Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hilary Term CLYCC CfP

The University of Oxford CLYCC is now soliciting paper proposals for its Hilary (winter) term seminar series. The CLYCC is a welcoming, exciting community in which to present your current work on topics in children's literature and youth culture studies. Academics, graduates, and high-level undergraduates from Oxford and beyond are all very welcome to send brief (200-300 word) proposals or informal statements of interest in the body of an email to maria[dot]cecire[at]keble[dot]ox[dot]ac[dot]uk by 19 December 2009.

Areas of study may include (but are not limited to) literary criticism, children's / young adult publishing, youth culture, and media studies.

CLYCC talks take place on Thursdays at 5:00pm, and papers are usually 20-40 minutes long, followed by a discussion.

*Please note that the CLYCC seminar series is different from the CLYCC's Place and Space in Children's Literature Conference, which will run 27-28 March, 2009 at Keble College, Oxford. Abstract submissions to the conference is now closed. For registration information, see*

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lecture: Children's Literature and the Academy

On Monday, 17 November at 4:00PM, Keble Fellow and Tutor Diane Purkiss will give a lecture entitled "Children's Literature and the Academy" in Lecture Theatre 2 of the English Faculty Building. This talk is aimed primarily at undergraduates, and will discuss the place of children's literature in academia. The lecture will be particularly pertinent to those students that are interested in pursuing children's literature studies at any point during their academic career, including during their time at Oxford. DPhil candidate and Keble Lecturer Maria Cecire will also be on hand to weigh in on working in this unique field.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mrs. Leicester and Ulysses

The Charles Lamb Society presents a half-day seminar in London on December 4, 2008 – at which CLYCC co-founder Malini Roy will be a key speaker. The seminar will especially appeal to anyone with an interest in eighteenth-century/Romantic/early nineteenth-century children's literature. For complete information, see

(For those staying in Oxford, the CLYCC will also meet that day for Ryan Richard Thoreson's talk on the Disney Pre-Teen Empire--see termcard below for more information.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Place and Space Conference

The website for our March 2009 conference is now up and running: for the Call for Papers, registration information, and more, see

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Michaelmas Term 2008 Schedule

Welcome back to another exciting term of talks and discussions with the University of Oxford Children's Literature and Youth Culture Colloquium. We meet every second week on Thursdays at 5:00 PM in Room 11 of the English Faculty Building. All are welcome!

WEEK 2 (October 23rd):
De-Gnoming the Garden: Colonialism, Xenophobia, and Little People in The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter
Maria Cecire, Keble College
Keble graduate student and CLYCC convener Maria Cecire presents a segment of her doctoral thesis on Oxford-based children’s fantasy and the medieval tradition, drawing from one of her chapters on race and multiculturalism.

WEEK 4 (November 6th):
Meet the New Boss....Same as the Old Boss: Narratives, Strategies, and the Children’s Literature Police
Dr. Diane Purkiss, Keble College
Keble Fellow and children’s author Diane Purkiss discusses how writing for children and young adults is increasingly directed by a central consensus among authority figures while being presented as liberal. Addresses the work of C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, and Jenny Downham.

WEEK 6 (November 20th):
Pullman’s Land of the Dead
Dr. Margaret Kean, St. Hilda’s College
St. Hilda’s Fellow and Milton scholar Margaret Kean considers Philip Pullman’s depiction of Hell in His Dark Materials.

WEEK 8 (December 4th):
Adolescence and Ideology in the Disney Pre-Teen Empire
Ryan Richard Thoreson, Hertford College
Hertford graduate student Ryan Richard Thoreson examines the ideology of the Disney Channel's pre-teen lineup, paying special attention to the way that programs like Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and High School Musical develop and supplement traditional Disney themes for children growing into adolescence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Name Change and New Term

In order to befuddle and confound you (and, I suppose, to better reflect what it is we actually do) we have changed our name to the Children's Literature and Youth Culture Colloquium. This change takes into account our interest in young adult literature and media beyond the printed page, and also reflects the flexibility of age categories when it comes to the texts that we study and discuss. We are gearing up now for the start of an exciting new year, which will feature our conference in March at Keble College (stay tuned for more: Philip Pullman will deliver the keynote and confirmed speakers include Peter Hunt, Maria Nikolajeva, Diane Purkiss, and Margaret Kean) in addition to our biweekly seminar series.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CLRG Trinity Term 2008 Schedule

Hello! Welcome to a new term. All CLRG meetings this Trinity will be on Wednesdays at 4:00PM in Room 5 of the English Faculty Building. They will last about an hour. No prior reading is required this term, although suggested reading may be sent out in advance via our mailing list. Each talk will be followed by a discussion as usual. The Oxford CLRG is open to undergraduates, graduates, and faculty with an interest in children’s literature or childhood studies from a literary perspective.

Week 2: Maria Cecire, Keble College
Harry Potter and Post-9/11 Paranoia

Week 4: Anna Weilberg, St. Peter’s College
Magical Books and Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series

Week 6: Johanna Koljonen, St. Edmund Hall
(Author of Finnish comic book Oblivion High)
Comic Books and Manga as Children’s Literature

Week 8: Kavita Mudan, Linacre College
Young Adult Rewrites of Shakespeare

Week 10: Malini Roy, Keble College
Children’s Literature in the Early 19th Century

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March News Update

This month we had a small but interesting meeting on boys' spy literature just before the end of term. Stay tuned for our next meeting date and topic.

Johanna and Maria both gave papers at the Canons of Children's Literature Conference at UC Berkeley on March 15, and heard some really interesting talks. For a list of papers given, go here.

Historian Paula Fass was the keynote speaker, and wanted us (you!) to know that the new peer-reviewed Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth is soliciting submissions, and are interested in literary criticism as well. So definitely have a look at their site.

The Berkeley Children's Literature Working Group ran the conference and we had some good discussions with them about potentially holding a similar one-day conference in Oxford next year. Please do get in touch if you're interested in helping to brainstorm, plan, or be in any way part of such an event.

Monday, January 28, 2008

February Meeting

13 February 2008
2:00 PM
Wednesday of 5th Week
English Faculty Building, Rm. 5

To read and discuss: Stephanie Meyer's Twilight.

After our last insightful meeting on what Johanna terms "clique lit" for adolescent/teenage girls, we agreed that it would be beneficial and interesting to spend the next few sessions focused on recent trends in children's literature. We identified these broad genres as big at the moment:

--Werewolves/vampires in high school (Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series)
--Child/teen spy books (the Alex Rider series, Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You)
--Post-Harry Potter fantasy
--Manga/Graphic Novels

We thought that since we just did Upper East Side princesses in high school, we'd move to vampires in high school and start with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight to have a look at this Buffyesque phenomenon.


We discussed the role of marketing on children's literature today, and the way in which they are being used as advertising space as well as tied up in larger money-making endeavors such as films, television shows, and lines of products. Check out this article on Scholastic's computer game-driven new series of books that will serve as a follow-up to Harry Potter: