Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Collection for Toys for Tots

Event: Book Drive for Toys for Tots; sponsored by The National Center for the Study of Children's Literature
When: Ongoing until Monday, December 18th @ 2 pm
Where: Book Collection Box located in SDSU English Dept. Student Lounge (AL 237)
What to Donate: Your favorite childhood book (not used) is encouraged, although we welcome all titles for children up to the age of 14 years old

Monday, December 4, 2017

International Scholar Comes to SDSU: Thomas Enemark Lundtofte

Visiting PhD Scholar, Thomas Enemark Lundtofte, sat down with Andrea Kade this semester to discuss why he chose to make the leap across the pond for his dissertation research and what the  term "curling" really means in Danish.

Education: Phd Candidate in Media Studies at University of South Denmark, MA in Media Studies and BA in Japan Studies  from Aarhus University (Denmark)
Thesis Topic: Young Children's Play with the DR Ramasjang App on Tablet Computers
Experience: PhD Fellow; University External Lecturer; Co-owned a Danish production company, Moon Dog Film; Author of articles about true crime documentaries
Residence: Odense, Denmark with partner, Johanne and their two daughters, Selma and Sif
Andrea Kade: First, I’d like to welcome you to Southern California and SDSU. Tell us what brought you to this university and what you are working on.

Thomas Enemark Lundtofte: In terms of my project, the main question I am investigating is how young children play with tablet computers. Specifically, I’m looking into how they play with an app provided by the National Danish Broadcasting Company, Danmarks Radio (it’s a historical name, they both television and radio). In 2013, they launched this app for young children, ages 3-7 years old. Virtually every single Danish child knows about it and uses this app. On a weekly basis, the Danmarks Radio app, Ramasjang has an outreach to nearly 50% of the Danish population within that age demographic and they have assessed that about 90% of that group’s population have used it at some point.

AK: Wow, that’s amazing! In America, you wouldn’t see that type of influence within any one particular app or show for any age group.

TL: Yes, and it’s obviously a language thing, when you have population of 5.5 million people, as we do. But having something in Danish, which also has a rich back history in over 50 years of television, allows for these characters to become known to the children. Some of the characters you might be familiar with like, Pippi Longstocking from Sweden—she’s also part of this public service environment oriented by ubiquitous Nordic values.

What I’m trying to understand is how children engage with this environment by looking at how they are playing. But, I’m not trying to impose any type of learning framework. I know it may sound kind of biased when you mention, what I’m not trying to do because it can push it into this “resistant type of research” category. However, I think it’s just important to underline how most research is framed within this particular category. For instance, you are a child researcher in another aspect of this very broad category, and you know children can be viewed as “human ‘becomings’ not human beings,” as I once heard someone term.    

AK: This reminds me of an article I once read about how children interact with human-like robots and how empathic they are towards them, as opposed to how adults treat these machines. It drew on imaginative play and other theories when researching a child’s interaction with this type of technology.

TL: Yes, it is very much like play theory and how children play with objects and in places. Building on that example, I’m also reminded of the familiar saying in film theory, “the willing suspension of disbelief.” You must be willing to play with an idea that someone is presenting to you, if they are presenting in a particular way that you can subscribe to or find convincing within the ethos of a narrative. Many of these concepts are also applicable to transmedia theory, another area I am interested in exploring as a frame of thinking. There’s a lot of scaffolding of knowledge for things you experience.

AK: In our correspondence you spoke about the app Ramasjang which is from a Danish broadcasting program that caters to young children ages 3-10, have you compared it to other US networks and their corresponding apps, like PBS/PBSkids (perhaps similar to your national network) and its apps, or Disney and their apps? Any differences or similarities?

TL: I’ve only engaged a little bit with the PBSkids app, but it is also in line with what I mentioned earlier on. With the PBSkids app, a specific focus leans toward specific learning outcomes for children. They also have this peculiar component for parents. There’s a parent app for PBSkids which allows them to monitor what their children are engaging with and can connect to whichever devices they use. So, if the child is playing with the PBS gaming apps, a parent can access progress bars to see if their children are playing around with science or literacy oriented content. But to me, this practice seems borderline dystopian.

AK: How so? Because we have a term called “helicopter parenting,” have you ever heard of that?

TL: Is it like curling?

AK: Well I know what curling is, but how is it applied in this instance?

