CFP: [Children] Asterisks and Obelisks: Greece and Rome in Childrenâs Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Owen Hodkinson
contact email: 

Call for papers: Asterisks and Obelisks: Greece and Rome in Children’s
University of Wales Lampeter, 6-10 July 2009.
Organisers: Helen Lovatt (Nottingham); Owen Hodkinson (Lampeter).

Keynote speakers: Prof. Edith Hall, RHUL
                        Prof. Sheila Murnaghan, Pennsylvania
                        Prof. Deborah Roberts, Haverford College

Children’s authors confirmed as participating:

Michael Cadnum (author of many versions of classical myths based on Ovid
Lucy Coats (Atticus the storyteller’s Greek myths)
Caroline Lawrence (the Roman Mysteries series),

Deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2008

This conference will be the first major conference on receptions of
classics in children’s literature. Abstracts (up to 300 words) are
invited for papers (20 or 40 minutes) on any aspect of the reception of
classics (broadly construed: Greek and Roman texts, myths, culture,
history, etc.) in children’s literature. We aim to bring together
contributors from a wide range of disciplines to gain different
perspectives on the issues (classics, English and other modern languages,
children’s literature specialists, as well as authors of modern
children’s literature reflecting the classical world, classics teachers,
classics outreach staff, etc). Contributions will range from broader
papers addressing issues specific to reception in children’s literature,
to readings focussing on particular texts and receptions. See further
details below.

Please send abstracts to and; please give full name and title,
institution, provisional title of the paper, and specify whether a 20 or
40 minute paper.

Questions and issues to be explored (not exhaustive: any relevant topic
will be considered):

• what have been the roles of children’s literature in contributing
to the broader awareness of the Classical world, from the beginning of
children’s literature to the present? What (other) roles should it play?
• what roles have and could children’s literature play(ed) in more
general education and in stimulating thought and imagination, in
particular through encounters with Classical myths, history, society, etc.
• what makes something ‘children’s literature’, ‘teen fiction’,
etc? (Why) is literature less likely to be studied by literary scholars
and taken seriously by literary critics and commentators if it has such
• has the advent and flourishing of such kinds of literature from
the Victorian period onwards led to the labelling of stories with
fantastical, mythological, and perhaps other elements previously at home
in main-stream literature as children’s literature, or as not ‘serious’
literature? Is there anything inherently ‘childish’ in the appeal of
myths or other aspects of the Classical world?

Explorations of these and other relevant issues through discussion
focussed upon particular texts or authors, and papers directly addressing
methodological or other broader questions, will be equally welcome. The
above points are by no means intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive.

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Received on Fri Oct 17 2008 - 12:21:02 EDT