Call for Papers – UBC Conference: “I Will Be Myself”: Identity in Children’s and Yougn Adult Literature, Media and Culture

IWillBeMyself Poster

Call for Paper Proposals

Deadline for submission: January 15th, 2014

A peer-reviewed graduate student conference on children’s literature

with keynote speaker Dr. Phillip Serrato

University of British Columbia

Saturday, May 3, 2014

“I Will Be Myself”: Identity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Media and Culture is a one-day conference showcasing graduate student research that explores, questions, and analyzes the issues surrounding identity in various elements of children’s and young adult literature. You are invited to submit an academic paper proposal or a creative writing submission that contributes to the existing body of literature and research in the area of children’s and young adult literature studies, which includes novels, films, apps, and picturebooks, as well as other culturally produced modes of children’s literature. We are particularly interested in research and creative pieces that draw upon broadly interpreted themes of identity, which can include liminality, hybridity, Otherness or Othering, gender, and transformation.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

·       Identity as a critical lens for reading children’s and young adult literature

  • The child or young adult choosing or combining identities
  • Issues of hybridity: hybridity of genre, multimodality, cultural identity, racial identity, sexual identity
  • How ‘otherness’ shapes identity in materials for children and youth
  • Negotiation of self and Other as represented in cultural texts
  • Liminality and other states of ‘being in between’
  • Indigenous identities
  • National identities
  • Boundaries, their creation and transgression
  • Multiple, cross-cultural, and/or transnational identities
  • The role of identity in constructing literature and literacies
  • Reconstructive identity and multiple selves
  • Imagined identities: dreams, fantasy and desire
  • The cultural markers of childhood and adolescence
  • Identity and performativity: a gendered discourse
  • Fluid subjectivities; multiplicity of selves
  • The pedagogical implications of identity in various stages of literacy
  • Virtual selves in virtual worlds
  • The ‘coming of age’ trope in 21st century literature
  • Neoliberal capitalism and the individualistic ‘I’
  • Identity embodied: mixed abilities represented in YA and children’s literature
  • Marginalised identities represented in works of fiction for youth
  • Eco-critical understandings of subjectivity
  • interwoven subjectivities and the individualistic ‘I’

Papers on any children’s or young adult genres are welcome, as are papers that discuss other children’s texts such as film, virtual texts, or graphic novels.  The topics above are a guideline for the proposals we would like to see, but we are eager to receive and review paper proposals on any topic related to children’s and young adult texts.

Please send a 250 word abstract that includes the title of your paper, a list of references in MLA format, a 50-word biography, your name, your university affiliation, email address, and phone number to the review committee at Please include “Conference Proposal” in the subject line of your email.

The conference fee of $18 CAD for students and presenters, and $35 CAD for faculty and professionals, includes morning and afternoon refreshments and a catered lunch.  Please visit our website for more information:

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