TL: Danish parents use this term. Figuratively, it’s the sweeping of a broom in front of their child so they can ensure their child “curls” into the goal field. But curling is not a popular sport in most European cultures. It’s funny because, in a sense, everyone knows curling, but a lot of people don't know that it’s a sporting term until you explain that it’s something Canada plays in the Winter Olympics. 

It’s such a complex discussion because I can’t scientifically assess whether American are more “helicopter” parents than say their Danish counterparts. 

AK: Well, what is the PBSkids app saying about needing controls like that? Obviously, they believe parents want this feature on their app.

TL: I think handing these kinds of affordances to parents is very problematic, because what are they supposed to do with this data? Does it actually show how their children are progressing with the feature? If you align yourself with the basic assumption that children playing with tablet computers should be about learning, this device only measures interactions. The children could be engaging in other side play, like building blocks or making drawings, not what the child is thinking about at all.  Many of these games are structured around coercive behavior, therefore children are coerced into making the right decision. This also connects to the whole concept of transgressive play, and we need to think more about how we define the term “learning.”

AK: Because children are naturally curious? They like to figure things out themselves.

TL: Well, we all are.  Some psychologists talk about how children have a leading activity in the infancy stage until they progress to a more formal learning stage in preschool or kindergarten. They transition from “play” to “learning” as a leading activity.

AK: Would you consider your work to be in the area of ethnography? And can you describe why it interests you?

I should probably clarify that I’m not ethnographer, in the traditional sense. My partner is anthropologist and, if I were to say I was ethnographer, she would probably be bewildered, because you need to be immersed in a cultural setting for a period of time. Back in 2012, my partner did field work in Hawaii, and I was lucky enough to be there for some of the time, but what she was doing would be considered a type of ethnographic work.

What I’m doing is visiting seven different children from seven different families in their homes. One is a single mother household, but the other families have completely heteronormative configurations. I visit each household a couple of times, take video recordings, and prepare a few questions. But I try to take an organic approach, at least context related. For the first visit, we usually sit at the family dining table and the child will show me what he/she likes to do with the app and sometimes they will enter into a “play mood,” where I can’t even ask them “why did you that?” because they are so immersed—which in itself is kind of interesting. So, this work is ethnographically inspired because I am looking for certain “practices.”

At the round table discussion this semester, I was thinking how interesting it would be to apply the theories and research interests discussed by the faculty of SDSU children’s literature program and bring this knowledge into this type of practiced setting. It would be so interesting to see how a children’s literature scholar would approach researching this area.

AK: Did anyone, in particular, say something that stood out in your mind during the round table discussion?

TL: Yes, Dr. Mary Galbraith discussed a basic, epistemological problem with studying children. Of course, you can’t enter into someone’s thinking, but that goes without saying, but it’s a good disclaimer when you are trying to make any assumptions or statements about how people might engage with texts, products or content. In media studies, we use the word “text”, “concepts” or “media texts” when studying the content. It becomes an umbrella term for video game, movie or television show, because you consume it or approach it in similar ways.

Many researchers are engaged in this discussion about new media literacy or digital literacy, which naturally creates a convergence between the two areas. In Denmark, the way research and scholarly work has been conducted within media studies, partially stems from an amalgamation of Nordic literary studies and the social sciences. Textual interpretations are being paired with investigating perception within a larger set of statistical data. This mixed approach helps answer some of these questions that we like to ask.

AK: What can you tell us about American children and how they interact with their tablet or media devices? Can you pinpoint any cultural differences between American and Danish consumption of these technologies?

TL: Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to answer that type of question since I haven’t studied American families, like I do in Denmark. But, you bring up an important point. When you are observing someone from afar, especially a child interacting with a piece of technology, you don’t necessarily know what they are specifically doing or which app they are using. There is, however, this ongoing debate surrounding the concept of screen time and length of time spent using such a device.

AK: Do you see many children engage with smartphones and tablets in Danish restaurants like they do here in America? What are your thoughts on this?

TL: In the broad sense of children using these technologies, I’m sure there are vast similarities. Some researchers posit this particular phenomenon as a type of escapism for children from what might be termed as an oppressive environment due to its adult orientation. But this can be construed as a global consumption issue, mainly limited to the global north because of the access to this type of technology. But that’s a separate, but very important discussion that I’m not qualified to engage in concerning the uneven distribution of technology of the global north vs the global south.

AK: Is the tablet interchangeable with a regular computer?

