Cologne Summer School: Virtual Children’s Media in a Global Perspective


Cologne Summer School
Virtual Children’s Media in a Global Perspective | Globale virtuelle Kindermedienwelten
3 – 16 September 2018 in Köln
Universität zu Köln | ALEKI | Seminarräume 12 und 13

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Gabriele von Glasenapp, Dr. Felix Giesa, Dr. Andre Kagelmann

Research perspective
As literary channels of communication are increasingly digitalised and virtualised, the study of children’s and young adult literatue should be recalibrated towards a more encompassing concept of children’s and young adult culture and media studies. So far, however, this has been limited to isolated endeavours often limited in scope, lacking a more systematic approach. Further complications arise from the fact that many relevant products on the German market are translated from other languages.

While this “transnational flow” has well been recognised, its processual logics have yet to be charted in detail. Both aspects – a transnational flow and a transmedia expansion of narrative worlds – fundamentally alter the experiential worlds of children and young adults, including new practices of appropriation and consumption such as booktubes, online collections of solutions for computer games, or the integration of narrative computer games and social media. Existing academic work based on comparative transmedia and/or transnational paradigms provides first steps towards a more fundamental shift of perspective, paving the way for children’s and young adult culture and media studies.

These approaches form the bedrock of our summer school. Tracing the transdimensional quality of changing mediascapes, we propose a research design which combines perspectives from traditional philology, studies in children’s and young adult fiction and transmedia narratology as well as transnational and visual culture studies. The summer school thus aims to foster a deeper understanding of globalised virtual media worlds as targeted at children and young adults, and simultaneously, to sharpen the theoretical profile of studies in children’s and young adult literature research in an age of transnational media convergence. In this vein, it will bring together accomplished experts, excellent junior researchers and students.

We intend to synthesise and present our results in a basic handbook, to be published in both digital open access and print-on-demand mode. Compiled by means of a collaborative book sprint, six longer essays based on the keynotes will be complemented by around twenty shorter articles.

Confirmed keynote speakers so far include Benjamin Beil (Games Studies, UzK) and Prof.Dr. Michael Staiger (Visual Children’s and Young Adult Media, UzK). In addition, we are planning a full-day workshop with a transmedia artist.

Call for Applications
We invite applications from graduate and PhD students as well as excellent BA students doing (or planning) transmedia or transnational work on children’s and young adult media. While the general focus is within the humanities, the summer school aspires to a cover as broad a range of topics as possible, including aspects which have previously been neglected. We are thus not including a predefined list of possible topics.

Applicants are expected to provide proof of their academic excellence, and will have to submit a letter of motivation (one page), a CV and a detailed proposal (three pages) outlining their ongoing or planned project as relevant to the summer school. In accordance with the general profile of Cologne Summer Schools, there should be an equal number of national and international students. Participation is limited to twenty places. Conference languages will be English and German.

We might be able to cover travel expenses, contingent on funding. While accommodation will be organised privately by the participants, we will try to arrange couch-surfing options with Cologne students.

Please submit your application (Transcript of Records, Letter of Motivation, Curriculum Vitae and project proposal) by 30 April, 2018: Imke Pitro-Riedel ( Successful applicants will by notified by the end of May.

The conference fee is 150,00€ (100,00 € for students of the University of Cologne).

Funded PhD: Investigating the Influence of Gender-neutral Toys Advertisement on Children’s Attitudes and Play Behaviours

Project Description
ESRC South Coast Doctoral Partnership (SCDTP) funded. Project code: PSYC4270118

Supervision team:
Dr Erik Gustafsson
Dr Tara Woodyer
Dr Stefanie Sonnenberg

Project in brief

Children’s toys are heavily gendered, resulting in boys and girls developing varied sets of skills which may either help or hinder them in their future curricula and career choices. Media and advertisements further encourage the prevalence of gender stereotypes in many forms, including toy catalogues. Recently some progress has been made in developing gender neutral toy descriptions in advertising, to encourage children to take part in cross gender play. The present project investigates the impact of gender-neutral material on children’s attitude and behaviours, and on the conversation they have with parents and peers.

Specific candidate requirements:

Applicants for this PhD position should have at least a completed BA or BSc honours level degree in psychology, geography or cognate discipline from an accredited course (minimum 2.1 award) (required); Experience with child research participants (desired); basic knowledge of quantitative and qualitative data analysis (desired).

For all funding, students must have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first or upper second-class level, from a UK academic higher education institution. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

The studentship includes an annual maintenance grant, of £14,553 (2017/18).

For more information and to apply:

The closing date for applications is 22 January 2018, 11.59 pm.

Gender in Fairy Tale Film and Cinematic Folklore Course

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The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Women and Gender Studies is offering an online course on Gender in Fairy Tale Film and Cinematic Folklore for the 2013 Winter Term.

Course Number: WGS-3005-761
Course Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Orme
Prerequisites: WGS-1232, WGS-2001, WGS-2002 or ENGL-2114 or permission of the instructor

Fairy tale film (movie or TV versions of international wonder tales) and cinematic folklore (representations of other traditional genres in film) express notions of gender that have multiple implications for their creators and audiences. Using feminist film theory, we explore filmed versions of traditional culture primarily for adults. Topics include postmodern and psychoanalytic perspectives; metamorphosis, enchantment, monstrosity, and abjection; transgender and transbiology; the rise in popularity of adult fairy tale film; analyses of particular auteurs; adaptation theory; genre and generational shifts and remixes; historic and contemporary perspectives on innovative cinematography and special effects, and/or contemporary iconography.

