CFP - Reading Shaun Tan in Hong Kong: Literature, Pedagogy, and Community

Lok Yan Wan's picture
Call for Papers
June 15, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Literature, Immigration & Migration History / Studies


Reading Shaun Tan in Hong Kong:

Literature, Pedagogy, and Community


6-7 DECEMBER 2019 / The Education University of Hong Kong

Abstracts due 15 June 2019


Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Candida Rifkind, Associate Professor of alternative comics, graphic narratives, and Canadian literature at the University of Winnipeg

Amy Stolls, Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts.


Abstracts are invited for a two-day conference centered on the work of author, illustrator, and artist Shaun Tan. We invite contributions that focus on Tan’s work from the point of view of literary and visual studies, on teaching Tan’s work across disciplines and curricula, and on Tan’s work in the context of community reading projects. Proposals for academic presentations, teacher talks or workshops, and panel discussions in any of these interrelated areas are very welcome.


Participants might consider any aspect of Tan’s work, including the media and genres Tan has favored, his major themes, and the ways in which his works have been read. Across multiple domains of artistic practice, Tan has foregrounded a distinctive emotional palette, centered on experiences of longing and displacement, but equally focusing on the fantastic and even absurd. Contributors might explore how Tan’s distinctive vision can be understood alongside other forms of graphic narrative, children’s literature, or visual art.


Shaun Tan’s work, particularly The Arrival (2006), has been widely taught. Participants might consider Tan’s work in terms of its usefulness in language, literacy, or literature education. Tan’s work also foregrounds the power of visual language, and might be discussed in terms of education for visual literacy, multimedia literacy, or other emerging domains.


The Arrival was chosen as the book for the first year of 我城我書 / One City One Book Hong Kong, a community reading project initiated by the Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities (EdUHK). Events related to the book have been held in the literary, artistic, and education communities, and the book has been widely discussed and enjoyed throughout the city in 2019. We invite analysis or discussion of this community reading project, the place of Shaun Tan’s work within it, or wider considerations of community reading and literacy promotion.


“Selected participants will be invited to contribute papers to an edited collection of essays to be published by Springer, as part of the Book Series Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education, now included in the Scopus Index”


Call for Grant Applications

我城我書 / One City One Book Hong Kong would like to foster the development of city-based community reading projects in Asia.  If you would like to found a “One City One Book” or “Big Read” project in a city in Asia, please consider applying for a stipend to attend “Reading Shaun Tan in Hong Kong.” The stipend, in the amount of HK10,000, is intended to facilitate the attendance of one or two persons who are in a position to develop a community reading project, so academics, educators, and librarians are particularly invited to apply. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you and to participating in the development of a sister project nearby.


The language of the conference will be English. Abstracts are due to conference organizers by 15 June 2019. Please send your CV or resume, proposal title, a 200-word abstract, and a brief biographical statement to the Project Manager, Lok Yan ( by 15 June 2019.

Contact Info: 

Please feel free to contact the Project Manager Lok Yan if you have any enquiries.

Tel: +852 2948 7360

Contact Email: