EVENT Apr 13
Abstract days left 0
Viewed 309 times

Beverly Lyon Clark Children's Literature Symposium

Wheaton College, 26 E Main St, Norton, MA,
Organization: Wheaton College
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2024-04-13 Abstract Due: 2024-03-15

Despite being targeted at a younger demographic, children’s literature can teach many valuable things to adults. Reading children’s books can take us back to our childhoods and recapture the feeling of being filled with curiosity and imagination. It can help us to see things from the perspective of a child, and thereby help us to understand how children think. Researching these books and the methods employed by their authors can teach us about how children are viewed by adults, and what adults think is important to teach them through literature. Seeing the kinds of books children respond to and why can test the validity of views held by adults, and give us a sense of what they find valuable and engaging. 

Wheaton College’s own Beverly Lyon Clark (1948-2021) was exceptionally passionate about the value children’s literature can provide. And for the third consecutive year, Wheaton will honor her passion through the Beverly Lyon Clark Children’s Literature Symposium to be held Saturday, 13 April. This event has been a wonderful opportunity for both students, faculty, and scholars to discuss what children’s and adolescent literature means to them, how it impacts both individuals and society, and how it has developed over time. Speakers have consisted of current students, alumni, and anyone with involvement in the world of children’s literature. This year’s symposium will also feature presentations on the works of Louisa May Alcott, a favorite author of Clark’s and the subject of much of her work. We are currently accepting proposals for panel presentations, including but not limited to the following topics:

19th century girlhood and/or childhood

Picture books and cultural imagery, past and/or present

Book banning and politicization of childhood

Race, gender, sexuality and identity in children's and adolescent literature

Contemporary perspectives on Little Women

Submissions (150-250 words) are due Friday, 15 March and can be sent via email directly to bevlclarksymposium@gmail.com, along with any questions. Please provide a brief bio (1–3 sentences) along with submissions.


Wesley Jacques