Saturday, May 10, 2014

CFP: Children's Literature and others for PAMLA 2014

Oct 31 - November 2, 2014
Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, CA 

The PAMLA deadline is fast approaching! Last year it was in Sunny San Diego; this year, in nearby Riverside, so if you're local, this is an ideal opportunity to participate. There are a huge variety of topics to choose from, most of which can easily be addressed through a children's literature critique. Below are a few that are specifically geared toward childhood though.

Proposals should be 250 words with an additional 50 word abstract. All proposals need to be submitted through PAMLA’s submission system at
Conference guidelines and procedures and frequently asked questions can be found at

Children's Literature
contact: (soon-to-be SDSU M.A. graduate) Alixandria Lombardo,
This panel invites proposals on any topic of study involving children’s literature. Any theory or critical approaches to children’s literature are welcome. Proposals attending to the conference theme about the familiar are additionally welcome.

Disney and its Worlds
contact email:
Looking for paper proposals for approved "Disney and its Worlds" session for the 2014 PAMLA Conference in Riverside, CA. From the Frankfurt School to contemporary cultural studies, the social ramifications of Disney movies and theme parks, and their cultural penumbra, have long provided rich terrain for critical scholarly analysis. This panel explores the discursive, literary, filmic, and historical dimensions of the Disney phenomenon in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Papers that draw upon the rich canon of scholarship on Disney and engage with its cultural effects through critical theory, spatial or historical analysis, Feminist methodologies, or close reading strategies are particularly encouraged. 

“That Old Black Magic”: Temporality of Magic
contact: Sören Fröhlich,
Recent scholarship in the ‘temporal turn’ has raised fundamental questions in the intersection of time and cultural representations (). However, this scholarship frequently side-steps cultural representations of time as malleable and non-rational, as well as supernatural temporalities. Thinking alongside the 2014 PAMLA Conference theme “Familiar Spirits,” this panel invites papers that consider the relation between magic and time.
What happens when we consider that at once relative and all-pervasive dimension of time through the lens of the imagination, the cultural, and the irrational? Whose time is it that counts, and how can it be manipulated? This panel invites discussions of time in representation of magic including, but not limited to literature, art, film, and history.
Topics might consider questions like:
Is there a connection between legacies of racism, sexism, or gender discrimination and time?
Does time differ in the conception of magic across disciplines?
How do religious and magical notions of time cooperate or clash?
Can temporal changes associated with trauma and anxieties be represented through magic?
How are nostalgia and magic related temporally?
What characterizes magic temporality or the temporality of magic?
Which questions about time does the historiography of magic offer?
How can narrative dimensions of time be manipulated to convey a sense of magic?
How do magical manipulations of time relate to retrospective or futuristic projections?
Can time be the different between good and bad magic?

Gothic Childhood
Contact: Kate Carnall Watt
“Gothic Childhood” welcomes submissions exploring either children’s gothic/horror literature/film or children in gothic/horror literature/film. From Casper to The Ring, from Harry Potter to Poltergeist, children are depicted in the supernatural and the supernatural is depicted for children. Papers may explore magic, conjuring, spirits, hauntings, Spiritualism, manifestations, the paranormal, the strange, and the uncanny in horror and gothic films or novels, examining how these supernatural, horror, or gothic tropes connect to the depictions of children or childhood within the examined work.

Check out all of the topic areas here!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dr. Allison awarded President's Leadership Fund Award

I am thrilled to share that our own Dr. Alida Allison, former director of the NCSCL and beloved professor, has been awarded the President's Leadership Fund Faculty and Staff Excellence Award!

Nominated by interim English Dept Chair, Dr. Michael Borgstrom, Professor Allison has been recognized for her "hard work and endeavors that continuously better our university," particular for "the way [she is] impacting our campus and communities." She started the Center's book review service years ago which has resulted in an influx of children's books annually. Not only has Dr. Allison thus enabled the growth of the children's collection in SDSU's Love Library, but she has consistently donated books to budget-cut libraries and schools around San Diego.

As her student (and as all her students can attest to), I am consistently in awe of the wit and wisdom Dr. Allison effortlessly demonstrates on a daily basis, as well as her unfailing kindness. She has been a huge supporter of the ChildLit GSA, most recently participating in our Edible Books Festival. And as my thesis advisor, she offers guidance with a smile no matter the circumstance. Her scholarly and giving nature comes with ease, and this makes her a stellar role model for faculty and students alike.

Many congratulations to Dr. Allison for this deserved recognition!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Links for a Thursday

We've entered that unbearably busy and hectic time of year, "the end of the semester" (*insert shudder of fear*). So here are a few lighthearted and stimulating links to liven up our energy for the rest of this week.
  1.  Cats, bears, pandas, so many animals get attention in children's books, that a kidlit collection becomes a veritable menagerie. But how many demand the kind of respect that all but requires you to look up to them than the giraffe? (Perhaps the elephant.) Nevertheless, here's a list of top ten Giraffe books in children's lit--to reminisce or explore for the first time. Whatever you do, don't dance with them.
  2. Are we finally running dry on our love for werewolves, vampires, and female-centric dystopias? This author seems to think so, identifying upcoming trends in YA Lit, from universal lovelessness to male-centered dystopias. Fair enough, but I'm not sure her argument that fairy tale reimaginings are a NEW trend is a valid one. Nor do I think the conflation of "YA" with "Dystopia" does either category justice. 
  3. A quick read from the LA Times in opposition to the rumor going around that books are dead. Because they aren't. Otherwise, such movements like the Children's Literature Festival would be unheard of, anyway. 
  4. Lastly, a video of Sandra Cisneros from the LA Times Festival of Books, talking about her newest picture book, border crossings, and more.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Performances Across San Diego

SDSU is currently putting on Jungle Book in the Don Powell theatre, but around San Diego there are a number of other productions coming up based on or inspired by children's literature.

Little Women: The Musical will play at Bailey Bees Theatre in Escondido. The musical is produced by 413 Project, a non-profit supporting students' explorations in theatre. Check out their blog detailing the making of this production. Playing from May 30-June 1.

Sleeping Beauty Ballet is coming up at the San Diego Civic Theatre, produced by the California Ballet Company. Performance dates are Saturday, May 17 - 2:30pm & 7:30pm, and Sunday, May 18 - 2:30pm. The afternoon performances include a thirty minute pre-performance lecture one hour prior to curtain and Post-performance meet the cast following the show.

The Disney adaptation of Tarzan is being staged by the J*Company Youth Theatre at in La Jolla. Based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic, Tarzan of the Apes, TARZAN tells the story of an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa and taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas. This performance will include the music from the Disney film, and runs from May 9-18.

And lastly -- based on the character most often adapted to theatre, film, and tv, and one whose stories have been read by young and old alike -- The Coronado Playhouse is currently staging Sherlock Holmes: the Final Adventure.  It plays Thursdays-Sundays between April 11-May 18.