Call for journal articles: "The Medieval in Modern Children's Literature" (ChLAQ)

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Kristin Bovaird-Abbo / Children's Literature Association Quarterly

The Medieval in Modern Children's Literature
A Special Issue of Children's Literature Association Quarterly

Edited by Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
Deadline: 1 November 2019

The pervasive presence of medieval elements in children's texts and media (including but not limited to animation, picture books, young adult novels, television series, video games, and graphic novels) has long been acknowledged, as evidenced by Clare Bradford's 2015monograph The Middle Ages in Children's Literature. This special issue of the Children's Literature Association Quarterly invites essays that continue to explore how recent texts and media created specifically for children complicate or extend their treatment of the medieval beyond the conventional heroes of Britain, and Europe in general. Authors and directors retell tales of Beowulf, Robin Hood, and King Arthur with female and non-binary protagonists, filling in gaps of traditional narratives, and creating new characters to engage with these older themes. More important than what these texts tell us about the medieval, though, is what these medievalized stories tell us about the modern.

This special issue particularly seeks papers that treat issues such as (but not limited to) the following: 

  • Depictions of racial diversity
  • Gendered identities, including questioning of gender binaries, depictions of female agency
  • Depictions of religious identity
  • Intersectionality in children's medievalism
  • Depictions of geographical space, including issues of identity, migration, and diaspora
  • Depictions of people with disabilities, illness, non-normative bodies
  • Fidelity (perceived and otherwise) to medieval historicity
  • The medieval as modernity's other
  • Medievalism vs. fantasy
  • Magic vs. science

Papers should conform to the usual style of ChLAQ and be between 5,000-7,000 words in length.

Queries and completed essays should be sent to Kristin Bovaird-Abbo ( with a re: line indicating "ChLAQ Essay") by 1 November 2019.

The selected articles will appear in ChLAQ in 2020.