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(Re)reading Classics in Children’s Literature
4th Children’s Literature Association of India (CLAI) International Conference
Venue: Bharatmatha College, Thrikkakara-Cochin, Kerala
Date: 19-21 November 2010

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Alida Allison, San Diego State University, USA

Think of reading your favorite childhood books again… The Panchatantra, The Ramayana, The Mahabarata; Aesop’s Fables, Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, the Oz books: we all have our own lists. We invite you to celebrate “clouds of glory” in reconsidering the meaning of these books in your own life and especially in your teaching and scholarship.

Critics define children’s literature classics in different ways. Christian Emmrich finds children’s classics to be those that have successes with readers of different classes and different nationalities over several generations and are often best-sellers. Emer O’Sullivan discusses three resources:

  1. Adaptations of works from adult literature, such as Robinson Crusoe or Romeo and Juliet
  2. Adaptations from myth and folkore
  3. Original works for children such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Hobbit

Possible topics are:

  • When does a book become a “classic”? Who decides?
  • What vision do these books present of childhood? Of social class? Of family life? Of gender roles? Of race?
  • How do these books address multiple audiences, such as child and adult?
  • Are classic books still of interest to young readers, given contemporary formats for literature (graphics, a lot of white space on pages), or are they only historical artifacts?
  • How do you assess the transformation of adult works into books for children, for example, renditions of Shakespeare?
  • How successful are translations of one culture’s classics into another’s?
  • How were the books you are discussing received in their day? How has that reception changed?
  • Whom have these classics books influenced?
  • any other aspects of classics in children’s literature

Kindly send your paper proposals (250 words) to the conference chair Dr. Laly Eugene, Department of English, Bharat Mata College, Thrikkakara, Cochin, Kerala. Or email her:, and please send a copy of it to or on or before 30 August 2010.

More information regarding conference fee, booking accommodations, etc. will be posted to the participants individually.

CFP – (Re)reading Classics in Children’s Literature