Call for papers: IBBY UK/NCRCL Conference – November 2014



University of Roehampton, London


Call for Papers on the theme of ‘Belonging is… an exploration of the right to be included and the barriers that must be overcome’

What does it mean to belong? How can literature help children as they struggle to relate to different groups at home, in school, and in the wider society? Who does children’s literature belong to? How can books help all children feel they belong? Children’s literature has traditionally been perceived as a place where all children can find a place and belong. But is this true?

The 21st annual IBBY UK/NCRCL MA conference looks to explore these questions and the concept of belonging in children’s literature.

The conference will include keynote presentations by writers, publishers and academics. Proposals are welcomed for parallel sessions (lasting about 20 minutes) on any relevant issues from any period in the history of international children’s literature. These might include:

  • traditionally excluded groups: LGBTQI, looked after children, disabled children, fostered and adopted children, Romany and traveller children, refugees
  • changes and developments in representations of ethnic diversity
  • the affect of inclusion or exclusion on the reader
  • the accessibility of children’s books
  • the place of issue books in exploring barriers to belonging
  • the promotion of human rights through literature
  • how children’s books can challenge stereotypes
  • the representation of children from all backgrounds
  • socio-economic status and stereotyping
  • how gendered marketing excludes children
  • reader vs revenue –what should be foremost in the mind of publishers
  • national identity – finding your culture in the books you read
  • learning about historically excluded groups through fiction and poetry

The deadline for proposals is July 31st 2014. Please email an abstract of approximately 200 words (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to Sue Mansfield of IBBY UK at

Find out more about IBBY UK here  Details of past conferences can be found here


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