CFP: American Literature Association



MAY 24-27, 2012

San Francisco, CA


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 24-27, 2012, at Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco, California.

Panel 1:

Immigration, Refuge, and Exile in American Children’s Literature

This panel explores how experiences of immigration, refuge or exile have been told through American children’s literature.  How have these experiences been passed on through storytelling, folklore, folktales, poetry, picture books or other forms of children’s literature, such as video games and other forms of digital media?  How has global cultural awareness influenced identity understanding in children’s and young adult literature?   What questions do these topics lead us to ask about authenticity, relevance, and specificity in story depiction in literature? What other questions are raised?

Please send panel proposals or paper abstracts (250-500 words) by January 15, 2012 to Linda Salem and Dorothy Clark

Please include academic rank and affiliation and AV requests.

Panel 2:

Secrets of American Children’s Literature: Cryptic Nonsense, Symbols, Allegories, and Cipher.

Many obscure, enigmatic and buried symbols enrich children’s picture books, poetry, and fiction.   Secrets, nonsense, allegory, symbols, ciphers, dreams, or “things buried” may be central to a story’s theme or may be hidden in the text or the book design itself, discovered not only by doing multiple readings,  but also by upside down and forwards and backwards readings. Is there a special relationship, for instance, between such concepts as “secrets” and “dream” and children’s literature?  Does children’s and/or young adult literature conceal “secret” knowledge? This panel invites papers that explore these topics through a variety of critical theoretical lenses as well as formalistic readings.

Please send panel proposals or paper abstracts (250-500 words) by January 15, 2012 to Dorothy G. Clark and Linda Salem

Conference details may be found at the American Literature Association web

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