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The 53rd Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Convention will be held in St. Louis, Missouri at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott from November 3-6, 2011. The 2011 informal convention theme is “Play… No, Seriously.”

We welcome paper proposals for a Children’s Literature panel entitled “Back on the Playground: ‘Grown-Up’ Writers Writing Children’s Literature”:

Lewis Carroll did it. C.S. Lewis did it. And today, the likes of Salman Rushdie, Louise Erdrich, Maya Angelou and Daniel Handler are doing it. These authors are “heavy hitters” in the world of adult literature who have come to play in the realm of children’s literature. How do the contributions of a Nobel laureate like Rushdie shift critical views of children’s literature — a field that has traditionally been ghettoized by the academic elite? Critic Judith Plotz once wrote that “Rushdie can conflate the moral values of politics with the aesthetic values of child’s play.” Are other authors performing similar balancing acts–and to what effects? When highly sophisticated and complex writers target children as an audience, it suggests their belief that these child readers may be similarly sophisticated and complex. How do these authors’ forays into the children’s scene reflect changing views of children as readers, as thinkers, and as consumers?

Please send 250 word abstracts by June 10 to Megan Musgrave,

For details on the 2011 M/MLA convention, follow this link:

CFP – Back on the Playground: “Grown-Up” Writers Writing Children’s Literature