The First Biennial Interdisciplinary Symposium hosted by the Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature at Hollins University
Call for Papers:
Own and Other Voices
The First Biennial kidlit@hollins Symposium
Thursday-Sunday, July 9-12, 2020
Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia
Cochaired by Dhonielle Clayton and Lisa Rowe Fraustino
“The category of Other is as primordial as consciousness itself. In primitive societies, in the most ancient mythologies, one finds the expression of duality—that of the Self and the Other….Otherness is a fundamental category of human thought.”
–Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949
American and English diasporic children’s literature plays a fundamental role in unconsciously reproducing the category of Self as white and male, and the rest of humankind as “Other.” Recent attempts to shift consciousness away from this include the hashtag #ownvoices coined on Twitter in 2015 by Corinne Duyvis, to use, she explains, “for whatever marginalized/diverse identity you want…and for whatever genre, category or form of art you want. As long as the protagonist and the author share a marginalized identity.” Of course, one marginalized identity no adult can share is that of a child. Still, we speak for children from their narrative viewpoints.
This interdisciplinary symposium invites papers that theorize and seek solutions to marginalization and the paradox of adult “Others” producing literature and culture for children. We seek submissions from publishing practitioners and scholars in any discipline and from any ethnic, gender, or abled identity. The organizers expect that an edited collection of essays will emerge from the symposium. Some (but not all) possible questions for exploration include:
- How can interdisciplinary critical and creative approaches help us understand diverse representations in children’s literature and culture?
- How can we address and correct whiteness as the default reality in children’s literature and culture?
- How can scholars, publishers, writing programs, publishers, and practioners respond in productive ways to the call-out culture of social media?
- What do we do with texts and cultural productions by own-voice creators who are both acclaimed and called-out?
- What are some alternative pedagogies for teaching creative writing in children’s literature programs?
- In what ways can we apply Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality to strengthen the equity and social justice values of children’s literature and culture?
- How can authors and illustrators best handle cross-cultural casts of characters in children’s books?
- What can be done to address the dominance of American and U.K. children’s literature internationally and lack of translation of diverse texts into English?
- What is the role of animal others and anthropomorphism in perpetuating bias, and how can we handle animal representation more responsibly?
- What is the impact of genre conventions on representation in various media, e.g., visual narrative in picture books?
- How can we recognize and understand hidden patterns of bias or poorly understood representation of particular marginalized groups in canonical or critically acclaimed texts?
- What are some exemplary models and how can they teach us all to do better?
Join us to learn from award-winning authors and scholars.
Please contact Lisa Rowe Fraustino at firstname.lastname@example.org