Radical Young People’s Literature and Culture conference (Dublin, 29th and 30th March 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
December 7, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
The Irish Society for the Study of Children's Literature (https://issclblog.wordpress.com)
contact email: 

Radical Young People’s Literature and Culture 

The Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature biennial conference

Friday 29th and Saturday 30th March 2019

Marino Institute of Education, Dublin 9, Ireland 

Keynote address: Professor Kimberley Reynolds 

It is now over ten years since Kimberley Reynolds highlighted the importance of radical dimensions of children's literature in her book, Radical Children’s Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations in Juvenile Fiction. Texts for young people have always been embedded in norms, concepts and systems regarding socialisation, education, and enculturation and offer empowering and disempowering possibilities for everyone who engages with them. Concepts of childhood, youth literature and youth culture are situated and operate within diverse contexts and contested spaces which are negotiated by readers, audiences, publishers, creative industries, authors, librarians, teachers, families, gate keepers, institutions, cultural movements, and political and religious groups. Radical youth literature challenges dominant expectations and norms about childhood, society, socialisation, and young people’s reading, acts as a force for change and encourages children and young adults to question the authority of those in power. In today’s world, the role and liberating possibilities of radical youth culture and literature have become even more urgent.

This conference will explore the experimental, subversive and/or disruptive potential of Irish and international literature and culture for young people. The conference will also consider the extent to which children’s and young-adult texts and culture can promote, cultivate and/or establish radical representations and ideas. In what ways is today’s radical youth literature different from that of earlier decades? What contemporary issues are addressed in radical youth literature and culture and how? To what extent have publishing, schools, libraries, multimedia and entertainment industries engaged with radical youth texts and radical youth culture? How is radical children’s and young adult literature and culture created, distributed, enacted and experienced?

The purpose of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature is to promote academic research into children’s literature: https://issclblog.wordpress.com. Membership is open to scholars from Ireland and other countries, and to researchers at all career stages, including postgraduate students. We welcome members from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, history, education, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, and fine arts. We seek to foster a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of youth literature.

Please email an abstract and a biographical note to isscl.committee@gmail.com by 5pm Friday 7th December 2018. You will be notified of the outcome of the selection process in mid January 2019. 250-350-word abstracts are welcomed but not limited to the below areas and themes. Cuirfear fáilte roimh pháipéir trí Ghaeilge.

  • Class
  • Gender
  • Sexualities
  • Age and ageing
  • Ethnicity
  • Nationality
  • Embodiment
  • Performativity
  • Social engagement
  • Children’s rights
  • Engagement with new media, technologies, film, television, theatre etc.
  • Adaptation and/or translation
  • Visual narratives e.g. picturebooks, comics
  • Radical forms and/or genres
  • Fandom and fan cultures
  • Disruptive texts