Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Underneath the Juniper Tree Literary Magazine

Kathleen Rushall, graduate of the SDSU M.A. program in children's literature and current literary agent at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, recently shared with us a literary magazine for those with a penchant for the dark, macabre, gothic, and creatively neurotic. Under the Juniper Tree is a non-profit online magazine that supports budding authors and artists with a twist toward the shadows. "We aim to promote the most creatively fantastical and darkly neurotic literature that has been much loved over the centuries and will be loved for centuries to come" (from magazine description).

For any students or new authors and illustrators interested in dark children's literature and "Edward Gorey style art," as Kathleen points out, this magazine would be a great place to explore fresh new storytelling and submit some of your own. Check it out: http://issuu.com/underneaththejunipertree

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Unjournal of Children's Literature Is Officially Published

The inaugural issue of The Unjournal of Children's Literature has been published! The SDSU-based editors and staff worked exhaustively to get this first installment up and invite you to explore it. With two articles, a book review, two interviews with Dr. Jerry Griswold, and introductory looks at artists focusing on childhood themes, The Unjournal is off to a great start, and we expect to publish new additions to the first issue in the weeks and months to come as well.

Reception has already been positive; we have received numerous words of encouragement and recognition from our mentors and supporters, including Dr. Griswold himself: 
The debut The Unjournal of Children’s Literature presents the surpassing prose and artwork of, for the most part, graduate students at San Diego State University. Besides bringing honor to the university, this publication offers a highly original and new voice in the field of literary studies. Everyone involved is to be congratulated, envied, and admired.
I say this not withstanding the fact that I am the subject of two interviews in The Unjournal where I am presented as a gray-haired eminence and referred to as “esteemed,” “important,” “charming,” etc.  While grateful, please be advised that I will not be coaxed by adulation into respectability. It’s more fun to be a pirate than a decorated admiral. 
You can see why we were so eager to involve Dr. Griswold in the first issue; it's certainly more amusing to work with a pirate than a decorated admiral too.

To learn more about The Unjournal, read the details here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Environmental Crisis in Young Adult Fiction

A few weeks ago we shared a CFP for the upcoming Graduate Student Conference at Harvard, Sensing Wonder, Serious Play: Ecology and Children's Literature. The deadline for their submissions is August 15, so you have some time if you're interested in it.

If, like myself, you are intrigued by the concept but largely unfamiliar with the study of eco-criticism, maybe the following book will help. Environmental Crisis in Young Adult Fiction, by Alice Curry, addresses feminism and the environment in YA literature (particularly post-apocalyptic lit, which we all know there's no shortage of these days).
  ...it explores the narrative techniques by which contemporary young adult authors attempt to develop a sustainable ethic of care that can encompass ‘feminised’ peoples and spatialities, including nonhumans and the environment. With particular reference to the ways in which global processes are mapped onto the local landscape, it advocates a poetics of earth to replace the disengaged planetary consciousness often engendered through crisis. (from the publisher's description)
My current research involves examining space and geography in children's literature, so certain keywords of this description stand out to me. If someone has read this book or intends to in the near (or distant) future, I'd love some feedback. For now, Palgrave Macmillan has a discount code for 50% the text: WECYAF2013a (entered at checkout).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Recent Children's Lit Publications

Adding to the wealth of scholarly material on children's literature are two recent publications, including a journal issue and an international book title.

1. Newest Issue of The Looking Glass online journal

Vol. 17 No. 1 has just been published, with articles that consider the intellectual elements that readers use to create their meaning from texts.
They have Lemony Snicket, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Pied Piper, history and spirituality all being explored, with plenty of questions for you to ponder.

2.  New Book on Children's Literature in Foreign Language Teaching

If you are interested in the role of children's literature in foreign language teaching and if you read German, then you might be interested in this new book:

Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Fremdsprachenunterricht, by Emer O'Sullivan & Dietmar Rösler
Tübingen: Stauffenburg 2013


Friday, July 12, 2013

CFP: Worcester Papers - 'Representation of the Body in Fantasy and Gothic Literature '

