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Call for Papers – Special Issue of International Research in Children’s Literature: Children’s Engagement with the Political Process
Editors: Farah Mendlesohn and Blanka Grzegorczyk

Although there has been a great deal of critical material on dystopic children’s literature, there is a great deal less on children’s engagement with the organisation of the world around them. Children themselves have always been engaged with both domestic and transnational socio-political issues. The experience of achieving socio-political consciousness involves a recognition of the existence of unequal power relations, their consequences and the possibility of acting to change them.

We welcome articles on the topic of children’s engagement with political activity, and/ or which demand some critical reckoning from readers, inviting them to think their way into alternative political possibilities.

Possible topics might include:

  • The experience of young people growing up during periods of conflict/impasse
  • Texts committed to children and young people exploring the underlying causes of conflict
  • The experience of children and young people in school or community politics
  • Formal developments that reinvigorate the political function of texts for children

We particularly welcome explorations of politics outside the Anglo-American context.

Blanka Grzegorczyk is the author of Discourses of Postcolonialism in Contemporary British Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2015) and Terror and Counter-Terror in Contemporary British Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2019).

Farah Mendlesohn is the author of The Inter-Galactic Playground: Science Fiction for Children and Teens (McFarland, 2009) and (Re) Creating Memory: Children’s Literature and the English Civil War, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should indicate texts and critical apparatus. Final essays are expected to be between 5000 and 7000 words. Images desirable but authors must secure permissions.

Abstracts due: 1 September 2019
Submission date: 1 April 2020
Publication in December 2020
Please submit abstracts to

CFP – Special Issue of IRCL: Children’s Engagement with the Political Process