The first issue of RoundTable, the new postgraduate journal for academic and creative writing at the University of Roehampton, is now available online (open access)! The first issue focuses on the theme of journey and includes fascinating children’s literature-related content: a candid interview with Professor David Rudd, academic articles, a YA short story, and reviews! You can access the journal here.
Rebecca Sutton, PhD student with the NCRCL, reports on her experience of our 2017 PhD Day, which she organised this year.
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.
It was especially great to welcome Aliona Yarova who, working between Sweden and the UK, came all the way from Sweden to present her research, and two new students starting with us this autumn – Emily Corbett (recipient of the Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship) and Harriet Salisbury (recipient of a TECHNE Studentship).
The theme for the third NCRCL Bake-off was ‘Food in Children’s Literature’. There were Google Buns from The Magic Faraway Tree, Seed Cake from Swallows and Amazons, Bruce Bogtrotter’s Chocolate Cake and Honey Cakes for Miss Honey from Matilda, and finally Carrot Cake from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. Alison Waller and Lisa Sainsbury were the judges and prizes were awarded for: Best Reflection of Theme, Best Taste and Best Presentation.
It was a great day for both academia and for baking! I can’t wait until next year.
Rebecca Sutton is a first-year PhD student at the NCRCL. Her research is centered around contested space and identity in Young Adult Literature set in Israel/Palestine.
Photographs taken by Rebecca Sutton.
Welcome to the launch of RoundTable, the English and Creative Writing Department’s new postgraduate journal:
NCRCL Open Day
Saturday 13th May 2017 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Duchesne Building, Ground Floor, Digby Stuart Campus
Welcome to the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature’s spring event for MA/PG Dip and PhD students past, present, and future! The Open Day is an opportunity to meet the NCRCL team over tea and cakes, celebrate current research, and hear fantastic speakers.
We are delighted to announce that award-winning Canadian author and educator Zetta Elliott, an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing, and distinguished children’s literature critic Peter Hunt, the first Professor of Children’s Literature in the UK, will be joining us this year.
Current students and alumni are all warmly invited as is anyone curious about the work of the NCRCL, and anyone interested in applying to the MA/PG Dip in Children’s Literature, or undertaking doctoral research at the NCRCL!
NCRCL PhD candidate Sinéad Moriarty’s article “Unstable Space: Mapping the Antarctic for Children in ‘Heroic Era’ Antarctic Literature” was published in Children’s Literature in Education in January 2017.
Here is the abstract of Sinéad’s article:
This article examines the Antarctic landscape as one of the last places in the world to be explored and mapped, and as one of the most changeable landscapes in the world. The mapping exercises involved in the early, heroic-era Antarctic expeditions, helped to reduce a once mysterious and unknown landscape into a known entity, something that could be contained and restrained through visual representation. These maps focus on the limits of landscape, on the outer edges and the upper peaks and so mapping minimises and places limits upon landscapes, creating an image of the landscape which is static, re-presented for human consumption. The article will, therefore, look at the use of maps in a cross-section of six heroic-era Antarctic non-fiction narratives for children written within the last twenty years, and which recount the early Antarctic expeditions, recreating and re-presenting heroic-era maps as a means of enforcing stasis on this dynamic landscape. The children’s stories, such as Michael McCurdy’s Trapped by the Ice! (1997), Meredith Hooper’s Race to the Pole (2002), and Dowdeswell, Dowdeswell & Seddon’s Scott of the Antarctic (2012), show that the stultifying effect of maps is exacerbated in the children’s heroic-era narratives as they seek to fix the landscape geographically, as well as temporally, in the early twentieth century. The article will examine the way in which the maps in the modern retellings of heroic-era narratives seek to undermine the mutable nature of the Antarctic in order to present the child reader with an image of the continent, which is dominated by stasis.
You can access the article here.
Sinéad Moriarty is a PhD candidate at the NCRCL. Her work focuses on representations of the Antarctic in literature for children, and how authors have understood and represented this ‘wild’ landscape.
NCRCL Open Day
Saturday 11th June2016, 10:00am to 1:00pm
Ground Floor, Duchesne Building, Digby Stuart College
The NCRCL invites you to an exciting summer event for MA/PG Dip and PhD students past, present and future.
The open day will include:
* Tea, Coffee and Conversation — meeting the NCRCL team
* Aidan Chambers, our invited guest, speaking about his creative and critical practice
* Presentations from NCRCL Staff about research and teaching interests
* Poster presentations from current MA Dissertation students
* MA Children’s Literature Prize-giving
* Pop-up Bookshop
* Optional visit to the Children’s Literature Collection in the Library
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.
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: Julia.Noyce@roehampton.ac.uk
On 11th April 2015, three of NCRCL’s PhD students — Anne Malewski, Sinead Moriarty, and Sarah Pyke — along with Dr Jane Carroll presented their current projects at the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (ISSCL) conference 2015 in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.
The setting for the conference was the brand new Dún Laoghaire Lexicon, a cultural centre and library set on the seafront in the Dublin suburb. The NCRCL delegates were made to feel incredibly welcome by the ISSCL team and were even given a tour of the new library facilities before the end of the weekend! This two-day event brought together a dynamic range of academics, graduate students and writers of children’s literature, not only from Ireland and the UK, but Europe and Latin America as well.
The theme of the 2015 ISSCL Conference was ‘Constructing childhoods and texts for children’. The broad nature of this theme resulted in a wide range of interesting papers focusing on topics such as the construction of the image of the child in the work of bell hooks in texts such as Happy to be Nappy to an examination of Beckett’s Godot for children in Sesame Street! The first day of the conference culminated in a fascinating key note speech by Maria Nikolajeva who focused on the importance of fantasy literature in the cognitive development of the child.
Anne, Sinead, and Sarah have written brief reports from their presentations and experiences from the conference…