Children's Literature Symposium opens space for interdisciplinary collaborations at York

Faculty members and graduate students from the Faculty of Education convened on Jan. 22, 2018 to re-present their papers from the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) held in the summer of 2017 at York.

The congress attracted 300 presenters and attendees from more than 30 countries. From York, there were 20 presenters from six Faculties, including eight from the Faculty of Education.

January’s post-IRSCL symposium, co-organized by Stacey Bliss, PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education, and Anah-Jayne Markland, PhD candidate in CCY (Childhood, Children, and Youth Studies Program), Humanities, brought together scholars from four faculties.  Education Professor Laura Wiseman said the event was "a relaxed and stimulating symposium. It was a very special opportunity to meet and learn from people across units.”

The work scholars presented included:

  • Children Under Threat of Danger (Wiseman, Education)
  • Processing the Past Through Child Consciousness (Krasny, Education)
  • Querying Uncertainty and Unpredictability in Picture Books (Bliss, PhD Candidate, Education)
  • Gord Downie’s Secret Path as Transmedia Storytelling (Halsall, Humanities)
  • The Racialization of Space in Children’s Literature (Woodall, Humanities)
  • Diversity Within Diversity (Gurbir Jolly, MA, Humanities)
  • Alec Waugh’s Challenging of Adult Authority in English School Stories (Markland, PhD candidate, Humanities)
  • Girls Producing Fan Fiction and Films (Tina Benigno, PhD candidate Humanities)
  • Bridging the Gender Gap through Fantasy Literature (Farah Fazalbhoy, York Alumni, English).
  • Representations of the Female Athletic Body in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction (Charlotte Spielman, PhD Candidate, English)

Dr. Karen Krasny and Dr. Cheryll Alipio

The symposium gave York scholars an opportunity to connect, extend discussions of their research, and have time to build on possible collaborations for the August 2019 IRSCL Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, where the theme will be “Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature.”

Co-organizers of the symposium agreed the event provided a relaxed space to collaborate and be inspired. They said they were impressed with the engagement of professors and student scholars and look forward to continuing conversations that came from the symposium.