at the historic Ritz Carlton Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter.

Please submit 300 word abstract, 5 item bibliography, and author’s bio to Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, August 11. All submissions will receive a response by August 18.

CFP – Conflict and Controversy

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IBBY UK/NCRCL MA CONFERENCE, 13 NOVEMBER 2010 Roehampton University, London
Call for Papers on the theme of Conflict and Controversy

Children’s literature has always courted controversy, from eighteenth-century debates concerning the dangers of fairy tales to publications of the last fifty years­­––such as Falling (1995) by Anne Provoost or Doing It (2003) by Melvin Burgess––that further challenge notions of what is suitable reading material for young readers. Nor can children’s authors stand aside from the conflicts and political debates of their age, since these will resonate at some level in all writing for the next generation. This conference will address controversial subject matter in children’s fiction; the fictional coverage of national and international conflicts, and question any lingering assumptions that children’s literature is, or should be, apolitical.

The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers and academics. Proposals are welcomed for workshop sessions (lasting about 20 minutes) on the following or other relevant issues/areas from any period in the history of international children’s literature:

  • representations of war – from a historical perspective, or thinking about the way in which children’s book engage with contemporary/ongoing conflicts;
  • generational conflict – an area of conflict that has been explored throughout the history of children’s literature and that crosses literary form and genre;
  • sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll: counterculture in children’s literature;
  • the engagement with gender/sexuality in books for young people;
  • depictions of violence – in prose fiction, picture books or graphic novels;
  • the way in which books challenge or subvert prevailing constructions of childhood;
  • dystopian children’s literature;
  • controversies ensuing from perceived tensions between authors’ lives/biographies and their child audience;
  • breaking formal boundaries – considering alternative narrative forms such as experimental novels or picture books; electronic narratives; fan fiction etc.;
  • historical perspective and its impact on the subversive/controversial nature of children’s literature – the way in which ideological shifts can generate new readings or/ reactions to children’s books;
  • controversies thrown up at different points in the history of children’s literature;
  • the multifarious ways in which children’s literature has engaged with religious or political issues;
  • the ways in which children’s literature has broken/challenged boundaries, traditions and taboos.

We welcome contributions from interested academics and others researchers in any of these areas. Brief accounts of the papers that are presented at the conference will be published in the Spring 2011 issue of IBBYLink, the journal of British IBBY.

The deadline for proposals is 31st August 2010. Please email a 200-word abstract (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to Laura Atkins:

CFP – Exploring the Everyday Lives of Young Children: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives

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Exploring the Everyday Lives of Young Children: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives
A one-day seminar followed by a one-day doctoral symposium hosted by the Stirling Institute of Education
Date:Monday 24 – Tuesday 25 January 2011
Venue: University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Preliminary Call for Papers: Exploring the everyday lives of young children

This two-day event is being organised by the Toys and Technology research team at the Stirling Institute of Education. As part of our ESRC-funded project Young Children Learning with Toys and Technology at Home (2008-2011) we have been exploring the everyday lives of preschool children and we now invite researchers from a broad range of disciplines to present and discuss research that focuses on real-world issues in the lives of children who are five or younger.

We are seeking contributions from a wide range of approaches to research with young children. Papers are invited on theory, methods, policy and/or practice, to include (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Health, wellbeing and the body
  • Technological change, popular culture and consumption
  • Material cultures
  • Transitions in early childhood
  • Young children’s experience of research
  • Young children and families

The seminar on day one will take the form of keynote presentations and short papers. Papers are welcomed from researchers (including PhD students) at any stage of their careers. Day two is a symposium specifically designed for doctoral students to present their research and receive feedback and advice from a panel of experts. It is expected that those wishing to attend the symposium would also be present on day one.

Confirmed keynote speakers for day one include Professor Pia Christensen.
Confirmed panel of experts for day two: Professor Lydia Plowman, Professor Alan Prout and Professor Pia Christensen.

Cost: This event is free but places are limited. Speakers who fail to confirm that they can no longer attend less than two weeks before the event will be charged a fee of £100. Please note that participants are expected to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation. However, we have a limited number of accommodation grants for doctoral students who have no access to university support or other funding and wish to present at the symposium. If you would like to be considered please download and return the form by 20 August 2010.

If you would like to contribute a paper for the seminar or the doctoral symposium, please contact Dr. Olivia Stevenson: The deadline for 250 word abstracts is Friday 20 August 2010. If submitting an abstract for the doctoral symposium, please also include the title of your doctoral research, name of supervisor, department and state at what stage you are at.

New Listserv for Childhood Studies

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The Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University-Camden are excited to announce a new listserve catering to the multi-disciplinary field of Childhood Studies. Those of us who study issues around children and childhood are in far flung departments and professions, separated by disciplinary boundaries. This listserve will be a vital point of connection for scholars and practitioners in the multi-disciplinary field and serve a much needed function as a central clearinghouse of information for our disparate field. We welcome calls for papers, announcements of conferences, events, new books, articles and other resources, requests for information, and information on new programs and departments. This list will also provide an opportunity to find people with similar interests across our broad field and open up discussion within it.

To join, please go to:

Patrick Cox and Anandini Dar
Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University