Children's Literature Association Quarterly Special Issue - Genre and Black Literature

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Children’s Literature Association Quarterly

Although critical attention to black American literature has until recently focused on social realism and vernacular expression, writers such as Victor LaValle and Charles Johnson have called for creative writers to experiment with a greater variety of genres. Scholars have also sought to explore the fuller range of black expression. In the field of children's literature, however, study of a range of genres and expressive modes in black children's literature is not a new endeavor. Since the African American Review's special issue on black children's literature in its spring 1998 issue, interest in racial identity and children's and young adult literature has continued to grow. And the versatility of a writer such as Virginia Hamilton, while stunning in its breadth, can be seen as signaling the creative diversity of black literature for young readers. This special issue of ChLAQ seeks to foster scholarly and critical study on such texts. We are interested in scholarship on different genres of black children's literature, the reception of such texts, the historical processes of distributing and marketing them, and related concerns including (but not limited to):

Speculative and other genre fiction
Regional and diasporic writing
Prizing and prize winners
Adaptations and re-imaginings
Picture books, film, cartoons, comics and graphic novels
Representations of history
Children's poetry
Banned books and controversy
Alternative presses and the development of African American literature
Historical conceptions of African American children as readers

Papers should conform to the MLA style and be between 5,000-7,000 words in length. Queries and completed essays should be sent to Karen Chandler ( and Sara Austin ( by November 1, 2015. The selected articles will appear in ChLAQ vol. 41.