Canonical, national, classic: all these terms imply quality with regard to children’s literature, but too often these labels ignore the forces of privileging a dominant group’s work over all others. Because the reifying of children’s literature means longer shelf-life, sales, and interest, the public curation of a nation’s children’s literature matters. An increase in global migration (for both economic and political reasons), shifting international relationships, and isolationist and nationalist movements around the world suggest that now is a useful moment to focus on the question of the composition of national children’s literatures. How are such histories compiled, and who has a stake in the creation, promotion, and maintenance of the idea of a national history of children’s literature? What voices are left out? Are there ways that non-dominant groups can usefully intervene in the curation process ensuring that a national children’s literature represents the nation? Guest editors Dr. Lucy Pearson, Dr. Aishwarya Subramanian, and Professor Karen Sands-O’Connor invite abstracts for papers on the theme of the curation of national histories of children’s literature. We are particularly interested in papers that consider how or if non-majority groups within a nation find space/place within the national conversation about children’s literature, and how different stakeholders (publishing, education, award committees, museums and archives) play a role in the creation and marketing of alternative voices in the national children’s literature story.
Papers will normally be 5000-7000 words in length; we may consider shorter submissions where these represent scholarship in emerging areas.
Abstracts due: 1 March 2018; completed papers 1 September 2018, publication July 2019.
Abstracts (300 words) and a short bio (150 words) should be submitted to IRCL.National.Literatures@gmail.com.