ChLA 2020 Panel *Sustaining Black Lives: Ecological Imaginaries in African American Books for Young Readers*

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Samira Abdur-Rahman, University of San Francisco
contact email: 

We are seeking panelist proposals for the accepted Children’s Literature Association (ChLA 2020) conference panel “Sustaining Black Lives: Ecological Imaginaries in African American Books for Young Readers.” The  ChLA 2020 theme “Sustainability Through Story: Eco-Justice, Children's Literature, and Childhood” invites “an expansive array of interdisciplinary topics on the cultural, political, historical, and contemporary impact of children’s literature in relationship to the environment.” This panel seeks papers that correlates race and gender with Black sustainability issues like environmental inequity and global migration. We invite papers on subject matters ranging from realist literature to fantasy and science fiction, from the twentieth century to the twenty-first, from American-born to immigrant authors. Proposal panelists should interrogate these central questions:  How do the ecological visions of your writer(s) challenge racism and loss of home and identity? How do their imaginaries call for a new politics of childhood, youth, and nature? 

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a short bio by February 15th to Samira Abdur-Rahman, Assistant Professor of English, at


The conference is hosted by the University of Washington’s School of Information and will take place in Bellevue, Washington from June 18-20, 2020.