CFP: Society for the History of Children and Youth

SHCY Eighth Biennial Conference
“Relationality and the global circulation of children’s literature and culture”

June 24-26th, 2015
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
We invite papers for a prospective panel that explores the global circulation of children’s literature and concepts of childhood, particularly along paths determined by the processes of history and imperialization and colonization.

The historical importance of children and children’s literature in the colonial context cannot be denied. Children are the future of the nation, and thus, what children read, and what is written for them, becomes an important part of the nation building process. And when artifacts of children’s culture travel across geographical spaces they create relationships between people, places, and ideas that shape children’s relationships with themselves and the world. The literature imported to and produced within the colonies has a direct influence on not only the subjectivity of the colonial child, but also, on the concept of childhood within the colonized nation. For instance, Enid Blyton, whose works are immensely popular in India and African countries, has provided images of play and companionship which have affected the worlds of hundreds of children living far away from the English culture and countryside described in her books. In turn, the presence of the colonies and images traveling back from the colonies affects the literature written for children, as well as the worlds and professions for which children are reared. Historical research into the circulation of children’s literature will expand our understanding of the wider network of relationships between geographical spaces as well as children’s relationships with the modern world. Possible topics include:
  • Circulation of children’s books within a colonial or imperial context
  • The role of children’s literature or culture in the colonization process
  • Colonial children’s texts that respond to children’s literature of the colonizing nation
  • The development of ideas about childhood within a global/colonial context
  • Depictions of colonization and/or globalization in children’s literature and culture
  • Relationality as a theme in colonial or imperial children’s texts
If you’re interested in being a part of such a panel, please send a 250-word paper proposal by September 15 to Courtney Weikle-Mills ( and Sreemoyee Dasgupta ( A complete panel proposal will be submitted to SHCY for consideration on October 1.