Vision and Sight in Children’s Literature and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Kate Slater
contact email: 

MLA 2020: Vision and Sight in Children’s Literature and Culture
Non-guaranteed session co-sponsored by the Children’s and Young Adult Literature forum and the Disability Studies forum 

In keeping with the year in which the next MLA convention will take place—as 20/20 is optometric shorthand for visual acuity—this session seeks to consider how children’s literature and culture frame the acts of looking and seeing. What implicit or explicit values do texts for young people place on the ideological and embodied work of vision and sight? How do these texts define or depict visual perception in ways that might anticipate expected practices of looking, or challenge dominant assumptions about the ontologies of sight? How might the visuality of children’s comics, graphic novels, and picturebooks invite a particular kind of awareness? In what respects do children’s texts define vision outside physical practices (as foresight or hindsight)? While abstracts related to all aspects of vision and sight are invited, this session is particularly encouraging of submissions that prioritize a disability studies lens, considering how children’s literature, film, and/or television represent visual impairment and blindness.

Send a 500-word abstract to Kate Slater at by March 1, 2019.