This anthology aims to cultivate and create a space for exploring the history and current state of children’s literature and culture in the Caribbean and its diaspora. The editors invite scholars, teachers, creative writers, online journalists, and activists to consider how literature and the creative arts written or produced for young audiences contribute to the identity of the Caribbean and function as an integral part of its history, culture, and educational system. Caribbean children’s literature is largely under-represented in curriculums and under-theorized in literary scholarship. The limited availability of trade books, the challenges of publishing primarily through houses based in Europe and the United States, and the current turn towards self-publishing have all influenced the direction of the field. This anthology aims to foreground analyses of children’s literature and culture, educational curriculums, and island literary and cultural histories in addition to highlighting recent efforts to improve the availability of literature (including trade books, e-books, or other forms of literacy) for young audiences. Contributors are encouraged to explore the evolution of such literature, the content of literary curriculums for students and/or educators, and the current pressures that limit the publication and production of books and other materials for children and young adults. Especially welcome are interpretations of recently published books, films, or creative projects that target these populations.
The University of Mississippi Press, an academic press with extensive publications in Caribbean Studies and Children’s Literature, has expressed interest in this project. Contributors are encouraged to develop academically grounded material that will document and support the growth and availability of children’s literature in the region.
Various topics might include but are not limited to the following:
Pedagogy and Literature in the primary, secondary, and postsecondary curriculums: What literature is currently taught in schools at all levels? What should educators do differently? What do pre-service teachers need to understand to teach literature in ways that speaks to their student populations?
History: How has the history of a particular island—its educational system and its history of colonization—influenced the development of children’s literature? How has the concept or image of the child evolved across time?
Theory: How might theoretical perspectives inform a reading of children’s literature? Approaches might include eco-criticism, feminist studies, Caribbean studies, post-colonialism, diaspora studies, mythological criticism, emancipatory pedagogy theory, and children’s literary theory.
Technology and Literacy
Literacy: In what ways is Caribbean children’s literature and culture defined by using alternative methods of storytelling to reach young audiences—whether through chants, rhymes, theater, or spoken word?
Technology: What contemporary innovations are currently taking place in other mediums besides books (e-books, film, live theater, etc.) that are transforming the landscape of literacy? How is storytelling finding expression through new mediums? How are communities responding to and building avenues to engage children in literature?
Contemporary Writers: How are contemporary writers and illustrators changing the field of children’s and young adult literature? What publishing pathways have brought their work to the public? Marysé Conde, Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat, Beryl Gilroy, and M. NourbeSe Philip all began writing for adults and then shifted to writing for children. In what ways do these authors transform their themes or alter their ideological ground to write for a new audience?
Please send abstracts of 500 words and a brief biography by July 1, 2017 to Betsy Nies (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melissa Garcia Vega (email@example.com). If accepted, complete rough drafts of 5000 to 7000 words will be due by November 1, 2017.