Calls for Papers

As of February 1, 2008, we are no longer accepting
abstracts or panel submissions for ChLA2008.

General Conference Call

In 1857, Illinois State University’s founders established a normal school for teacher preparation. The campus area later incorporated as the Town of Normal. Some 150 years later, we at ISU appreciate our institution’s rich heritage, but we question the implications of normalcy—which, like childhood itself, is a shifting concept.

In the spirit of “Reimagining Normal,” ISU hosts the 2008 Children’s Literature Association Conference. We invite proposals and papers that explore the potential for change in children’s literature and celebrate expansive (and even explosive) redefinitions of normativity in the twenty-first century. Investigations of historical and contemporary modes and formations are welcome. We anticipate a conference that problematizes commonly held assumptions and investigates the changing status of childhood, children’s and adolescent literature and culture, verbal and visual representation for/about young audiences, and constructions of diversity.

Proposals and papers might address children’s texts, children’s culture, and their intersections with:

  • Definitions of diversity, inclusivity, multiculturalism, pluralism
  • Evolving conventions of children’s literature
  • Unconventional experiments in literature, visuals, and design (e.g., comics, metanarrative, digital literacy, multimedia, etc.)
  • Contemporary and historic representations of childhood and difference
  • Imagery and pictorial sequence that challenge norms
  • Golden ages of children’s literature and contemporary constructions of childhood
  • Nontraditional nonfiction: information books and biographies
  • The implied reader, past/present/future
  • Diversifying audiences and bilingual texts
  • International books and translation
  • Globalization and the Other: travelogue and developing nations
  • Censorship issues and taboos
  • LGBTQ families, the queerness of children, and heteronormativity
  • Postcolonial literature; literatures of diaspora and exile
  • Human and nonhuman encounters
  • International responses to environmental concerns and climate change
  • Emergent trends in research, academic scholarship, and literary criticism
  • New directions in children’s publishing
  • Illinois authors and illustrato

Please send abstracts of 250-500 words via email to or by regular mail to:

Professor Roberta Seelinger Trites
Department of English 4240
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-4240

The deadline for abstracts is January 15, 2008.

Acceptances will be mailed in March, 2008.

Printable PDF Version of the 2008 Call for Papers (100k)

As of February 1, 2008, we are no longer accepting
abstracts or panel submissions for ChLA2008.


Call for Papers: International Committee Session on Iceland

The International Committee of the Children's Literature Association is planning a special country focus panel on Iceland. The committee invites papers that focus on any aspect of Icelandic children's literature. ChLA will sponsor one scholar from Iceland or another Scandinavian country to present a paper at this panel with up to US $2,000 toward documented expenses in connection with the conference.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008.

Printable RTF Version of the ChLA International Committee 2008 Call for Papers.


Call for Papers: War and the Aftermath of War in Northeast Asia

The International Committee is sponsoring a special panel at the June 2008 conference of ChLA on the topic of war and the aftermath of war in Northeast Asia in children’s and adolescent fiction. In 2008, China is the focus of international celebration as the host of the Beijing Olympic Games. At the end of World War II, however, China and such neighbors as Japan and Korea were internationally disputed areas. This panel seeks papers that report on the ways in which war and the post-war confusion in Northeast Asia are represented in young people’s texts. We are interested in research on texts from China, Japan, and Korea, but also on texts of diasporic Northeast Asian communities, and other texts that represent war experiences in these regions to young people. Please send 250-300 word abstracts via e-mail to or via the postal service to The International Committee, Children’s Literature Association, P.O. Box 138, Battle Creek, MI 49016-0138, U.S.A., or via FAX to +269-965-3568.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008.