Secrets of American Children's Literature: Cryptic Nonsense, Symbols, Allegories, and Cipher. May 24-27, 2012

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American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, CA
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Many obscure, enigmatic and buried symbols enrich children's picture books, poetry, and fiction. Secrets, nonsense, allegory, symbols, ciphers, dreams, or "things buried" may be central to a story's theme or may be hidden in the text or the book design itself, discovered not only by doing multiple readings, but also by upside down and forwards and backwards readings. Is there a special relationship, for instance, between such concepts as "secrets" and "dream" and children's literature? Does children's and/or young adult literature conceal "secret" knowledge? This panel invites papers that explore these topics through a variety of critical theoretical lenses as well as formalistic readings.

Please send panel proposals or paper abstracts (250-500 words) by January 15, 2012 to Dorothy G. Clark and Linda Salem

Please include academic rank and affiliation and AV requests