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Revolt, Rebellion, Protest: Change and Insurrection in Children’s Literature
June 23-25, 2011
Hollins University – Roanoke, Virginia

Call for Papers

Revolution, upheaval, protest, and cultural change have swept over the world in repeating cycles since civilization began and literature for children has encouraged those changes or deplored them, but always recorded them in its pages. So in 2011, at the 38th Annual Children’s Literature Association Conference, we will look at the way and speed at which our world is changing, through the lens of children’s literature. We will consider how children’s literature and characters in children’s literature, in all media from books to video games, institute change, transgress the norm, protest the status quo or seek to protect it.

We also welcome papers on the work of Virginia Euwer Wolff, winner of the 2011 Phoenix Award for her novel The Mozart Season.

Some suggested topics follow, but other ideas are welcome and encouraged:

  • The idealization of the past in children’s literature
  • Patriotism and children’s literature
  • The “red diaper babies,” children of leftist or radical parents
  • Competing historical visions (Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Disney’s Song of the South for instance)
  • Historical fiction vs. works written during the revolution itself
  • The trickster figure in children’s literature
  • The American Revolution, the French Revolution, or the English Civil War
  • Children’s Literature as a mirror of changing socials values and norms
  • Explorations of racial and gender discrimination in children’s literature
  • The use of fantastic worlds and settings to explore traditionally taboo topics
  • Visions of society in series such as “Dear America” and the “American Girl” books
  • Depictions of the civil rights, anti-war, and women’s movements of the last century
  • Censorship and children’s literature
  • The “problem book” and championing a cause
  • Literature of the immigrant child
  • Chicano and Latino children’s literature
  • Historical context and changing social values – how a text may be enlightened for its time and embarrassing in our own

Send 300-500 word paper proposals to Kathryn Graham, paper selection committee chair, at Deadline January 15, 2011.

For more information and conference updates go to:

CFP – Revolt, Rebellion, Protest: Change and Insurrection in Children’s Literature