Call for Papers – Archiving Childhood: the 3rd NCRCL Conference

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for Archiving Childhood: the 3rd NCRCL Conference which will take place on Friday 1st July 2016 at the University of Roehampton.

The conference is part of archivechild, a new a collaborative project reflecting the ongoing research of members of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature. The project takes diverse approaches to the idea of the archive: from building theoretical frameworks and working within Roehampton’s specialist archives and collections, to exploring notions of collecting and memorialising stories or understanding children’s literature as a repository of meaningful objects.

Photo Creative Commons

Call for Papers

Clothes folded in attic-boxes; play-lists of songs and albums; marbles, shells and conkers lined-up on windowsills; memories of stories and nursery rhymes; tins jammed with ticket stubs; alphabetized book-mountains under beds; postcards and photographs lining walls and staircases; shelves packed with fabric, or skeins of yarn; recipes in bulging folders; sideboards full of vinyl records; a writer’s desk and manuscripts; digital images of ancient books, catalogues, maps or illustrations; art collections in a disused telephone box; nature reserves; grand buildings crammed with objects of ancient and modern life.

The urge to collect and preserve can start in early childhood. Archives hold and preserve the past, yet they can also be virtual, future-orientated and open-source. Indeed, the very nature of archives is changing as our children grow into adulthood; in a digital world, material books may end up in digital archives, rather than sitting on children’s bookshelves.

The 3rd NCRCL conference celebrates the archive in all its forms and recognizes it as an important aspect of childhood culture. We invite scholars to explore the archive as a crucial concept in children’s literature studies, taking into account the physical spaces and practical methods, as well as the conceptual possibilities of archiving. PhD students are encouraged to submit proposals for our special graduate poster session.

Papers and posters might examine the following areas:

  • Archive stories
  • Songs, illustrations, and poems in the archive
  • Theories and methodologies of archiving
  • Objects archives, archives of ideas
  • The archive, the library, the museum, the exhibition
  • The archive as memory, memory as archive
  • The reader as archive
  • Archives in children’s literature
  • Children as archivists and collectors
  • Archival silences
  • Archiving senses
  • Collecting and collectors
  • Digital archiving
  • Cataloguing
  • Beyond the archive

Please send an abstract (200 to 300 words) and a short biography to by February 28th 2016.

You are invited to become a virtual collector and join us on Twitter #archivechild or follow us on Facebook or our blog




Photo: Creative Commons

IBBY/NCRCL Conference 2014 Booking Now Open!

We are delighted to announce that the bookings are now open for the

21st Annual IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference

‘Belonging is… an exploration of the right to be included and the barriers that must be overcome’

Froebel College, University of Roehampton

Saturday 8 November 2014.

Find out more about our speakers here 

Book your place now 

Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship

We are delighted  to announce the annual Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship for research into children’s literature. This will be awarded to a postgraduate PhD student working in the field of children’s literature or creative writing for children.

The Jacqueline Wilson Scholar will be based in the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) with access to the Children’s Literature Collection and archives, and will join a lively community of researchers, writers and students. This fully funded scholarship will cover home/EU fees of £3,966 for Home/EU students and maintenance of 15,863 p.a in 2014/15 for 3 years full-time subject to satisfactory progress.

The scholarship is open to new students only and preference may be given to proposals that build on the research interests of the NCRCL. These include, but are not limited to: philosophy; historical fiction; landscape; domestic spaces; memory; reading. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential supervisors as part of their application.

The Department of English and Creative Writing  is looking for candidates of the highest quality, capable of submitting a Ph.D. thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have completed an MA degree in a relevant subject, such as children’s literature, reading or memory, prior to the start of the studentship. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate strong research capabilities and fluency in spoken and written English that meets the university’s entrance criteria for doctoral study.

Deadline for applications: Friday 4 July 2014. Interviews will be held by the end of July 2014

Apply here

For further information or for informal discussion please contact Dr Lisa

Application packs can be found here:

Please visit to find out more about postgraduate research at Roehampton. If you have any non-academic queries relating to the studentships, please contact the Graduate School on 020 8392 3619, email or alternatively admissions on 0208 392 3638

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

Last chance to sign up!

Last chance to sign up for the NCRCL open day summer event this Saturday!  Please contact Julia Noyce before midnight tonight to book your place!

Download the programme

  • Meet the NCRCL team

  • Book launches

  • Talks by Adèle Geras (author of   the Happy Ever After trilogy,  Troy, IthakaLizzie’s Wish and Cecily’s Portrait) and  Beth Rodgers (Aberystwyth University)

There is no charge for the open day, but you will need to book a place for catering purposes.

In order to book please contact


Announcing our Open Day!


NCRCL Open Day   

Saturday 7th June 2014 |10.00 am to 1.00 pm


Duchesne Building | Ground Floor | Digby Stuart Campus


The NCRCL invites you to an exciting summer event for MA/PG Dip and PhD students past, present and future.

 Current students and alumni are all welcome as is anyone interested in applying to the MA/PG Dip in Children’s Literature, or undertaking doctoral research at the NCRCL.


  • Tea, Coffee and Conversation – meeting the NCRCL team.

  • Adèle Geras discusses her work as the best-selling author of over ninety books for children and young adults, including dark retellings of fairy-tales in the Happy Ever After trilogy, stories woven from the Trojan War in Troy and Ithaka, and historical fiction in Lizzie’s Wish and Cecily’s Portrait.

  • Presentations from NCRCL Staff about research and teaching interests.

  • Book launches – recent publications from the NCRCL team.

  • Research Talk by Beth Rodgers (Aberystwyth University) on ‘Competing girlhoods: constructing the ‘girls of today’ in late Victorian girls’ periodicals’.

There is no charge for the open day, but you will need to book a place for catering purposes.

In order to book please contact Julia Noyce


Children’s Literature: a Critical Masterclass

Children’s Literature: a Critical Masterclass
Wednesday 5 February, 1pm
Convent Parlour, Roehampton

You are invited to a Children’s Literature Critical Masterclass next Wednesday lunchtime. We are very lucky to have not just one but two eminent children’s literature professors visiting Roehampton next Wednesday. Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus of Cardiff University will be joined by David Rudd, Professor of Children’s Literature at the University of Bolton. Both are renowned international critics and authors of seminal works in the field, and have actively promoted children’s literature in English departments. Peter Hunt’s most recent publication is How Did Long John Silver Lose his Leg?: and Twenty-Six Other Mysteries of Children’s Literature and David Rudd has just published Reading the Child in Children’s Literature: An Heretical Approach.

They will be talking about their experiences and sharing their wisdom – you are all welcome to come along with questions about children’s literature studies: history, theory, criticism, education, research, careers, examining – anything you want to know! It promises to be a lively lunch hour.