Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nodelman & Reimer to Speak at Conference in Alberta in May 2011

The landscape of child studies has changed. The Childhoods Conference: Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood is meant to engage scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of academic disciplines and institutions to consider the state of child studies in Canada.

Conference Structure:

  • 3 days of concurrent panels
  • 2 poster sessions
  • 5 keynote speakers featuring:
Dr. Patrizia Albanese: Department of Sociology, Ryerson University
Dr. Mona Gleason: Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia
Dr. Mavis Reimer: Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood; Director of the Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures, University of Winnipeg
Dr. Allison James: Editor of Childhood and Society; Director of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield; Vice-President of the International Child and Youth Research Network (Elected 2008-11)
Dr. Perry Nodelman: Professor Emeritus, University of Winnipeg3 practitioner sessions:
Digital Bullying, moderated by Dr. Robin Bright and Dr. Mary Dyck
Early Brain Development, moderated by Dr. Robbin Gibb
Traditional Perspectives on Aboriginal Youth, moderated by Tanya Pace Crosschild

University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Date: Thursday, May 5 - Saturday, May 7, 2011

Conference Description: Beginning in the last decade of the 20th century, disciplines long dedicated to the study of the child and childhood have been revitalized, while those whose attention to childhood had waned significantly since mid-century are newly engaged with the central problematic of what the child and childhood represents. Figured in the plural, childhoods pose a significant crossroads for theoretical and empirical work on the nature of being human and development broadly construed, and childhood as an experience, as a social category, as an artistic and literary construct, as a category for historical and demographic analysis, as a category of personhood, and as a locus for human rights and policy interventions. Considering childhoods of the past, present and future, scholars will present research results, policy approaches, and theoretical paradigms that are emergent in this re-engagement with the child and childhoods. Bringing together divergent networks of expertise organized around childhoods, this conference offers the opportunity for new research collaborations and the scholarly dissemination of innovative research.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shaun Tan Wins Astrid Lindgren Award

Sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for Children's Literature," the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is given annually to a top writer in the field. Previous winners have included Maurice Sendak, Phillip Pullman, and Katherine Paterson. The Committee has announced that Shaun Tan is the 2011 winner of the Award:

It has been an extraordinary year for the Australian writer/illustrator. Just last month, an item appeared on this blog about Tan's having won an Academy Award for his animated short "The Lost Thing."

Tan is perhaps best known for his haunting graphic book "The Arrival," but his "Tales from Outer Suburbia" is equally enchanting. For an overview of Tan and the graphic novel, see Jerry Griswold's essay in Parents' Choice:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conference: 100 Years of "The Secret Garden"

2011 is the centennial of the publication of Frances Hodgson Burnett's “The Secret Garden.” To celebrate this anniversary, there will be a conference at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH, on July 29-30.

Presenters include scholars and biographers Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Ann Thwaite, Angelica Carpenter, Michael Patrick Hearn, Peter Hunt, John Matteson, and Penny Deupree (great-granddaughter of Frances Hodgson Burnett).

A basic website is now up, and a more complete one will go up later.

Please pass along the information to listservs and anyone else who might be interested.

The conference is free and open to all.


Laura R. Braunstein, PhD

English Language and Literature Librarian Dartmouth College

6025 Baker-Berry Library

Hanover, NH 03755

(603) 646-2669

Passing of Leon Lanzbom

Leon Lanzbom may have been the first graduate student to specialize in children's literature. He passed away March 25, 2011.

Leon Lanzbom was a delight to know, always curious, always active, always generous with his time, talents, and creativity.

He was a presence in the English/CompLit Dept. for many years and in many roles-- MA student in Children's Literature, grad assistant, MFA student, and teacher as well. He was a friend to many of us and a special friend for me as we shared cultural roots.

I will miss him and his big beautiful smile.--Alida Allison

Another tribute, from Bill Nericcio, can be found at:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alida Allison to be Featured Speaker in China

This June Dr. Alida Allison will speak at three Chinese universities: Yunnan University (in Kunming) and Beijing Normal University and Capitol Normal University (both in Beijing). Children’s Literature is booming in China--not only in the publishing arena but at universities as well—and Dr. Allison will be discussing approaches to Children’s Literature as an academic field of study.

Dr. Allison will already be in China for other reasons. Last year she was selected for the China Studies Institute, a program meant to help professors (from varied disciplines) integrate material about China into the courses they teach. Last summer she "trained" in extended seminars offered by linguists, anthropologists, economists, political scientists, government advisers, and other China scholars. This summer Dr. Allison and colleagues will travel to Shanghai, Xiamen, and Beijing to broaden their understanding of the country, its peoples and cultures.

