ChLA Diversity Committee – call for panel proposals for ChLA 2011 (Roanoke, VA – June 23-25, 2011)

Resisting “Americanization” in Literature for Young People

In the past, children’s and young adult narratives have focused on the assimilation of marginalized populations into U.S. culture, often through a character’s attempts to take on aspects of identity traditionally privileged by members of the dominant culture. In recent years, this “melting pot” mentality has been interrogated by authors, and current narratives frequently depict characters who resist or complicate this process of “Americanization,” choosing instead to retain their cultural and self-identities.

This year, the Diversity Committee seeks paper proposals on the topic of resisting “Americanization.” Papers might examine how authors complicate discourse about what it means to be(come) “American” or consider how narratives resist or reinscribe traditional conceptions of “Americanization.” Essays could address issues of language, naming, and traditions, or explore how sexual identity, gender, class, religion, or family structure factor into representations of what it means and looks like to be considered “American.”

Contact co-chairs Thomas Crisp (tcrisp@sar.usf.edu) or Sarah Park (spark@stkate.edu), with questions. Email a 500-word abstract and a 2-page CV only to spark@stkate.edu by December 15, 2010. Please label your abstract in the titles of attached documents, and include contact information (email and phone number).

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