Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
On 15th December 2017, two NCRCL PhD candidates — Sinéad Moriarty and Anne Malewski — were invited speakers at the Dulwich Picture Gallery‘s sold-out A Moomin Winter’s Eve event in connection with their Tove Jansson exhibition.
Feeling at Home: Home Spaces in Tove Jansson’s Moomin Novels
In The Poetics of Space (1964), Gaston Bachelard talks about the home as “the human being’s first world” and argues that “always, in our daydreams, the house is a large cradle”. The concept of home is also fundamental within our first literary world: children’s literature. In our talk, we explored ideas of home and home spaces in Tove Jansson’s Moomin novels.
Anne on the left, Sinéad on the right
We discussed the importance of the idea of home in human culture generally and in children’s literature in particular, examined spaces Tove Jansson made a home for herself in ‘real’ life and through her art, and then analysed representations of home in four of her Moomin novels: Finn Family Moomintroll, Moominland Midwinter, Moominpappa at Sea, and Moominvalley in November.
The 24th annual IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference took place on 11th November 2017 at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in London. This year’s theme was ‘Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures’. Nick Campbell, who completed his PhD with the NCRCL this year, reports on his experience of the conference.
Once upon a time, not my time, not your time, but a very good time, a bold traveller arrived at a marvellous, gleaming building, in a city of endless rains – and there, I was given a cup of coffee, a biscuit and a schedule for the annual IBBY/NCRCL conference. This year, the theme of the conference was fairy tales: telling them, retelling them and rereading them.
There is a strange magic in the collaborative nature of this conference: the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature, and the International Board on Books for the Young, which seeks to promote international understanding through children’s books. Added to that interdisciplinary character was our venue that day, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. The conference audience was formed of teachers, librarians, academics, writers and illustrators, representing many perspectives and experiences. This multiplicity was reflected in the speakers: researchers, writers, a translator, an illustrator, a publisher.
Cover of Jamila Gavin’s fairy tale collection Blackberry Blue. Image via illustrator Richard Collingridge