Friday, March 25, 2011

50 Books "Every" Child Should Read: Small Club?

The Independent, a British newspaper, asked 5 British authors to recommend 10 books that "every" child should read. More than two-thirds of the recommended books (34 out of 50) are by British authors.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Book by Michelle Abate & Kenneth Kidd: "Over the Rainbow": Contribution by June Cummins

Over the Rainbow: Queer Children's and Young Adult Literature
Edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Kenneth Kidd

Significant essays on LGBTQ topics in children's literature

About the Book In spite of the growing critical interest concerning gender and sexual nonnormativity in and around narratives written for young readers, no book-length volume on the subject has yet appeared. Over the Rainbow: Queer Children's and Young Adult Literature is the first collection of essays dedicated to LGBTQ issues in children's literature. Bringing together significant essays and introducing new work, Over the Rainbow is intended to serve both as a scholarly reference and as a textbook for students of children's studies; gender/queer studies; and related disciplines such as English, history, sociology, and education. Editors Michelle Ann Abate and Kenneth Kidd showcase important essays on the subject of LGBTQ children's and young adult literature —including Harriet the Spy, Rainbow Boys, Little Women, the Harry Potter series, and A Separate Peace—while providing a provisional history of both the literature and the scholarship and examining the field's origins, current status, and possible future orientations.

Over the Rainbow collects essays by Jes Battis, Robin Bernstein, Thomas Crisp, June Cummins, Elizabeth A. Ford, Sherrie A. Inness, Christine A. Jenkins, Vanessa Wayne Lee, Biddy Martin, Robert McRuer, Claudia Nelson, Jody Norton, Tison Pugh, Catherine Tosenberger, Eric L. Tribunella, Roberta Seelinger Trites, and Andrea Wood. These pieces will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of children's literature, American Studies, LGBTQ and queer studies, cultural studies, and literary criticism.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Intern Wanted: Literary Agent

Unpaid Reader/Intern for the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Job description: Intern will read manuscripts-in-progress and provide reading reports, identifying strengths and weaknesses; will be assigned marketing and publicity projects; will work closely on Agent to guide manuscripts through publication.
Requirements: Passion for children’s literature, from picture books through young adult. Awareness of current market trends. Well-versed in contemporary children’s literature. Critical reading and editorial skills.
Location: San Diego
Hours: 12-15/week
Duration: minimum of 6 months
Please send your resume and cover letter to Kelly Sonnack at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CFP: The Great War (Australia Dec 2011): Mar 31 deadline

‘A Game That Calls Up Love and Hatred Both’:

The Child, the First World War, and the Global South

An International Interdisciplinary Conference

1-4 December 2011

University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Australian Centre for Child and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing (ACCY) & Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art

War ain’t no giddy garden feete – it’s war:

A game that calls up love an’ ‘atred both …

~ C. J. Dennis, The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916)

The Leverhulme International Network project, Approaching War: Children’s Culture and War, 1880-1919 (, focuses on the pre-war and wartime experience of children in Anglophone countries which were involved in the conflict or which were engaged in international discussions about the war, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and the USA. Three international conferences are planned: Australia, 2011; Canada, 2012; UK, 2013.

The Australian conference in December 2011 at the University of Technology Sydney will explore the impact of the First World War on childhood from the perspective of the global south. It will bring together researchers and practitioners to explore verbal and visual representations of war in the children’s culture of Australia and the global south, with special reference to the First World War but also considering other wars of the 20th century. Papers on any topic relating to the figure of the child and childhood cultures and war, with a particular focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, are welcome. We welcome papers from a variety of disciplines, including English, Education, Film, History, Modern Languages, Sociology, and Geography, amongst others.

Participants are invited to submit 250 word abstracts for 20 minute papers on the conference themes. Panels of three linked papers are also very welcome. Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

Children’s and young adult literature

National and global ideas of childhood and nationhood

Gender, the child and war

Intersection of cultures of war and childhood cultures

Constructing Empire

Concepts of ‘home’

Constructing otherness

Changing histories and geographies

The spread of conflict in Europe, Asia, the Far East

War and federation

Child/adult relationships

Mother Country and ‘sons’

Ambivalence and war

Multimodal representations of friends and foes

The project seeks to further scholarship on countries drawn into the conflict by virtue of their connections to the British Empire, particularly those which have been under-represented in First World War studies. Conference papers from scholars in such countries are particularly welcomed, and some bursaries are available for those working in countries where support for international conference attendance has traditionally been low. Some bursaries are also available for postgraduate speakers from any institution. Please see the conference website for more details.

Extended Deadline for abstracts: March 31st 2011

Notification of outcome: April 30st 2011

Abstracts should be submitted via email to:

Project Website:

See also Lissa Paul on this blog: