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Call For Papers
If We’re Being Honest: The Facts and Fictions of Children’s Literature
The 2012 Biennial Conference of the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR)
National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT, June 20 – 22, 2012

Debates about notions of honesty, openness, innocence and agency have abounded in both the study and practice of children’s and young adult literature. The 2012 Biennial ACLAR conference will explore the contemporary tensions between some of these key debates, with particular emphasis upon the role of children’s literature in the digital world. Confirmed keynote speakers include Prof. Clare Bradford* (Deakin University), Prof. Kerry Mallan (Queensland University of Technology) and writer/illustrator Shaun Tan.

Presenters are invited to submit abstracts exploring aspects of the conference theme; *”If We’re Being Honest: The Facts and Fictions of Children’s Literature.”

Such explorations may address one of the following strands:

  • Making It Up (fictionality, the dynamics of truth and fiction)
  • To Educate and Protect (didacticism, ideology)
  • The Glass Half Full (optimism/pessimism and the future)
  • Drawing the Lines (readerships, social change, boundary transgressions)
  • Writing the iChild (technology, shifting modes of narrative)
  • Sex, and Me (sexuality, gender, identity)
  • Let Us All Rejoice? (Australian identity, national consciousness)
  • Powered by History (steampunk, Victoriana, the role of the past in the narratives of the present)
  • The Death of the (Children’s) Author (the author as “personality,” the implied author, the children’s or YA writer as arbiter of public discourse)
  • This Imperfect Tomorrow (Dystopia/Catastrophe literature)
  • Places and Spaces (landscape, liminality)

Applicants are also welcome to submit abstracts exploring alternative strands that relate to the overall conference theme.

Abstracts should directly address the conference theme and should identify specific texts, theoretical and/or methodological approaches to be discussed. For an individual, 20-minute paper, abstracts should be no more than 250 words. Groups wishing to collaborate on the presentation of 60 or 90-minute panels should submit an abstract of up to 500 words, detailing how the overall presentation will fit into the conference theme, the individual critical and theoretical approaches to be taken by each speaker, and the envisaged structure for the session. All panel sessions should include time for Q&A with each speaker, and 90-minute panels would ideally include some time for a discussion with the entire panel.

Papers can address both critical and/or practice-led approaches to the study of children’s literature.

Abstracts should be submitted by email to: with the heading “ACLAR Abstract.”

More information at:

CFP – If We’re Being Honest: The Facts and Fictions of Children’s Literature