TL: Specifically, I am only focused on tablets and the specific apps that create a basis for assessing common practices surrounding what’s technologically specific and content specific. Tablets and touchscreens, in particular, have allowed children to be able to operate these complex multimodal digital technologies from an earlier stage, as opposed to personal computers. In a sense, exploring how young children interact with these devices is ground breaking territory. But I don’t want to fully engage this popular notion that everything has been turned upside down due to the introduction of this technology and the childhood experience in itself.

AK: Can you tell me what type of children and young adult literature you encounter in Denmark? In general, what’s popular in your country?

TL: It’s a complex scene like it is in America, because there’s a lot of literature that tackles important questions inspiring critical thinking. There’s a pretty popular author, who has transitioned into television recently, Jakob Martin Strid. One of his books we’ve read to our daughter is Lille Frø (translated as Little Frog). This frog child lands in this frog family’s television and turns every situation into chaos

AK: Like Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat or Dennis the Menace?

TL: Yes, in a way. The frog family goes to this school psychologist or counselor for help, but Little Frog messes up that situation by lighting the psychologist’s’ hair on fire. The parents get upset and end up telling off Little Frog, empathically. He runs off into the wild and meets an old man in the mountain, which plays on a lot of stereotypes. We would expect this old, wise hermit type man to teach him how to be a good person, but Little Frog draws all over his face and ends up pissing him off too! The parents suddenly show up in a helicopter—there’s the helicopter reference!—and there’s this emotional reaction. Suddenly, the book fast forwards into the future where the family is visiting a museum that exhibits all the transgressive behaviors of Little Frog.

The illustrations are really excellent too! Before Strid did children’s books, he was drawing comics for newspapers.

AK: Kind of like Shel Silverstein and some other children’s author/illustrators.

There’s a lot of logic to the transitioning. His books are very popular in Denmark. But there are some cutesy books, which are very popular too. Some of these popular characters are also demonstrated in the TV content that parents access via Ramasjang.

AK: Have you spoken to Dr. Joseph Thomas (SDSU Children's Literature professor and visiting scholar sponsor)?

TL: Yes, but prior to my meeting him, I was told to read one of his books, Poetry's Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children's Poetry. I found out when I came here that it was actually translated into Danish, which I guess says something about its impact on the literary community. I’m affiliated with this research group at a different university in Denmark, called The Center for Children’s Literature and Media. One of the heads of this group, Nina Christensen, mentioned Dr. Thomas as a possible researcher that I could visit aboard. There were a lot of people in the Southern California area that I was interested in talking to. But, I also knew they wouldn’t be able to take me on as this visiting scholar, like Prof. Thomas and SDSU have done. This was a really good “in” and Dr. Thomas was the person who could facilitate a visit. It was motivated by these specific interests he’s presented in the transgressive play and the avant-garde, and I think it’s really interesting to talk to someone on the literary side of this.

AK: What insights did Dr. Thomas bring concerning the areas of frivolous or carnivalesque play?

TL: What I find interesting about Dr. Thomas’ work is, as you suggest, this carnivalesque or frivolous play aspect. I like to use the term transgressive, despite it being a loaded term, like carnivalesque and frivolous. But I think its specific in the way that it is “loaded”, because it pinpoints how this is something we can discuss as adults about something that children (and adults) do.

AK: Probably more so than ever with adults, in regards to frivolous play.

TL: Yeah. And I’m interested in Dr. Thomas' research areas because he’s very knowledgeable about how this relates to texts. In his book, he is talking about a lot of interesting aspects of poetry – some things I have a hard time fully understanding since I’m not in the literary field. One thing I find particularly interesting is the notion of children turning language into a plaything (Thomas 2007, p. 50). This process of taking things from the (adult) world and treating them as playthings is interesting because it tells us something about meaning-making. Play is worthy in and of itself – autotelic, so to speak – and therefore this notion of ‘meaning-making’ shouldn’t be taken at face value. Rather, it is culturally interesting to understand interactions that happen between human beings and material objects, texts included. As adults and people living everyday lives, we are concerned with things such as jobs and education. Matters like these are naturally very important, but the importance of these matters sometimes overshadows the cultural importance of play in the autotelic sense. Instead of focusing on the ABCs and the morals of stories in children’s literature, I think we stand to gain a lot of cultural insight and value from looking at play affordances and play practices in these works and the social situations they are emplaced in.