Call for Papers
Representation of the Body in Fantasy and Gothic Literature 

Papers are invited for Issue 9 (2013) of Worcester Papers (ISSN 1749-1150) to be published in December 2013. This issue will be themed 'Representations of the Body in Fantasy and Gothic Literature', aiming to explore the undeniable influence of the body in these genres. This issue welcomes articles that examine the varied portrayals of the physical in the wide range of Gothic and Fantasy literature including, but are not limited to the following topics:
-    The subversive body
-    Corporeal transition/hybridity and the body
-    Embodying gender
-    Body under attack/ bodily betrayals
-    Notions of alterity
-    Body in illustrations

Please send 250 word abstracts, along with a brief biography by September 7th  2013 to 
n.aziz@worc.ac.uk. Successful submissions will be notified by September 21st 2013. Final articles, in MLA style, font Times New Roman font size 12, double spaced, between 4,000 to 6,000 words must be received by November 7th 2013.

About Worcester Papers.
Worcester Papers is a journal produced by the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts at the University of Worcester, Worcester, UK. The journal is edited by postgraduate students in collaboration with an editorial board of experienced academics. The articles are peer reviewed. The journal is registered with the British Library. The International Forum for Research in Children's Literature is within the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts under the directorship of Prof Jean Webb. IFRCL is an interdisciplinary research group working in children's literature, historical perspectives, drama, film, illustration and interpreting text in the widest sense.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and articles. Thank you.
contact: Fateha Aziz, n.aziz@worc.ac.uk. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Multicultural Picture Books on Ramadan

Around the world, Muslims have begun to observe fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The next four weeks  will include resisting food and water from dawn until sunset, as well as tempering one's lifestyle to be more reflective, charitable, and understanding.

To celebrate this annual experience, here are two recent picture books that convey the rich messages of Ramadan and contribute to the dearth of diverse literature that exists for children, but need only be sought.

Under the Ramadan Moon, by Sylvia Whitman (2011).
The lyricality of this book makes it stand out, and its repeated verses mirror the importance of ritual and tradition that highlight a single day of Ramadan, including waking up before dawn to eat and pray, and breaking fast among family and friends. It serves as an artful introduction to Ramadan.

White Nights of Ramadan, by Maha Addasi (2008)
I reviewed this book earlier this year for the SDSU Book Reviews. For now I will say that the lush colors bring to life a culturally specific holiday (from Kuwait and other Gulf countries) that occurs midway through Ramadan -- Girgian. It's festive and thoughtful, and does a great job of capturing the spirit of month.

Monday, July 8, 2013

21st IRSCL Conference: Children's Literature and Media Cultures

21st IRSCL conference
10th-14th August 2013
2013 Congress, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Theme: Children’s Literature and Media Cultures

The 21st biannual IRSCL conference will be be hosted this year by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on August 10th -14th, 2013.

Contemporary children and adolescents divide their time over many different media. These media do not develop in isolation. Rather, they shape each other by continually exchanging content and modes of mediation. This conference addresses the exchanges between children’s literature and adjacent newer and older media (oral narrative, theatre, film, radio, TV, digital media).
Media are best defined as cultural practices that forge specific links between senders and receivers of messages, facilitating certain types of communicative behavior. As newer media tend to imitate if not absorb older media, they force older media to continually reassert their uniqueness and indispensability in a rapidly changing media landscape. How has children’s literature staked out its own niche in these historically variable ‘mediascapes’ in the course of time? How do electronic and digital media affect children’s emergent literacy and literary competence? How have children’s books and the newer electronic and digital media impacted on children’s play? What sort of communicative behaviors are facilitated by the diverse media available to children and adolescents nowadays? Which ethical and political issues are raised by the fact that children’s literature has to share its claim to the audience’s attention with a whole gamut of alternative media? These questions are central to the 21st biennual conference of the IRSCL.
The aim of the conference is to strengthen the ever closer ties between children’s literature scholars and media experts, and to bridge the gap between hermeneutic methods from the humanities and empirical, experimental methods from the social sciences.
The conference will include the following tracks:

