Thursday, December 12, 2013

CFP: Maps in Children's Literature

International Workshop at Bergen University College, Norway, March 12 - 13, 2015

Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island
In Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) John Locke emphasizes the importance of starting to study geography as soon as possible. According to Locke, knowledge of geography and chronology, more specifically an understanding of time and place, should take priority over history. He justifies this claim on the grounds that, without this knowledge, history would be simply a jumble of facts. In the 18th century, Locke’s thoughts on education influenced the design and production of books, toys, and games created for children. Even jigsaws and board games with geographic themes became popular.

The history of children’s literature is littered with children’s books that contain maps displaying where the story takes place. A well-known example is the map in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883). Maps that depict itineraries, conquests, landmarks, battlefields, and changes in cityscapes and landscapes are narrative in character and prepare the reader for the ensuing story. Maps can even unify and elaborate on events that occur at different times. Hence, one might assume that maps that visualize the places in a narrative (or story) exert a great impact upon young readers’ ability to organize and orientate their reading experience. Maps may also intensify a story’s suspense or establish an image of an idyll or a fantasy world.  

The purpose of this international workshop is to bring together scholars of children’s literature from different countries who are in particular interested in the topic of maps in children’s literature. We therefore invite papers dealing with one or several of the following topics:

- maps as visual narration
- maps in picturebooks
- maps in fantasy
- verbal mapping of landscapes and places
- linear and spatial reading
- geography literacy
- art, maps and children’s literature
- cartographic signs and symbols in children’s literature

Deadline for proposal: April 30, 2014

Please send abstracts of 300 words (for a thirty-minute paper) and a short biographical note (100 words) as e-mail attachment to both convenors, Nina Goga: and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer:

Notification whether proposals have been accepted will be made by June 1, 2014. For further inquiries please contact: Nina Goga,, Høgskolen i Bergen, Landåssvingen 15, 5096 Bergen, Norge.

1 comment:

  1. So exciting! It's as if they were sitting in my head as they conjured this up.