Document Icon

Sexualities and Children’s Cultures: A Special Issue of Children’s Literature Association Quarterly

Since the 1998 publication of Kenneth B. Kidd’s special issue of ChLAQ on gay and lesbian children’s literature, scholarly conversations both from within and outside the field of children’s literature and culture have continued to evolve. Critics have explored a variety of subjects, including essentialism and the fluidity of identities, the queer and/or sexualized child, and the politics of sex, sexualities, and (hetero)normativity and deviance. Earlier this year in Over the Rainbow: Queer Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Kidd and Michelle A. Abate stated that while they’ve observed obvious progress in scholarship on queer children’s literature and in queer studies, they ultimately remain “curious about the work to come, which may or may not look familiar.”

To both extend and challenge contemporary discourses regarding sexualities and children’s cultures, this special issue of ChLAQ is devoted to considerations of queerness and sexualities in children’s and young adult literature, media, and culture. Co-editors Thomas Crisp and Lance Weldy invite papers that address any aspect of these ongoing conversations, including (but not limited to):

  • The sexual(ized) and/or queer child in literature, media (i.e., film, television, technology), and toy culture
  • Borders and boundaries: the adult and the [sexualized] child (i.e., point-of-view and implied readership/viewership; constructing childhood/adulthood; adult portrayals of [sexualized] children; adult media about children; voyeurism and adult creation/consumption of media depicting underage sexuality; depicting adults as children or children as adults; pedophilia/hebephilia; child-loving/child-hating)
  • Constructions and representations of gender, sexualities, and/or identities (i.e., essentialism/fluidity of identity categories; coming-of-age and rites of passage; [hetero]normativity and deviancy)
  • Morality, politics, and the policing of sexuality (i.e., the age of consent, pre-marital sex, teen pregnancy)

Papers should conform to the usual style of ChLAQ and be between 5000-7000 words in length. Please submit completed essays to Thomas Crisp ( by 1 November 2011. The selected articles will appear in ChLAQ 37.3, Fall 2012.

CFP – Special Issue of Children’s Literature Association Quarterly: Sexualities and Children’s Cultures