CFP: Sites of Memory in Children’s Literature

CFP: Sites of Memory in Children’s Literature, MLA 2015 (Vancouver, BC)

Remembering, remembrance, memory, and forgetting shapes children’s literature: authors’ personal memories of childhood that inform their texts or are preserved in cross-written texts or memoirs; larger cultural memories adults wish to pass down to future generations; and events, incidents, and topics elided or “forgotten” in the canon. Indeed, the genre of children’s literature relies on the remembrance, reinterpretation, or revision of past works. This panel invites papers considering all aspects of memory in children’s and young adult literature (historical, literary, nostalgic, patriotic, personal, repressed, traumatic, etc.) as well as papers that explore how literary memory shapes the canon of children’s and YA literature through intertextuality, another site of memory.

Topics prospective panelists might wish to address include, but are not limited to:

·      Adult memories of childhood mined from archives, letters, diaries, memoirs, libraries, school classrooms, or childhood reading practices

·      Cultural and historical events remembered, forgotten, elided, or revised in works of children’s and young adult literature

·      The role of remembrance and nostalgia in canon formation: forgotten texts that are making a comeback (e.g., Henty’s novels in the homeschooling community) or texts that should be remembered

·      How intertextuality functions to challenge, negotiate, or reinterpret ideas of youth, children’s literature, and/or YA literature

·      Genre: historical, theoretical, or institutional practices of remembering and forgetting what constitutes children’s literature

·      Traumatic memories: how they’re represented in individual works as well as how they’re presented to younger readers

·      Iconic texts about remembrance: anything to do with war, but also “holiday” books and texts about important historical events

Please send 500-word proposals by March 15 to Karin Westman at westmank@ksu.edu.

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