deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Children's Literature Association
contact email: 

The International Committee of the Children’s Literature Association has chosen to alternate its annual panels between specific geographic focal points and themes that encourage transnational discussions. In conjunction with the 2022 ChLA conference, we hosted a themed virtual panel on “Dreams in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” For the 2023 ChLA annual conference to be held in Bellevue, Washington from June 15 to 17, we seek paper proposals with a focus on “Islands.” We are interested in studies of islands, archipelagos, and waterways – literal and metaphoric – in children’s and young adult literature. Preference will be given to analyses from a global perspective and to papers that examine texts originally written in languages other than English and/or created by authors and illustrators from Island communities beyond Anglo-American children’s and YA publishing traditions, including global indigenous communities. Our geographic focus on Islands can evoke a wide range of themes including coloniality, postcoloniality/decolonization, migration, environmental fragility, and community resilience.

Topics could include but are not limited to the following:

-Islands as a chronotope of childhood 

-Tidalectics and an oceanic worldview by and for children 

-Climate threats, rising seas, and extreme weather in texts for young people 

-Children’s and YA activism and/or the stewardship of lands, water, resources, and cultures for children today and for future generations 

-Environmental or “blue” humanities and the representation of oceans as more-than-human realms 

-Pressures to leave island communities and frequent lack of resources to do so safely 

-Islands as often multiply occupied and contested territories and imperial points of contact that problematize narratives of national borders, identities, and belonging 

-Islands as sites of compulsory isolation, either medical quarantine (leprosy; mental illness) or penal confinement (for e.g. Robben Island)  -Picture books and the iconography of islands (or of a particular island)

-Islands as liminal spaces and / or temporalities outside of linear chronologies

-Islands as sites of contested citizenship (eg. refugee or migrant detention centres)

-Emigration and cultural identity to and from islands

-Islands as sites of isolation/ alienation and/or belonging/home

-Nonfiction (history, memoir, science, etc.) texts focused on an island (or islands)

-Indigenous storytelling, writing, and publishing on islands for children and young adults

-Islands as sites of fantasy, adventure, reclamation and/or projection

-Linguistic, religious or ethnographic “islands” and other isolated communities

-Inclusion, adaptation or re-imagining of traditional folklore, myths, epics, magics, or key figures from island cultures

-Travel systems from, to and around islands; how water connects as well as isolates communities

-Biodiversity and islands as unique ecosystems

-Tourism and its effects; the dynamics of holiday or vacation travel.

The panel will be held in person at the ChLA 2023 conference in Bellevue, Washington, USA. We encourage scholars and students who are based outside of North America to submit proposals. Please submit a 350-word abstract and a 200-word biographical statement with the subject line, “ChLA 2023 Themed Panel Submission” to by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) September 30, 2022. One abstract will receive the “Vivian Yenika-Agbaw International Scholarship Grant” worth $1500 towards conference expenses and two other abstracts will receive $750 each to offset expenses related to the conference. Authors of proposals selected for the panel will be notified by October 14, 2022. The International Committee encourages those scholars who are not selected for the “Island” Panel to submit an abstract through the general Call for Proposals so that international children’s literature will become part of other panels at the conference. The deadline for general submission to the ChLA 2023 Annual Conference is November 1, 2022