"Finding the Hidden Adult in Victorian Children's Literature"NAVSA 2013, Pasadena, CA, October 23-27, 2013
The Victorian era embraced the notion that childhood should be set aside as a time of unbridled play and fantasy, separate from the adult world of work. Yet the worlds of childhood and adulthood were constantly blurring within and alongside books for both kinds of audiences: Catherine Robson notes the presence of men in Wonderland, Claudia Nelson has recently shown that "precocious children" and "childish adults" populate Victorian literature, and Perry Nodelman locates the "hidden adult" in children's texts.
In keeping with the "Evidence" theme of the NAVSA 2013 conference, this panel seeks presentations that search for evidence of the adult inhabiting the child's world or the child within the adult. Papers might consider child writers imitating adult-authored literature; adults writing for children or mimicking the child's voice; adult/child collaborations; case studies of texts that resist age-based audience conventions; and other instances of this boundary-crossing in the Victorian era, as well as the influence of personal history on literary production. Projects concerned with the exchange between different media forms--e.g., text and image; periodicals and bound volumes; "high" culture genres and "low"--are particularly welcome.
Please submit 500 word paper abstracts along with a one-page c.v. to A. Robin Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org and Meghan Rosing at email@example.com by February 22, 2013.