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Call for Papers


MLA, Vancouver

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Karen Coats

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CFP for MLA 2015 (Vancouver): Why Dystopia YA Literature? Why Now?

The Hunger Games. Ready Player One. After the Fear. Divergent. “Young Adult Dystopian” is a search category on Amazon. Why is this genre so popular? The books seem to be critiquing consumerism, repressive governments, technology, and science out of control—but is there something more? Something else that is being critiqued that particularly appeals to young adults? Why is YA literature the home for the surge of dystopian fiction? How does writing for a YA audience enhance or restrict the genre? If the literature is written is for teens, does it have to have hope? A panel to query the popularity of YA dystopia literature. Please send 350-word abstracts to June Cummins by March 17
jcummins@ilstu.edu.
This is a guaranteed panel sponsored by the ChLA.​


MLA, Vancouver

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Karen Coats


Call for Papers: Sites of Memory in Children’s Literature 2015 Modern Language Association Annual Convention Vancouver, BC January 8-11, 2015 Deadline: March 15, 2014


Remembering, remembrance, memory, and forgetting shapes children’s literature: authors’ personal memories of childhood that inform their texts or are preserved in cross-written texts or memoirs; larger cultural memories adults wish to pass down to future generations; and events, incidents, and topics elided or “forgotten” in the canon. Indeed, the genre of children’s literature relies on the remembrance, reinterpretation, or revision of past works. This panel invites papers considering all aspects of memory in children’s and young adult literature (historical, literary, nostalgic, patriotic, personal, repressed, traumatic, etc.) as well as papers that explore how literary memory shapes the canon of children’s and YA literature through intertextuality, another site of memory.​​

  • Adult memories of childhood mined from archives, letters, diaries, memoirs, libraries, school classrooms, or childhood reading practices
  • Cultural and historical events remembered, forgotten, elided, or revised in works of children’s and young adult literature
  • The role of remembrance and nostalgia in canon formation: forgotten texts that are making a comeback (e.g., Henty’s novels in the homeschooling community) or texts that should be remembered
  • How intertextuality functions to challenge, negotiate, or reinterpret ideas of youth, children’s literature, and/or YA literature
  • Genre: historical, theoretical, or institutional practices of remembering and forgetting what constitutes children’s literature
  • Traumatic memories: how they’re represented in individual works as well as how they’re presented to younger readers
  • Iconic texts about remembrance: anything to do with war, but also “holiday” books and texts about important historical events

Please send 500-word proposals by March 15 to Karin Westman at westmank@ksu.edu.


MLA, Vancouver

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Karen Coats


Call for Papers: Writing the Future: Children’s Literature in East Asia MLA 2015 Vancouver, BC Deadline: March 10, 2014.

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Seeking papers exploring literature for (or by) children, particularly with reference to transitions to modernity in East Asia during the 19th and 20th centuries. 250 word abstracts to Charlotte Eubanks (cde13@psu.edu) and Melek Ortabasi (mso1@sfu.ca) by March 10. This collaborative panel is sponsored by the Divisions of East Asian Literatures, pre-1900 and post-1900, but is not guaranteed.​​


MLA, Vancouver

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Karen Coats


Call for Papers Not an Exit but a Shift: Changing Children’s Literature MLA, Vancouver January 5-8, 2015 Deadline: March 1, 2014

In her 1998 article “Exit Children’s Literature?” Maria Nikolajeva meditates on contemporary trends in the children’s genre and closes with the statement that “we must acknowledge that, sooner or later, children’s literature will be integrated into the mainstream and disappear.” This panel responds to the question of her title, but it focuses less on the idea of a disappearance or death, and more on a reimagining of the children’s genre. In this way, we work from Nikolajeva’s earlier suggestion that we must “re-define our notion of children’s literature.” With this in mind, we invite papers that address the ways turn-of-the-twenty-first-century children’s texts have shifted to accommodate and reflect a contemporary childhood through changes in aesthetics, mediums, genres, and/or ideologies. Papers that acknowledge and detail new frameworks for understanding the genre (as opposed to using the label of “exit” or “death”) will be given special consideration. We strongly encourage papers to keep Nikolajeva’s work in mind; while it is not necessary to directly engage this piece, familiarity with her argument, and other similar arguments about the possible end of children’s literature, is a strength.


Topic suggestions include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing aesthetics in children’s pictorial art
  • Ethics of identity and a twenty-first century ideological inclusion
  • The emergence and influence of new ALA awards, such as the Pura Belpré and Stonewall Book Awards
  • Changing constructions of childhood and corresponding cultural experiences of the twenty-first century child
  • Depictions of a realistic twenty-first century and its complicated childhoods
  • Historical comparisons and contextual understandings of the child across the genre
  • The effects of new media on children’s literature and children’s culture
  • The emergence of a clearly marketed pre-adolescent “middle grade” genre and a “New Adult” genre
  • Analyses of new genre features, literary and cultural
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Please submit 500-word abstracts to Ramona Caponegro (rcaponeg@emich.edu) and Abbie Ventura (abbie-ventura@utc.edu) by March 1. This panel is sponsored by the Children’s Literature Association but is not guaranteed. The 2015 MLA conference will be held in Vancouver, January 5-8.​​