Thursday, October 12, 2017

CFP: 2018 Children's Literature Association Conference

2018 Children’s Literature Association 45th Annual Conference hosted by Texas State University
“Refreshing Waters/Turbulent Waters”

When: June 28th - 30th 2018
Where: San Antonio, Texas at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel
Deadline for Abstracts: Sunday, October 15th, 2017
How to apply: The ChLa Website

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Debbie Reese
Debbie Reese is a tribally enrolled member (citizen) of Nambe Pueblo, a federally recognized tribal nation in northern New Mexico. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Illinois, and an MLIS from San Jose State. A former school teacher and assistant professor in American Indian Studies, she publishes American Indians in Children's Literature, a resource and review site focused on depictions of Native peoples in children's and young adult literature. Her articles and chapters in journals and books are used in Education, Library Science, and English courses in the US and Canada. 

Description: Water is central to children’s and young adult literature as motif and metaphor: In Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising, two characters are in a relationship described as being separated by a wide, difficult-to-cross river; in The Lorax Dr. Seuss warns us to protect our environment by planting a truffula tree seed and enjoins us to “Give it clean water. And feed it clean air”; and the poetry of Langston Hughes uses water in its various forms to compare the complexities of race to a deep river, to characterize a lost dream as a “barren field frozen with snow,” and to call on us all to re-imagine and reclaim the American dream, saying that “We, the people, must redeem/ The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.”

While proposals to present research on a wide variety of topics, genres, and periods related to children’s and young adult literature, texts, and culture are always welcome and encouraged at our annual conference, a common theme can be a useful tool for thinking through texts and approaches in innovative ways. Proposals to present your current, original scholarship can include but are not limited to some of the meanings and forms water can take in literature and culture for younger readers:

       Water as symbol, allegory, setting, and metaphor in works of children’s literature; Water as healing, flowing, still, eroding, dividing, connecting, drowning, saving, violent, shallow, transparent, muddy, calm, or turbulent
       Rivers, lakes, streams, oceans, ponds, clouds, rain, snow, mud, slush, fog, and ice in fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry, cartoons and comics, historical fiction and science fiction, plays and films, toys and television programs, picture books and textbooks, etc. 
       The significance of water in specific cultures, communities, families, traditions
       Water and race; segregated drinking fountains and swimming pools; rivers as sites of travel, settlement, or colonization, of collaboration and contestation, of freedom and enslavement
       Water in indigenous cultures and literatures
       Oceans crossed, migrations, colonizations, the Middle Passage
       Access or lack of access to clean drinking water, water shortages, contested waters, water rights, water protectors, water and poverty, water as commodity, water as power
       Water and the environment, water pollution, environmental activism, climate change, rising waters, Standing Rock, Flint
       Water, spirituality, and religion; sacraments, blessings, and baptisms; water as sacred
       Animated, illustrated, photographed, filmed, or virtual waters
       Regional literature, the San Antonio and San Marcos Rivers, state and local cultures and histories, local indigenous literatures, San Antonio’s contested histories, Texas and/in children’s books 
       Water spaces and their social functions; waterways as hubs, connectors, or dividers
       Water symbols and metaphors in discussions about identities, sexualities, genders, ethnicities, races, abilities, sizes, and ages 
       Water as a life source and/or potential destroyer
       Water and play; water guns and water balloons; water’s role in childhood or its construction; sprinklers, waterparks, fire hydrants, and baths before bedtime
       Water as a weapon, water cannons and fire hoses
       Water creatures, real and/or mythic, animals anthropomorphized, water personified 
       Water as poetic inspiration; books as oases for readers; renewal and rebirth: personal, cultural, spiritual, and/or literary, including reboots in media and literature
       Water as social and political symbol, the tides of change, the rising flood
       Water and immigration, dislocation, refugees
       Interpreting real and fictional waters through various critical lenses: literary criticisms, queer theories, ecocritism, critical race theories, materialism, feminist theories, disability studies, etc. 

    Given that Texas State is the home of the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award, discussions of Tomás Rivera Book Award winners and honor books would also be welcomed (; book awards generally; monolingual and bilingual works for children; translation of children’s literature

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