Thursday, August 14, 2014

Call for Papers: Children's Rights and Children's Literature



Special Issue of The Lion and the Unicorn

Guest Editors:
Lara Saguisag, College of Staten Island-City University of New York
Matthew B. Prickett, Rutgers University-Camden

We are seeking papers that investigate the intersections between the histories, theories, and practices of children's rights and children's literature. In response to the ratification of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) in 1989, advocates and scholars have debated the necessity and revealed the complexity of defining and implementing children's rights across the globe. Critical discourse on children's rights, however, has not yet fully examined the role that children's literature plays in shaping, promoting, implementing and interrogating children's rights. This special issue invites scholars to explore the connections between the institutions of children's rights and children's literature.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Depictions of young people's political and/or economic participation in children's and young adult literature
Literary representations of child soldiers, child laborers, child sex workers and other young people whose rights are deemed violated
The role of children's literature in fulfilling young people's rights (such as the right to education and the right to leisure)
The relationships between charters on human and children's rights (such as the 1930 White House Convention Children's Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1989 United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child) and twentieth-century children's literature
How historical fiction and non-fiction about other rights movements (women's rights, gay rights, Civil Rights, labor rights, immigrant rights, etc. ) attempt to shape young readers' understanding of rights
U.N.-funded children's books that explicitly promote children's rights
Poverty and children's and young adult literature
Colonialism/Postcolonialism and children’s and young adult literature
Citizenship and children's and young adult literature
Censorship and children's rights
Conflicts between child characters and adult characters over the child's rights and obligations

Essays should be sent to guest editors Lara Saguisag and Matthew B. Prickett at by May 31, 2015. Submissions should be 15-20 pages (4000-6000 words). Accepted articles will appear in issue 40.2 (2016) of The Lion and the Unicorn.

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