25th Annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference
‘Crafts and Hobbies in Children’s Books’
Saturday 10th November 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Elm Grove Conference Centre, University of Roehampton
Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5PH
This year’s conference explores the significance of crafts and hobbies as theme, practice, motif, educational tool and generational bridge. We will be thinking about the historical shifts in the role and significance of these activities in childhood experience as depicted in a wide range of texts. We will examine the role of crafting and hobbies in children’s fiction and in picture books; think about the role of books in craft and hobby activities (including the handbooks of the Brownies, Scouts and Woodcraft Folk and the annuals of children’s TV shows such as Blue Peter); and consider the craft dimensions of books as material objects, looking at the use of collage and textile as illustrative components, at paper-cutting and pop-up books, and at books that are themselves craft or hobby objects (model-making books, sticker books). Discussion will cover the gendering of crafts and hobbies, the definition of a hobby (as distinct from a game or a toy), the vexed boundaries between arts and crafts, and craft as domestic or artisanal. Materials from the archives of the constituent colleges of the University of Roehampton will be on show, including weaving samples and patterns used in early Froebelian education and embroidery samplers from the Whitelands archive. The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world.