This course features guest lectures by Jack Zipes, Cristina Bacchilega and Sidney Eve Matrix.

For further information or permission to take the course, please contact Dr. Greenhill at or 786-9439.

Subversive Fairy Tale Films Seminar with Jack Zipes

Jack Zipes

Special Visiting Scholar Seminar
Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota
Friday, July 20, 2012
9:30AM to 12:30PM
University of Winnipeg, Room 2M70

Subversive Fairy Tale Films (co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery)

Jack Zipes, world-renowned expert on fairy tales and author of The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films (Routledge, 2011) will screen three experimental feminist fairy-tale films that counter the dumbed-down Hollywood versions of fairy tales. The films will be followed by a seminar discussion led by Dr. Zipes.

You must register for this special seminar, which will run ONLY if we get sufficient numbers. To register, send an e mail to by noon July 6.

Every Good Writer’s Plan with Martine Leavitt

Martine Leavitt

Join accomplished Young Adult author Martine Leavitt in a full-day masterclass on plot and structure in longer works of fiction.

John Gardner said, “Though action with no meaning beyond its own brute existence can have no lasting appeal, plot is, or must sooner or later become, the focus of every good writer’s plan.” This workshop will offer tips on how to make that plan, how to structure a longer work of fiction and set up that structure in those first ten pages – usually all the time you get with that agent or editor.

Date: Sunday, November 6
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Place: 218-100 Arthur Street (Burns Family Classroom)
Cost: $100 for Manitoba Writers’ Guild members, $150 for non-members

Submission Deadline: October 17

Eligibility: Writers with some history of publication are eligible to apply.

Please submit: 8-10 pages of creative writing that you would like to work on in the class,and a short CV outlining your publication background to

Cheques should be made out to the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and mailed to 218-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1H3.

This masterclass is limited to 10 participants.

Martine Leavitt has a Honours English degree from the University of Calgary and a Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College, where she is currently a member of the faculty. She has written seven award-winning novels for young adults, including Tom Finder, winner of the Mr. Christie Award, Heck Superhero, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her eighth novel, My Book of Life by Angel, will be out in the fall of 2012. Her novels have been published in Japan, Korea, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. She is a mother of seven and a grandmother of eleven – all of whom are critically acclaimed.

Martine Leavitt will also be doing a reading at the University of Winnipeg on November 7, 2011 from 12:30 to 1:30 in Room 3C01.

New Virtual Canadian Studies Course: Multicultural Ideology in Canadian Children’s Literature

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The Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries is offering an online course on “Multicultural Ideology in Canadian Children’s Literature” for the first time. It will be taught within the framework of its successful program of Virtual Canadian Studies. The course is open to undergraduate as well as graduate students enrolled at any university worldwide (the language of instruction will be English) and will thus offer a great opportunity to participate in an international class and discuss literature from different perspectives. Participants can earn 3 to 7 credit points in this course and – upon successful completion – they will receive a certificate from the Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries stating credit points and percentage, which their home universities have to validate in their own system. Registration deadline is April 23; the course will start on May 3 and continue for 12 weeks.

Download the flyer here.

MTYP Workshops on Writing for Young Audiences


MTYP’s new Artist-in-Residence, Herbie Barnes, invites submissions for his upcoming series of intensive workshops on creating plays specifically for young people. An Ontario-based director, writer, actor and teacher, Barnes has worked extensively in television, film and theatre, including numerous engagements with MTYP. The residency, which is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, continues through October 2008. The workshops will be led by Barnes through the support of Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

Up to ten writers will be invited to participate in three development sessions to be held at MTYP in the summer and fall. Participation is invited from both new and emerging writers. The sessions will concentrate on the structure of story and narrative, writing technique, and the distinguishing features of theatre for young audiences (TYA). The final workshop will focus on script development and include collaboration from a professional design and directing team, with the goal of producing draft scripts.

The workshops will be held on the following dates at Manitoba Theatre for Young People: June 10 -20, 2008; August 18-22, 2008; September 22-26, 2008.

Those interested in applying should submit a writing sample (2-3 page piece of fiction) by email to Rose Condo, at MTYP by April 14, 2008. Interviews to select participants will be held from April 21 to 23. For more information, please contact Rose by email or at (204) 947-0394 ext. 234.

University of Winnipeg to Offer Master of Arts in English with a Focus on Cultural Studies

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Addressing the link between culture and the arts, and the social, economic and political milieu, this program will address five related areas:

  • cultural theory
  • cultures of childhood
  • gender, sexuality and culture
  • global and local culture
  • manuscript, print and digital culture.

The program will build upon existing and growing strengths at The University of Winnipeg, including its most recent Canada Research Chair in the Cultures of Childhood.

Cultures of Childhood

Courses in this area investigate historical and contemporary cultural discourses in texts that use the figures of “the child,” “the boy,” and “the girl” as important rhetorical strategies–not only print texts, but also Internet texts, films, TV texts, texts of material culture such as toys and video games, as well as oral texts such as family stories and schoolyard games. Studying texts designed for young readers, in particular, allows for theoretical investigations into the manufacture of consent in liberal democratic cultures.

This area of concentration is supported by the presence of the Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood in the Department of English and the related Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures.

Watch this space for further announcements.

If you have questions regarding Cultures of Childhood, please contact Professor Mavis Reimer at 786-9185 or

For general inquiries regarding the program contact Professor Alden Turner at 786-9283 or

For more information about graduate programs at the University of Winnipeg follow this link: