CFP: Owning our Voices

Authenticity, Legitimacy, and Agency in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

In 2015, Corinne Duyvis created the hashtag #ownvoices to designate literature featuring diverse characters written by authors who share the same diverse identities. Initially intended to highlight writers working on the periphery, the #ownvoices movement has resulted in widespread debate on notions of marginalisation, authenticity, appropriation, and political correctness. Within the world of Children’s and Young Adult literature, this debate is particularly nuanced when considering that the voice of the child is typically at odds with its adult authorship. The 2020 Biennial ACLAR conference will explore some of the tensions within these key debates. We are excited to welcome The Netherlands-based YA author, disability representation advocate and cofounder of Disability in Kidlit, Corinne Duyvis, as one of our keynote speakers at the Perth conference. Further keynote speakers will be announced early in the new year.

Presenters are invited to submit abstracts exploring an aspect of the conference theme: Owning our Voices: Authenticity, Legitimacy, and Agency in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Abstracts may address one of the following strands:

  • The #ownvoices movement and subsequent debate
  • Authenticity and representations of child and young adult identities
  • Diverse identities and their representation in Children’s and YA literature
  • Intersectionality and its implications within Children’s and YA literature
  • Concepts of authenticity and legitimacy within Children’s and YA literature
  • Social justice and/or cultural appropriation and Children’s and YA literature
  • Translated, dialectal, or foreign-language Children’s and YA Literature
  • Voice and vocalisation in Children’s and YA literature
  • Narrative strategies of polyphony, dialogism, and heteroglossia
  • Issues of writing or publishing from the periphery or a position of marginality
  • Young people as producers of Children’s and YA literature
  • Fan fiction and other responses to literature by young people
  • New media and emerging forms of literature that directly engage with young people
  • The relationship between writers of Children’s and YA literature and young readers
  • The status of Children’s Literature studies within the academic or publishing context

Abstracts exploring alternative strands that relate to the conference theme are welcome.

Abstracts should directly address the conference theme and should identify specific texts, theoretical, and/or methodological approaches to be discussed. For an individual, 20-minute paper, abstracts should be no more than 250 words. Groups wishing to collaborate on the presentation of 90-minute panels should submit an abstract of up to 500 words, detailing how the overall presentation will fit into the conference theme, the individual critical, and theoretical approaches to be taken by each speaker, and the envisaged structure for the session. All panel sessions should include time for Q&A with each speaker.

Abstracts should be submitted by 29 February 2020 to Adam Kealley: adam.kealley@curtin.edu.au (International presenters may request to have their abstracts reviewed earlier if greater notice required for funding purposes)

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