Sensing Wonder, Serious Play: Ecology and Children’s Literature
A Graduate Student Conference
Friday, October 25 2013
Sara St. Antoine
Steven Brown, Evander Price
Much has happened in the decade since Sidney Dobrin and Kenneth Kidd applied the lens of ecocriticism to the world of children’s media in their collection of essays Wild Things: Children’s Culture and Ecocriticism (2004). This conference grows from their foundational work and endeavors to further the discussion. We invite any essays that consider the role children’s media plays in building a sense of identity, wonder, imagination, environment, and relationship to the surrounding world. Relevant questions range from (but are certainly not limited to):
How do certain works of children’s literature use nature to bridge the gap between adulthood and childhood?
What sort of eco-ethic does children’s media teach, and what do children learn from that media?
What is behind the phenomenal popularity of recent children’s stories? Why have certain themes, such as dystopia and post-apocalpytic settings, become so popular?
What lessons can adults learn from depictions of nature in children’s stories? What might be gained from accessing the heightened sense of wonder present in childhood?
We invite papers that explore children’s literature (Newbery Award Winners), imagery (Caldecott Medal Winners), movies, toys, and the like, from an ecocritical perspective. This conference is meant as an opportunity to tap into childhood experience and explore that sacred period when we possessed, as Rachel Carson put it, an unparalleled sense of wonder, now forgotten.
For consideration, please submit your name, academic affiliation, and the most recent version of your paper to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15, 2013.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: August 15, 2013