CfP Historical children's and youth literature

Susanne Blumesberger's picture

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Call for Papers
February 3, 2021 to March 1, 2021
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Libri liberorum, the journal for research into children’s and young adult literature, was founded in 2000 by the Austrian Association for Research into Children’s and Young Adult Literature (ÖG-KJLF, Initially published as a newsletter, it was turned into a scientific journal in 2010, and into a peer-reviewed journal in 2016. From the 51st issue on, it has been published as an open access resource. The purpose of the journal is to publish research on historical and contemporary children’s and young adult literature, focussing (but not exclusively) on Austrian topics and scholars. The journal serves as a communication platform and information forum for experts and those interested at home and abroad, and covers scientific contributions, hands-on experiences, reviews, and miscellaneous.

We would like to dedicate the next issue to the networking of historical children’s and young adult literature research and to the exchange of exciting results from historical studies into children’s and young adult literature and media.

Since the discovery of the world and of man (Jacob Burckhardt) in the early modern age, travel and adventure literature has been among the most interesting research areas of children's and young adult literature in terms of content and form. In the 18th and 19th century, it went through an astounding process of differentiation that becomes visible in Campes’ addressee-oriented and adapted travel reports or in the exotic or national (historical) adventure stories by writers such as Karl May, Friedrich Gerstäcker and Sophie Wörishöffer. Adventurous and historical-geographical forms of writing, which were part of (so-called) non-fiction,  were especially interesting hybrids in children's and young adult literature, oscillating between fact and fiction.

We ask for theoretical contributions (e.g., postcolonial studies, poetics, gender studies, theology, book and publishing history, illustration studies, or moral history), or systematic contributions discussing the genres of travel and adventure literature from a diachronic perspective (including serialized novels in periodicals or mass published adventure stories in cheap popular papers). Contributions may discuss the content level (e.g., world views) but also the books’ materiality on the object level (e.g., picture analyses in picture books) as well as specific forms of travel and adventure literature for children and young adults (such as novels about the "Wild West", detective stories or animal adventures).

The contributions could examine how the Other in these texts is addressed as located between nature and culture, or analyze areas of conflict in the depiction of regional, national, euro-centric and global aspects. In addition, it might be interesting to address travel and adventure novels for a female readership. However, it is also possible to focus on imagological phenomena like stereotypes, comparative aspects such as translations into or from German, overlaps of adult, children’s and young adult literature, historical (de)canonization phenomena in adventure literature, orientation towards the addressee (suitability of adventures for children and young adults), problems of theory and categorisation concerning the development and definition of the genre, and others.

We are looking forward to your abstracts (around 300 words) and short biographies (around 100 words) in German or English. Please send them to by 1 March 2021.

After confirmation, we will expect your contributions by 15 August 2021.

Susanne Blumesberger (Vienna), Jana Mikota (Siegen) and Sebastian Schmideler (Leipzig)

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Austrian Society for Research on Children's and Youth Literature

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