Diversities in/and Comparative Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Dernier délai pour cet appel à contributions de la Children’s Literature Association Conference, Columbia, South Carolina, USA, June 19-21, 2014.

Papers considering aspects of plurality within Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Culture will be given highest priority, but all essays on the genre will be considered. Paper abstracts should be 250 words, and written in English. Abstracts will be accepted until January 14, 2014. Please submit to daniela@sc.edu

Diverging Diversities:

Plurality in Children’s & Young Adult Literature Then and Now


The 2014 Children’s Literature Association Conference invites papers that consider the diversification of the genre—and its limits—both within the U.S. and internationally.  The most common understanding of “diversity” in children’s literature relates to ethnic and/or racial diversity. This conference will consider the concept more broadly to include disabilities (differing abilities), gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic class, and region (especially depictions of the South in children’s books).  Further, it will consider the ways in which a shifting U.S. population and the effects of deindustrialization, migration to the Sunbelt, and so forth, have influenced children’s literature.  Other topics to be considered include historical conceptions of plurality, historical innovations in form, adaptations and re-adaptations of texts, the internationalization of the children’s literature market, and how the “prizing” of children’s and Literature has fostered or frustrated diversity.


Though certainly not limited to these ideas, essays might address:


  • The meaning and significance of diversity in children’s and YA literature in the 21st century
  • Innovations in form and aesthetics that reflect diverse populations
  • How texts by and about social and cultural minorities have shaped mainstream children’s and YA literature
  • The impact of bilingual children’s books and books in translation
  • Regional and international influences in children’s and YA literature
  • The role of visual images in diversifying children’s literature
  • The social and cultural influence of diversity in non-book media for children and young adults
  • The individual and instructional forces advocating for, and posing obstacles to, continued diversification of children’s literature
  • Projections of how recent developments in the field may continue to diversify the genre
  • The work and literary legacy of Augusta Baker,  a pioneer in African American children’s literature and the University of South Carolina’s  Storyteller-in-Residence from 1980 to 1994
  • The life and work of Anita Lobel, a featured artist at the conference

Cécile Boulaire

maître de conférences HDR à l'Université de Tours, est spécialisée en littérature pour la jeunesse.

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