CFP: Race, Girlhood and Social Justice in Children's Literature, MLA 2013 (Boston, Jan 3-6)

full name / name of organization: 
Kristen Proehl/ Clemson U.
contact email: 

This proposed panel will explore the intersections of race, girlhood and social justice in children's literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Focusing especially upon the work of children's authors and illustrators of color, this panel will examine how and why narratives of girlhood often function as a medium for social commentary. Through the lens of literature, we will also consider how race, gender, and sexuality shape the contours of coming-of-age for girls in the United States and beyond. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: twentieth- and twenty-first-century multi-ethnic narratives of girlhood, such as the works of Cynthia Kadohata, Jacqueline Woodson, Julia Alvarez, Louise Erdrich, and Ed Young; teaching narratives of race and girlhood, from K-12 to the college-level; transnational representations of girlhood and race; and, African American girlhood and children's literature of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Please send a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV to Kristen Proehl,, and Sharon Holland,, by March 1, 2012.