Because It Lasts: Time and Space in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Media

Call for Paper Proposals

Deadline for submission: 1 March 2022

A peer-reviewed graduate student conference

University of British Columbia | Unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Vancouver, Canada | Friday 17 June – Sunday 19 June 2022

From ancient epic tales like Beowulf, The Odyssey, and The Epic of Gilgamesh, where young men adventure through foreign lands, to recent youth movie adaptations featuring time or space travel like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ender’s Game, and Marvel’s Endgame, numerous titles have engaged with the themes of time and space in children’s and young adult literature and media. Time and space are paradoxically tangible yet elusive; we experience them within our everyday life, yet they are never truly in one’s control. The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified this conflict, forcing nations to close their borders and people to lock themselves within their homes. In times when unprecedented levels of migration and ease of mobility led many to believe that the world did not have many barriers, such a prolonged global confinement has led to increased feelings of loneliness, disorientation, and powerlessness. This, combined with the sense of losing time—or track of it—will definitely affect old and newer generations. Because It Lasts: Time and Space in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Media aims to discuss these topics and showcase graduate students’ academic and creative work on the matter.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • History/ Historicity
  • Memory
  • Futurity
  • Death
  • Displacement in time and space
  • Diverse experiences of time and space
  • Liminality and marginality
  • Spatiality and mobility
  • Subjectivity, agency, and identity
  • Growing up or refusing to grow up, coming of age, anxieties of adulthood
  • Homelessness, gendered times and spaces
  • BIPOC, diaspora, and immigrant experience

These topics are suggestions, as we are open to proposals on any aspect of time and space in children’s and young adult literature, media, education, and culture.

Academic Paper Proposals

Please send a 250-word abstract, including the title of your paper, 5-8 keywords, and 3-5 academic references. Your name should not appear on the proposal. Attach a 50-word biography, including your name, preferred pronouns, student status, university affiliation, home country, and email address. Save the proposal and the biography as two separate Word files (.DOC or .DOCX) and use the format “Academic_Name_PaperTitle” in the email subject line.

Creative Writing Proposals

All creative writing genres and forms are welcome, including novel chapters, poetry, picture books, graphic novels, scripts, amongst others. Please send a sample of your work that is no more than 12 pages long, double-spaced. Include the title, a list of references (if applicable), and a 150-word description identifying the topic, genre, targeted age group, and relevance to the conference themes. Your name should not appear on the sample. Attach a 50-word biography, including your name, student status, preferred pronouns, university affiliation, home country, and email address.

Save the sample and description as one Word file and the biography as a separate Word file (.DOC or .DOCX). Use this format “Creative_Name_SampleTitle” for the email subject line.

Participants are welcome to submit both academic and creative proposals. Each proposal will be adjudicated separately, and you may be accepted for one or both streams. Please follow the guidelines for both submissions above and send them in separate emails.

For Out of Province/Country Submissions

For presenters who plan to travel to Vancouver, Canada for this conference, please include “Travel” in the email subject line. e.g. “Travel_Academic_Name_PaperTitle” and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Dates and logistics

Deadline for proposal submission: 1 March 2022

A notification of acceptance will be sent by the end of March 2022.

All submissions will be blind reviewed by the members of the Review Committee.

Contact Us

About Us

The Master of Arts in Children’s Literature (MACL) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the only graduate program in children’s literature in Canada and one of the most multi-disciplinary children’s literature programs in the world. It is offered through the UBC iSchool (Library, Archival, and Information Studies) with joint participation from the Department of English Language and Literatures, the Department of Language and Literacy Education, and the School of Creative Writing. As one of the few venues in Canada that showcases emerging scholarship in children’s and young adult literature, this conference provides a platform for new scholars and writers from different backgrounds, especially for graduate and upper-division undergraduate students, and creates cross-disciplinary associations that may inspire new and innovative connections to support writing and research in this area.

About the Conference

The first Graduate Student Conference in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Media and Culture took place in 2008. In addition to paper and creative writing presentations, the conference invites renowned scholars and authors as our keynote speakers. Featured keynote speakers from past conferences include Dr. Maria Tatar, Dr. Philip Nel, Dr. Elizabeth Marshall, Dr. S.R. Toliver, Dr. Angel Matos, Dr. Naomi Hamer and best-selling authors Rachel Hartman and Richard Van Camp. This year, students from the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program at UBC’s iSchool will come together to host the ninth edition of the event.

We look forward to hearing from you!