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Konferanse: Verbal and visual strategies in nonfiction picturebooks

7th International conference European Network of Picturebook Research

PhD workshop September 25, 2019, International conference September 26 – 28, 2019
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences / Høgskulen på Vestlandet – Campus Bergen – Kronstad

Call for Papers

Nonfiction picturebooks have been published concurrently with fictional picturebooks for decades, if not centuries. Clearly recognized as an art form on a par with fiction picturebooks, nonfiction picturebooks have been honoured with their own category for awards at the prestigious Bologna Children’s Book Fair since 1995. In spite of this, the scholarly field of picturebooks and picturebook theory have paid comparatively little attention to nonfiction picturebooks.

Rather than dwelling on the reasons behind this lacuna within picturebook research, there is a need to bring together studies that attempt to remedy this deficiency, and to establish a theoretical framework or starting point for systematic and inventive approaches to various kinds of nonfiction picturebooks, both printed and digital. From pop-up books on urban development and big vehicles, to biographies about artists, adventurers, scientists, kings and queens, to graphic nonfiction on terrorism, the World Wars, and stem cells, to reference works such as atlases, encyclopaedias, ABC-books, and picture dictionaries, nonfiction picturebooks span a dizzying range of different themes, formats, and intended addressees. Central to the investigation of nonfiction picturebooks is the construction and validation of knowledge and the acknowledgement that the dissemination of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks varies according to the context (time, place, function) in which the text was created. Questions for inquiry include the kind of knowledge that is examined and why, and the ways in which knowledge is presented and organized in the book.

The 7th International conference of the European Network of Picturebook Research aims at being a conference, where analytical perspectives, methods, and frameworks are examined, tested and developed.

We invite papers related to the overall theme of the conference. Possible areas for investigation include, but are not restricted to:

  • The utilization of verbal, visual, audial, tactile and other multimodal strategies in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The presentation of knowledge in nonfiction picturebooks
  • The implied reader in nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebooks across time, cultures, and languages
  • Picture dictionaries, concept books, and alphabet books
  • Digital nonfiction picturebooks
  • The paratexts of nonfiction picturebooks
  • Nonfiction picturebook artists and artistic strategies


Please send an abstract of 300 words maximum and a short biography of 100 words as two attached Word documents to Nina Goga, ngo@hvl.no. E-mails should have the subject line: Conference nonfiction picturebooks.

Abstracts should include the following information:

a. Author(s)
b. Affiliation as you would like to appear in the programme
c. E-mail address
d. Title of proposal
e. Text of proposal
f. Selected bibliography with academic sources (3-5 references)
g. Areas of interest
h. Five keywords

All abstracts and papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English.
Papers will be 30 minutes maximum followed by a 10 minutes discussion.
Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2018
Notification of acceptance: March 15, 2019
All submissions are blind reviewed by the members of the Reading Committee.

Conference fee

  • Early registration fee (before May 15, 2019): € 60,00
  • Fee after May 15 (till July 31), 2019: € 95,00
  • Conference dinner: € 35,00 (drinks not included)


Institute of Language, Literature and Mathematics
Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Campus Bergen
Inndalsveien 28, 5063 Bergen, Norway

Scientific committee

  • Nina Goga (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL))
  • Sarah Hoem Iversen (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL))
  • Anne-Stefi Teigland (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL))
  • Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen, Germany)

Reading Committee

  • Evelyn Arizpe (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom)
  • Malgorzata Cackowska (University of Gdansk, Poland)
  • Marnie Campagnaro (University of Padova, Italy)
  • Elina Druker (University of Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen, Germany)
  • Cecilia Silva-Díaz (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Conference in Bergen (Norway)

The European Network of Picturebook Research was established during the first picturebook conference in Barcelona in September 2007. The network was proposed by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen, Germany) who was a member of both the reading committee and co-organizer of the Barcelona-conference, and of the core group of picturebook researchers, which includes/d Evelyn Arizpe, Nina Christensen, Teresa Colomer, Elina Druker, Maria Nikolajeva, and Cecilia Silva-Díaz. Since then, biannual picturebook conferences have been held in different European countries:

  • 2007 at the University of Barcelona, organized by Teresa Colomer and Cecilia Silva-Díaz (New impulses in picturebook research: aesthetic and cognitive aspects of picturebooks)
  • 2009 at the University of Glasgow, organized by Evelyn Arizpe and Maureen Farell (Beyond Borders: Art, narrative and culture in picturebooks)
  • 2011 at the University of Tübingen, organized by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (History and Theory of the Picturebook)
  • 2013 at the University of Stockhom, organized by Elina Druker (Picturebooks as meeting places: Text, image, ideology)
  • 2015 at the University of Gdansk, organized by Malgorzata Cackowska (Picturebooks, Democracy and Social Change)
  • 2017 at the University of Padova, organized by Marnie Campagnaro (Home and Lived-In Spaces in Picturebooks from the 1950s to the Present)

The aims of these conferences are

  1. to foster international picturebook research
  2. to promote young researchers who are focusing on the investigation of picturebooks
  3. to publish selected papers presented at the conferences through international publishers or

in peer-reviewed journals.

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