I Historical Perspectives:
  • orality and literacy
  • the changing place of children’s books within shifting media ecologies
  • adaptations of children’s literature to other media
  • remediation (the absorption and reorganization of older media in newer children’s media)
  • children’s media and children’s play
  • narratives across media (picture books, comic strips, graphic novels, games etc.)
II Sociological, Ethnographic and Cultural Studies’ Perspectives
  • children and online communities
  • fan practices (fan videos, comics, fiction, role play and costume play)
  • age and media: how do media solidify and destabilize distinctions between age groups?
  • the circulation of social stereotypes (class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion) between children’s media
  • migration, globalization and children’s media
III Pedagogical Perspectives
  • emergent literacy and literary competence  in a multimedia  world
  • the dynamic acquisition of media literacy
  • the acquisition of cultural literacy through diverse children’s media
  • online contexts for promoting children’s literature
  • digital environments  for researching children’s literature
IV Ethical and Political Perspectives
  • strategies of (dis)information in children’s media
  • children’s media and issues of  age-appropriateness (media moral panics)
  • the ethics of social media
  • children’s media and global inequality (digital divides)
V  Other related topics

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Call for papers: Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research

Following are three Call for Papers for Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research.
For information on any of them, please see www.barnboken.net.

1. For the Spring 2014 issue: “You're Out of Control!” The Unruly Child in Children’s Literature

Unruly, wild and loud children are common in children’s literature. Indeed, there seems to be a need to portray children outside parental control, or even of children who rebel against oppressive adult regimes, as in Shockheaded Peter or Pippi Longstocking. One could argue that children’s and YA fiction establishes a zone of freedom where (fictional) children are allowed a measure of freedom. It is of course true that the unruly and anarchic child can be used as a warning, but more often than not the disobedient and troublesome child saves the day. Both Astrid Lindgren’s Emil and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter are rule-breakers who go their own ways, yet they ultimately bring about harmony and redemption.

The unruly child can be seen from different perspectives. Concepts that can open up the notion of the unruly child include: identity, power (not least between adult-child), normativity, body, performativity, animalism, and queer. Some of the questions that beg to be asked are: what is the role of the unruly child in children’s literature? What are the limits of “unruliness”? How close is the state of the wild child to that of animals? Thus, the wild, the loud and the unruly will be the Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research Spring theme 2014. We welcome proposals and articles in that spirit, and we do so up until:

23 September 2013 (proposals)
25 November 2013 (articles)

2. For the Autumn 2014 issue: Britt G. Hallqvist 100 Years

Britt G. Hallqvist (1914-1997) is one of the most important figures in Swedish children’s literature during the 20th C. Her contribution is at once deep and versatile. From the début with the comic masterpiece Rappen’s på Blåsopp [The Rappens of Blåsopp] in 1950, over numerous children’s and YA-books, several collections of poetry and verse, children’s drama, to children’s songs, hymns and prayers, her work is characterized by a both playful and exact attitude to language. Equally important was her role as a congenial translator of children’s literature. She translated Kipling’s The Jungle Books, Wilder’s The Little House on the Prairie, Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and Tolkien’s The Hobbit, to just mention a few. Finally, in her translations just as in her original work, she switched with perfect ease from pose to poetry as can be seen in her indispensable translations of nonsense poetry (Plath, Lear, Eliot, Krüss) into Swedish. Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research will devote the 2014 Autumn issue to Britt G. Hallqvist and her contribution to Swedish children’s literature. We welcome proposals and articles up until:

25 November 2013 (proposals)
1 April 2014 (articles)

3. For the Spring 2015 issue: The Institutions that Shape Children’s Literature: Schools, Publishers and Libraries

Children’s literature cannot be reduced to the book the reader holds in her hand. The act of reading comes at the end of a long chain of actions, all of which are prompted and supported by different literary, cultural, pedagogical institutions (schools, libraries) as well as by commercial interests (publishers, booksellers). Thus, to understand the conditions that shape children’s literature and children’s reading it is necessary to scrutinize children’s literature as a cultural field with its own infrastructure. Through which channels do children’s books reach the child reader? What is the role of publishers, libraries, reading campaigns, reviews of children’s books, literary prizes? Which discourses about children and childhood shape the institutions of children’s literature? What is the role of new technologies and media forms in creating new arenas for children’s literature? Which tools can children’s literature research bring to bear on the field of children’s literature and the cultural practices of reading? These are some of the questions that Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research will address in the 2015 Spring issue. We welcome proposals and articles on these and related topics up until:

12 August 2014 (proposals)
25 November 2014 (articles)

For more information, please see www.barnboken.net.

Åsa Warnqvist, editor
Swedish Institute for Children’s Books
Odengatan 61
SE-113 22 Stockholm
Tel: + 46 8 54 54 20 51. E-mail: barnboken@sbi.kb.se