CFP Archives

Volume 1, Issue 2: Perceptions and Portrayals of Childhood

Submissions Deadline: November 4, 2013

The Unjournal of Children’s Literature is now accepting submissions on the topic of perceptions and portrayals of childhood in children’s literature. Traditional scholarly articles are welcome, as well as more creative approaches to addressing the subject.

The academic field of children’s literature often struggles with the definition, or indeed the existence, of childhood. While scholars like Jacqueline Rose and Perry Nodelman have long maintained that the adult-constructed perception of childhood dominates the field, others such as Jerry Griswold and Marah Gubar are exploring the role of the real child in children’s literature. We hope to enliven this discussion with thoughtful approaches that expand on one or more of these perceptions, examine various portrayals, or challenge the conceived notions of childhood with a point-of-view altogether unique.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Blurred boundaries between children’s books and adult books
  • The authenticity of the portrayal of the childhood experience
  • Children in adult roles in children’s lit
  • Interdisciplinary analyses of childhood in children’s lit (e.g., psychological, anthropological, historical, socio-cultural, geographical, etc)
  • Portrayals of adults in children’s lit
  • Children’s books that aren’t: Go the Fuck to Sleep, Animal Epitaphs and more
  • Child authors
  • The real versus the constructed child
  • The rhetoric of the constructed child in children’s lit
  • Essentials of childhood debunked
  • Child agency, either in child characters or in the field itself
  • Evolution of the concept of childhood
  • Effects of globalization on the understanding of childhood

Volume 1, Issue 1: Transformations

The Unjournal of Children’s Literature, the online journal founded by the ChildLit Graduate Student Association, will harness the creative identity of the SDSU graduate student body by showcasing their work [have since opened up to all scholars]. We are accepting submissions from graduate students in all disciplines who have projects related to the study of children’s literature or culture. Unconventional topics and approaches are encouraged; creative and quirky articles are given just as much merit as traditional scholarly articles.

The theme of the inaugural issue is “Transformations in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” Subjects may include but are not limited to stories of maturation, physical transformations, or the transformations of the genre itself (see topics below for suggestions). The potential organizational structure of the journal will include conference papers (past or present), reviews of scholarly books, articles on the visual elements of children’s literature, and original artwork. Because of our opportunity of exposure to Chicano/a children’s literature, we particularly welcome any submissions on the topic of border identity.

Scholarly articles should be conference paper-length (between 7-10 pages, double-spaced, in MLA citation style); conference papers past and present are welcome. Book reviews should be about 2-3 pages, double-spaced. Articles about the visual elements and other informal articles have no page requirements.* Original artwork needs to be submitted in JPEG format.

Topics can include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of children’s movies
  • Portrayal of adolescence
  • Physical transformations into fantastical forms
  • Transformations of readers’ minds
  • Sociological implications of the popularity of e-books for children
  • Contemporary interpretations of children’s tales
  • Transformations of the child body
  • Changes in the genre and its reception
  • Monumental texts that changed the genre (past and present)
  • Transformation of fairy tales (retellings in various media)
  • Any other interpretation of “transformations”

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