You can follow Thomas Enemark Lundtofte on Twitter @onlyfield

Many thanks to Mr. Lundtofte for granting us this exclusive interview! The NCSCL team would like to wish him great success on his academic endeavors and hope he enjoys his remaining time in San Diego with his family.  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Author Visit REHASH: Isabel Quintero, YA and Children's Writer (and Poet!)

Isabel Quintero is author of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, Ugly Cat and Pablo, Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, and numerous essays and poems. She earned her BA in English and MA in English Composition at California State University, San Bernardino. Ms. Quintero is also part of the creative writing faculty at Sierra Nevada College.

On Tuesday afternoon, Love Library at San Diego State University was standing room only with students and faculty packed in, shoulder-to-shoulder, providing a very “warm” welcome for Children and Young Adult author, Isabel Quintero.   

SDSU professor, Dr. Phillip Serrato, introduced “the talented, awarding winning author” and “sharp and savvy teacher” by revealing a little yarn about how Ms. Quintero saved the day and a certain professor’s craving for a chocolate chip cookie. The story fired up the crowd for the guest speaker and Professor Serrato proclaimed, “it really does take a village!” when thanking the many organizations and individuals for helping make this special event happen.

Prof. Joseph Thomas, Isabel Quintero, Prof. Phillip Serrato
When Isabel Quintero, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and sister to her “little, baby brother” [shh! we won’t tell him you called him that in public], took to the podium, she discussed her upbringing in the Inland Empire and the struggles her family endured during her childhood. She disclosed her father’s battle with alcoholism and how it influenced her debut novel, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. Quintero also spoke about the tender moments between mother and daughter during their bedtime story routine, reading the Amelia Bedelia book series and expressed how “words became love” in those evening hours.    

Books and words were a way of “connecting” for Quintero. She shared how e e cummings’s “[anyone live in a pretty how town]” made her realize she could “own the language and do whatever she wanted on the page,” no longer bound by the rules of grammar and punctuation. Quintero amused the audience when she said this recognition marked her path into writing  “angsty teen poetry…horrible, horrible poetry!” which she claims is “all gone now, thankfully…no one has to witness that!”

But this moment was a telling reveal for the future author, who would go on to win the William C. Morris YA debut novel award and Tomás Rivera book award. Quintero is, at heart, a poet. But anyone who has read Gabi, can see the lyrical rhythm and flow by the way she writes her characters’ thoughts and dialogue.

When Quintero attended college, she took her first Chicano literature class and tells the crowd how it was the “first time I’d ever seen myself in a book. It was [also] the first time I knew Mexicans could be writers, professionally…I didn’t know we [could do] that, because all we had read [were] dead white guys and dead white women.” Here she corrects herself and says, “Emily Dickinson…one dead white woman…and Langston Hughes,” to which everyone chimed in agreement as they remembered their own high school literature curriculum. She described how reading Chicano authors, like Michele Serros, “opened her eyes to what [she] could do and how [her] culture could be celebrated”.

Quintero reading "Dead Pig's Revenge"
With that, Quintero pulled out Serros’s “Dead Pig’s Revenge,” another defining piece of poetry that helped shape the author she was to become, and read to her audience. Later, she described how Serros’s writing helped her grasp the idea that she didn’t have to write about “things that were foreign to [her],” she could write about “chicharrones and tacos de lingua.” Quintero then began writing in “English, then Spanish” although she admits that her Spanish is “not academic, but her Spanglish is awesome!” raising another bout of laughter from the room.  
Quintero went onto another adolescent tale about breaking curfew at home to attend an “open mic” poetry night where she performed her first reading. This instant became her motto for how “strongly she feels about poetry and writing: yeah, I’ll break curfew for that!” Quintero exclaimed. She also believes writing is a “constant investigation of the self” and cites Gloria Anzaldúa as another influence in her work. Anzaldúa taught her about “responding to whiteness…and how [people of color] are taught to see themselves through a white lens. And when we are taught to do that we don’t see ourselves as a whole…we are white-washed, and often times we are stereotyped.”  

She also spoke to the audience about her collaboration with artist and friend, Zeke Peña, on their Getty-commissioned nonfiction graphic novel about famed photographer Graciela Iturbide. Quintero has another title release coming out next spring, the second in her children’s book series about Ugly Cat and Pablo. She discussed how her time as a library technician taught her how to write for a younger audience.

