Children’s Literature, Comics/Graphic Novels, and Childhood Studies at MLA 2021

The 2021 MLA is not in Toronto, as we thought it would be at this time last year — indeed, at this time even six months ago. The 2021 MLA is… wherever you are. Like everything else, it’s on Zoom! But it is happening!

Questions about what this will look like? Check out the MLA’s Virtual Convention FAQ! This post is devoted to the sessions on Children’s Literature, Comics/Graphic Novels, and Childhood Studies. All times are EST (even though I am in CST). Did I miss anything? Let me know, and I will add.

NOTE: The Children’s and YA Literature Forum Business Meeting will be held Friday, 8 January, at 1:45 PM EST. Contact Philip Nel for the Zoom link.


61 – Graphic Narratives: Tools for Intersectional Resistance against Systemic Injustice

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Description

Panelists focus on the representation of unique and multiple forms of resistance through words and art in graphic narratives and interrogate the form and genre of these texts as tools for intersectional resistance and social justice. 

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67 – Impertinent Pedagogy: Mischievous Praxis in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Culture

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Description

This session features five-minute lightning talks introducing innovative, irreverent, revolutionary, or downright disorderly approaches to teaching children’s and young adult literature and culture in the college classroom.

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86 – New Flashpoints in Comics History

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

Description

Participants share work that identifies moments in comics history that have been overlooked. They discuss how American and transnational comics histories have been shaped by cultural conflict and exchange, the comics industry and its discontents, and changing technologies of production.

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144 – Growing Up, Down, Sideways: Adolescence and the Literary Imagination

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

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145 – Comics on the Couch

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

Description

In the words of the psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu, “psychoanalysis has a greater need of people who think in images than of scholars, scholiasts, abstract or formalistic thinkers.” Reflecting on psychoanalysis’s understanding of drawn images and the affective states such images reach, panelists explore how comics reveal the personal and political expression of the unconscious.

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177 – Comics and Illness: Mediating Trauma through Image-Textual Encounters

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Description

Panelists focus on comics about disability and illness—especially those that combine social circumstance with intimate individual accounts by juxtaposing words and pictures in a seamless narrative, challenging essentialist notions of race, gender, and sexuality through their pedagogical yet nonpedantic and accessible storytelling—looking at how the comic space can be used to process trauma and map memories, as well as how comics function as a holding environment

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208 – “Hear Their Cry”: Understanding the Jewish Orphan Experience

Friday, 8 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

For related material, write to sjacobowitz@qcc.cuny.edu

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224 – The Traffic in Childhood

Friday, 8 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

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The Children’s and YA Literature Forum Business Meeting

Friday, 8 January 2021, 1:45 PM EST.

Contact Philip Nel for the Zoom link.

342 – #OwnVoices in Children’s and Adolescent Literature

Friday, 8 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

Description

The session fosters a nuanced discussion about textual representation, inclusivity, social justice, and power in books and media for young people. Panelists give much-needed critical attention to #OwnVoices texts and scholars, delving into complex, fluid, and multifaceted considerations of textual representation.

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396 – Comics and Graphic Narratives for Young Audiences

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

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417 – Questioning the Canon: Rethinking the Golden Age of Children’s Literature

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

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501 – The Poetics of Childhood in Early Modern Iberia

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM

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517 – The Other in Narratives of Rival Nations

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

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559 – Rereading L. M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside One Hundred Years Later

Sunday, 10 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Description

The stories of loss, endurance, and survival in L. M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside persist one hundred years after the novel’s publication. Montgomery scholars explore interrelated stories within the novel from different perspectives—for example, the power of small things, vulnerability, womanhood, motherhood, death, and war—to facilitate conversation on the legacy of this wartime novel.

For related material, write to lclement@lakeheadu.ca

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540 – The Graphic Novel and Humanistic Inquiry

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

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556 – Theorizing the Child for the Twenty-First Century

Sunday, 10 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

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636 – Decolonizing Comics and/as Activism

Sunday, 10 January 2021, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

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695 – “Nevertheless, She Persisted”: Girls, Literature for Girls, and the Politics of Persistence

Sunday, 10 January 2021, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

For related material, write to mgreenb6@uwo.ca

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