Sinéad Moriarty & Anne Malewski Talking Moomins at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

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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.

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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.

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Happily Ever After: The Power of Story

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.

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Cover of Jamila Gavin’s fairy tale collection Blackberry Blue. Image via illustrator Richard Collingridge

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2018 NCRCL Scholarships

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We are pleased to announce that the current round of applications for our annual scholarships in children’s literature is open.

 

 

 

TECHNE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2018

We invite applications from outstanding candidates for our TECHNE AHRC doctoral studentships. Studentships are awarded in departments across the university, but the NCRCL will consider applications for projects related to children’s literature or creative writing for children. Projects drawing on our archival holdings – such as the Richmal Crompton archive – will be especially welcome. For more information and details of how to apply, please see our Graduate School pages:

https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduate-school/techne-ahrc-studentships/

There will be an Open Evening for interested applicants on Tuesday 7 Nov 2017 from 5.30 p.m. at Grove House on our Froebel campus – please register here and contact Prof. Peter Jaeger for details P.Jaeger@roehampton.ac.uk

 

Postgraduate Research Studentships – Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship 2018

In addition to TECHNE studentships, we will award our annual Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship to a candidate of the highest calibre. Applicants for TECHNE awards will be considered automatically for the Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship, so please apply for a TECHNE studentship in the first instance. Candidates who do not secure TECHNE funding will be eligible to compete for the Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship – you do not need to apply separately (please note that although TECHNE funding can be secured by students who have already started their doctoral studies, the Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship is only open to new applicants).

This studentship will be awarded to an emerging scholar working in the field of children’s literature or creative writing for children. The Jacqueline Wilson Scholar will be based in the award-winning 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 £4,195 for Home/EU students and maintenance of £16,553 p.a. for 3 years full-time subject to satisfactory progress. (NB – these figures are correct for 2017-18 and are yet to be confirmed for 2018-19).

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Bookings Open for 2017 IBBY/NCRCL Conference!

24th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

‘Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures’

Saturday 11th November 2017, 9:15 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, 44 Webber Street, London SE1 8QW

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Image via IBBY UK

Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures

The same fairy tales often appear across different cultures. How and why does this happen? 
Should fairy tales be updated – or even subverted – to appeal to modern audiences?
How have fairy tales evolved as they’ve been retold across the centuries?

This year’s IBBY UK/NCRCL Conference will explore these issues as they are reflected in international children’s literature, with a range of plenary speakers and parallel sessions.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Vanessa Joosen, University of Antwerp
Other speakers include: Jackie Morris, author and illustrator; Beverley Naidoo, author; Jamila Gavin, author; Hilary McKay, author.

Book your place online at https://ibbyconference2017.eventbrite.com

For further information, please contact Ann Lazim annlazim@googlemail.com

NCRCL Open Day 2017

The annual NCRCL Open Day was held on Saturday 13th May 2017 at Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton.

As usual, the Open Day was an exciting opportunity to meet new, current, and past students and staff over cupcakes, Danish pastries, cookies, tea, juice, and coffee. Apart from marvelling at displays of children’s literature treasures, staff publications, and poster presentations by current MA students, we also enjoyed fascinating talks by Zetta Elliott and Peter Hunt.

Zetta Elliott: “Inclusivity and Indie Authors: the Case for Community-Based Publishing”

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Photograph via Zetta Elliot

Award-winning Canadian author and educator Zetta Elliott spoke of her experiences as an author published through both traditional publishing and self-publishing routes. She advocated for “organic writing”, which “originates within a particular community and emerges without outsider approval and/or interference”, and prioritises the welfare of the community over commercial success. The value of self-publishing for marginalised groups was underlined by Elliott pointing out bleak statistics related to white supremacy in the American publishing industry:

 

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Infographic via Sarah Park

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NCRCL PhD Day 2017

Rebecca Sutton, PhD student with the NCRCL, reports on her experience of our 2017 PhD Day, which she organised this year.

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Illustration by Anne Malewski

The annual NCRCL PhD Day went ahead on Thursday 18th May in the pristine new Elm Grove Conference Centre at the University of Roehampton. It was a day of eight stimulating presentations by current PhD students and one soon-to-be PhD student. Here is an overview of the presentations, in the running order of the day, so you can get an idea of our current research projects:

  • Rebecca Sutton: “Inside/Outside: Contested Space in Young Adult Literature set in Israel/Palestine”
  • Sarah Pyke: “An “archive of me”: Constructing queer adult subjectivity through an oral history of adolescent reading”
  • Aliona Yarova: “Narrating Humanity: Children’s Literature and Global Citizenship Education”
  • Erica Gillingham: “Princesses and Hard Core Lady-Types Fall In Love: Pictorial Representations of Same-Sex Attraction in All Ages Comics”
  • Sinéad Moriarty: “P-P-P Pick up a Penguin: Antarctic Penguin Stories for Children”
  • Manuela Salvi: “The Secret School of the Mooning Guerrillas: a Creative Project on Children’s Fiction, Age Banding and Censorship”
  • Anne Malewski: “Playing Adults: Camp Wildfire and KidZania”
  • Emily Corbett: “Transgendered Identity and Bio-Social Determinism in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction”

It was exciting to share our research with each other and to see the sheer diverse nature of the research projects that we as the NCRCL research community are conducting, and to observe the passion, creativity, and academic rigor with which each project is being undertaken.  I felt very proud to be part of such an innovative and inspiring research group.

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RoundTable Journal Launch

Welcome to the launch of RoundTable, the English and Creative Writing Department’s new postgraduate journal:

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RoundTable is a peer-reviewed journal which actively promotes original and imaginative work by postgraduates and early career researchers within the fields of Children’s Literature, Creative Writing, and English Literature. RoundTable is invested in fostering a postgraduate community committed to research and practice beyond discipline boundaries.
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