During the Q&A session, Quintero discussed how she started the Zine prior to writing Gabi, but completed it while she was in the process of finishing the book. She also disclosed how the novel was originally written in verse, but was advised by an editor to rewrite it in prose and took inspiration from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s format.  

A lyrical essay concerning her father’s relapse with his addiction will be coming out soon, and Quintero confessed how hard it was to write about her family and emotionally revisiting that occasion in her life. Her voice saddened when she said “I still feel it sometimes” when recalling the fearful moment and knowing her father could “die from this disease.”  

Quintero imparted writing advice to the aspiring authors in the crowd telling them to “be prepared to be emotionally exhausted” during their creative endeavors, and how Professor Julie Paegle from the California State University at San Bernardino was an inspiration for pursuing her craft. She told them how “there is no right way to be a writer” and that “writing is activism.” Quintero stressed that when writing for a younger audience she believes “we have a responsibility for truth and authenticity” and how “we don’t need to talk down to [children or teenagers].”

She recalled one of the first times she spoke for a class at a Lincoln Heights’ high school. One student questioned how she could be “proud of [her] culture, [when] she talks bad about it in her book (Gabi, A Girl in Pieces).” Quintero remarks how she thought it was a good question, because even though she may criticize her own culture, one has to realize that it isn’t “perfect, because there is going to be things we need to change and be better at” just like any culture.

One of the most profound moments during the event occurred prior to the Q&A session, when Quintero took on a more serious tone and told the audience what she has learned about her own authorial voice. "Being able to write and tell your own stories is a powerful act," she explained, "especially [for] people of color and [those in the] queer [community]." "We need to hear your stories,” she continued, "because when you don't write you give someone else the power to write for you."

Many thanks again to everyone who attended the event and especially to Isabel Quintero! We wish Ms. Quintero the best on her future writing endeavors and look forward to reading more of her work. You can follow her on Twitter @isabelinpieces

Stay tuned for NCSCL's exclusive interview with Isabel Quintero coming in mid-December!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

YA and Children's Author Visit: Isabel Quintero

Join us as we welcome author, Isabel Quintero, to SDSU! The bookstore will have Quintero's latest books for sale which include Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, her new children's series, Ugly Cat & Pablo, and her latest graphic novel. After the speaking engagement, hang around and meet the celebrated author who will be available to sign copies of her book--a perfect holiday gift for any book lover!

Stay Tuned for NCSCL's interview with Isabel Quintero in December! 

Friday, November 3, 2017

New CFPs from the Children's Literature Society and More!

The Children's Literature Society is seeking a call for papers for the 2018 American Literature Association 29th Annual Conference 

When: May 24th-28th, 2018
Where: Hyatt Regency in San Fransisco
Deadline for Submission: January 10th, 2018
How to Apply: Please send abstracts or proposals (around 300 words) and include academic rank and affiliation and AV requests to Dorothy Clark ( ) and Linda Salem ( )


Panel 1:

Disrupting Morality in Children's Literature.

In the 1800s Maria Edgeworth noted the difficulty of constructing stories ‘suited to the early years of youth, and, at the same time, conformable to the complicate relations of modern society.’  Children of 2018, a ‘rising generation’ of remarkably sophisticated individuals, face a startling array of challenges. In a great many ways, we have seen a new “moral literature” develop for children—stories that address science and technology, multiculturalism, diversity (gender, family, socio-economics), and re-envisioning history so that marginalized peoples and their narratives are addressed.  How does contemporary children's and young adult literature
“amuse and instruct” or otherwise communicate moral reasoning in an age of disruption? In what ways has the change in the construction of childhood influenced narratives? What roles do play, learning, obedience, behavior, and creativity have in today’s narratives, counter-narratives, anti-narratives, multi-narratives, and speculative narratives?

Panel 2:

Empathy, Affect, and Friendship in Children's Literature

Whether people talk about their own experiences of childhood friendship or lack of friendship and sense of isolation, the concepts of friendship, social acceptance and rejection play a powerful role in childhood and are a perennial theme in children’s literature. Where is comfort, compassion, affirmation or information about social isolation or connection in today's literature? How do modern writers convey and express common human emotions of love, fear, anger, hate, and sadness in this effort to affect the child reader?  And, do these reflect the changing construction of childhood as well as the deepening expansion of children’s literature into the domains of multiculturalism, diversity, and socio-economics?  Examples continue in multiple media—from such dynamic texts as The Recess Queen and Jacqueline Woodson’s Each
Kindness to the recent mega popular television series Stranger Things which defines friendship with rules like "friends don't lie" as a requisite for belonging to a group—friendship continues to be a central site of reflection in Children’s Literature.

