CFP: Children's Literature Society of the American Literature Association (1/15/06; ALA, 5/25/06-5/28/06)

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Children’s Literature Society of the American Literature Association

The Children’s Literature Society of the ALA seeks abstracts for two panels on children’s literature for the American Literature Association Conference to be held May 25-28, 2006, at The Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA.

With the location of this year’s conference in mind, The Children's Literature Society panels deal with exploring innovation and re-envisioning of narrative and gender in children's literature.

"Radical Change": Narrative Innovations in American Children's Literature

Innovation is at the heart of children’s literature; the genre has a rich tradition of experimentation â€"from reflecting radical social changes (such as the development of new family structures) to providing an arena for narrative innovation. In her groundbreaking book *Radical Change*, Eliza Dresang explores the ways that new digital technologies have influenced
children’s narrative, producing new forms. Narrative experimentation has also been strongly reflected in children’s postmodern picture books and new digital texts for children. We are looking for papers that explore narrative
innovation in children’s literatureâ€"ranging from traditional print to film and digital formats.

What kinds of narrative innovation do we find in children’s literature texts? What do these changes have to tell us about children’s literature as a genre? About narrative? About reading and storytelling? In what way(s) do these changes reflect on the future of children’s storytelling? How do
these changes reflect changes in subject matter, themes, character types and development? Why is it that children’s literature has been a welcoming space for experimentation and innovation?

Please send panel proposals or paper abstracts (250-500 words) by January 15, 2006 to:

Dorothy G. Clark
Dept. of English
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330-8248

Frontiers of Change: Re-envisioning Gender in American Children's Literature

Although rigid and prescriptive stereotypes are common in children’s literature, recent and not-so-recent texts have challenged such gender representations. In fact, these texts open up whole new domains, in which gender is re-envisioned and explored. Some of these texts are overtly feminist, some challenge both male and female stereotypes, deconstructing the
male/female binary (such as the fearful knight in *The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark* or transgendered protagonists like Dicey Tillerman in Cynthia Voigt’s *Homecoming*). For this panel, we are looking for papers that explore the ways that children’s literature serves as a site for exploring and re-forming gender.

How do we see gender reflected in children’s literature? How have reflections and/or attitudes about gender changed â€" or not â€" in recent years? Are depictions of homosexuality or bisexuality becoming more prevalent? Are they still dealt with in limited ways? What kinds of treatments of females and/or males do we see â€" breaking stereotypes, reinforcing stereotypes, or avoiding them by making androgynous or
transgendered characters? In what ways do notions of gender reflect ethnic or cultural attitudes? Has children’s literature become less dichotomous when it comes to gender or is it only a superficial improvement?

Please send panel proposals or paper abstracts (250-500 words) by January 15, 2006 to:

Michelle Pagni Stewart
Dept. of English
Mt. San Jacinto College
28237 La Piedra Rd
Menifee, CA 92584

Dorothy G. Clark, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English
English Subject Matter Advisor
California State University, Northridge
(818) 677-7225

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Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 11:15:18 EST