Textmoot: Stories for the Refreshment of the Spirit

When: January 13th, 2018
Where: Scarborough College, Fort Worth, Texas
Deadline for Submissions: November 15th, 2017
How to Apply: Send abstract of under 200 words to

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Corey OlsenSignum University

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, Lucy Pevensie reads a lovely narrative spell in the Magician’s Book. It lifts her out of a petty state of jealousy, soothing her loneliness and easing her disappointment. In the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, humans and hobbits find healing for both body and spirit, including recovery from trauma and heartbreak. We are looking for proposals for flash-paper presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that rigorously investigate either depictions of healing in literature (especially speculative fiction) or applications of literature to real-life recovery. Questions and topics that may be considered include the following:
·         The tale in Coriakin’s book was “about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill,” evocative of both Arthurian legends and the Gospel narratives; consider healing as it is presented in Arthuriana or in the Biblical text.
·         Does Tolkien’s unique concept of “recovery” overlap with the medical or psychological definitions of that term?
·         Do certain genres lend themselves to tales of healing? Are redemption and recovery built into the trajectories of certain genres? Do some genres complicate those expectations?
·         Has literature been shown to aid individuals suffering from grief or trauma?
·         Has literature been shown to contribute to the healing of cultural traumas or to the causes of social or racial reconciliation?
·         Does literature build healthy communities?
·         Can literature ever cause, exacerbate, or contribute to trauma and woundedness?
Send abstract of under 200 words to by Nov. 15th.

CALL FOR CREATIVE PRESENTATIONS: In addition to academic paper panels, there will also be one session of short, original creative presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that explore or demonstrate the same questions and topics listed above. These presentations may include:
·         Original creative writing, such as poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction
·         Performances of original musical compositions
·         Display and discussion of original works of visual artCreative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (fewer than 200 words) of the presentation – including genre, medium, technical requirements, and connection to the symposium’s theme – and should also include a sample of the creator’s original work in the same genre/medium.

Extended CFP – SWPACA Myth and Fairytales

When: February 7th-10th, 2018
Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Deadline for Submissions: November 15th, 2017

All scholars working in the areas of myth and/or fairy tales are invited to submit paper or panel proposals for the upcoming SWPACA Conference. Panels are now forming on topics related to all aspects of myths and fairy tales and their connections to popular culture. To participate in this area, you do not need to present on both myths and fairy tales; one or the other is perfectly fine. Presentations considering both genres are of course welcome and can stimulate interesting discussions. Proposals for forming your own Myth or Fairy Tale-focused panel – especially panels focused on one particular myth/tale – are encouraged.
Paper topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):
·         Where Fairy Tales and Myth Overlap
·         Non-Western Myths and Fairy Tales
·         Revised Fairy Tales
·         Fairy Tales in/as “Children’s Literature”
·         Disney
·         Urban Fairy Tales
·         Ethnic Myths and Fairy Tales
·         Gendered Readings of Myths and Fairy Tales
·         Postcolonial Myths and Fairy Tales
·         Myths and Fairy Tales in Advertising Culture
·         Reading Myths and Fairy Tales in the Popular Culture of Past Centuries
·         Performing Myths and Fairy Tales: Drama and/or Ritual
·         Genres of Myths and/or Fairy Tales: Film, Television, Poetry, Novels, Music, Comic Books, Picture  Books, Short Stories, or Graphic Novels

Individual proposals for 15 minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 200-500 words.  Including a brief bio in the body of the proposal form is encouraged, but not required.  

UPDATE: EXTENDED DEADLINE: SWPACA Children’s/Young Adult Literature and Culture Area

When: February 7th-10th, 2017
Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Deadline for Submissions: November 15th, 2017


The Children’s/Young Adult Literature and Culture area covers a wide variety of possible mediums: traditional book/literature culture, but also comics, graphic novels, film, television, music, video games, toys, internet environment, fan fiction, advertising, and marketing tie-ins to books and films, just to name a few.  Proposals on fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or cross-genre topics are welcome.  Interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome, as are presentations that go beyond the traditional scholarly paper format.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
·         Diversity in Children’s and YA literature (gender, race/ethnicity, disability, body image, sexual identity)
·         Use of innovative formats for both children’s and YA literature
·         The next “big” thing in children’s and YA literature
·         Film adaptation issues
·         Historical approaches to children’s and YA literature and culture
·         New readings of children’s and YA literature and culture
·         Re-imaginings of myth, fairy tale, and other traditional stories
·         Explorations of specific authors in the children’s and YA areas
·         Fan fiction and fan followings of books, films, and authors
·         Beyond books and films
·         Awards for children’s and YA literature (issues and controversies)
Proposals on other topics related to Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Culture will be read with interest.
Individual proposals for 15 minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 200-500 words.  Including a brief bio in the body of the proposal form is encouraged, but not required.

 New Directions in Children’s Film

When: N/A
Where: N/A
Deadline for Submissions: November 30th, 2017
How to Apply: 

Chapter proposals are requested for a proposed handbook, New Directions in Children’s Film: Theory and Practice, edited by Casie Hermansson and Janet Zepernick and under consideration with Palgrave Macmillan. While children’s film is as old as film itself, film scholarship is only recently beginning to catch up to the numerous innovations of this thriving genre. This collection aims to chart the new directions in 21st century children’s film (broadly defined), and in its study.
Initial proposals of approximately 300 words should clearly address any aspect of current children’s film, including but not limited to children in/on film; evolving genre definitions and borders; censorship and gatekeeping; influence of technologies; adaptation issues; current thematic and other preoccupations; construction and constructedness of childhood representations; pedagogical issues; the child star system; money and the children’s markets. Please also include a professional biography written in 3rd person of 100-200 words, noting credentials in this research area as relevant. Deadline for proposals: November 30, 2017, by email to: . All submissions will be confirmed received by prompt email reply. Authors will be notified by December 15 about inclusion in the formal Prospectus and chapters of 6-8k words will be due in 2018. Please circulate and repost.

Children and Popular Culture
When: N/A
Where: N/A
Deadline for Earth: December 1st, 2017
How to Apply: The guest editor welcomes submissions of articles via the journal submission system on its SAGE Publishing site. See “Submission Guidelines” here:

Childhood and youth are always contested notions, but perhaps nowhere more than in popular culture. Popular culture offers representations of children and youth as, among other things, wise, dangerous, evil, innocent, sexual, doomed, and in various states of “in progress.” Popular culture is also the broad site of much child agency, where children and youth produce texts from novels to YouTube channels to websites, blogs, and zines, frequently outstripping their adult contemporaries in technological savvy and communicative capability. Popular culture for children is by turns condescending to the youngest audience, crass, pedantic, and appropriated by adults for their own pleasure. Elements of popular culture are designed to educate and socialize children; others are manipulated by children as political activism. These turns call into question and trouble conceptions not only of “the child” but of “popular culture” itself and propose a compelling nexus of questions befitting both Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies.
In this special issue, authors are invited to consider intersections of popular culture by, for, and about childhood, both broadly construed. We will explore both the impacts of popular culture on youth and childhood and the very real impacts of children and youth on popular culture. All disciplinary approaches are welcome, including but not limited to textual and visual analysis, ethnographic work, studies of children’s popular material culture, historical readings, comparative analysis of texts, and consumer and communication studies.
Additionally, contemplations of the interstices between Childhood Studies and Popular Culture Studies as academic endeavors are encouraged. The two fields have been in limited conversation with one another, perhaps separated by epistemological and methodological concerns, yet the available data seems like a rich vein for insight. While both fields are multi-disciplinary and continuously evolving, Childhood Studies maintains very clear traces of its roots in social sciences, while Popular Culture Studies is still found more often housed in the Humanities. The two fields each have at their center subjects that have at times made it difficult for them to be taken seriously as sites of academic inquiry. With different questions at their core, how can the two fields interact? Put another way, how do we study this multitude of texts?
Topics for this special issue might include:
·         Popular culture and education, whether intentional or inadvertent;
·         Children’s popular culture as grown-up nostalgia;
·         Youth vs. adult perspectives on popular culture;
·         Children and youth as producers of popular culture;
·         New media as empowering or oppressive;
·         Capabilities for communication and interconnectivity;
·         Adult consumption of children’s popular culture;
·         Children’s consumption of decades-old popular culture;
·         Definitions of youth in popular culture;
·         Nostalgia through revivals and reboots;
·         Social media;
·         Diminishing space between children’s and adult popular culture.