“Putting the Figure on the Map
Imagining Sameness and Difference for Children”
Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University Sept. 11-13, 2013
Children’s books were important vehicles for the expression of senses of national identity that could confirm the superiority of one culture, marginalize others, instill a sense of international brotherhood or regional patriotism. Through a tangle of national types, stereotypes, and archetypes, children’s books shaped discourse as much as they reflected mainstream adult culture.
Exploring these themes, and others, this interdisciplinary Cotsen Library conference featured presentations that drew on the approaches of imagology, history, anthropology, psychology, and literary criticism, to discuss modes of expression arising that either targeted children, within or without the classroom, or appropriated discourses for them, to present competing, complimentary or contradictory images of foreign nations.
Presenting scholars represented institutions across the United States, Canada, and Europe, including: Princeton, University of Toronto, University of Innsbruck, University of Cologne, Leuphana University, Aarhus University, Roehampton University, Anglia Ruskin University, Ohio State University, and Wells College. (A full listing of speakers, abstracts, and biographical profiles, as well as the conference program schedule is available on the Conference website.)
The conference program also included two workshops focusing on materials from the Cotsen research collection — Japanese Picture Sugoroku games and English “dissected maps” and geography games — with a selection of collection objects available for viewing by attendees.
Two of the Cotsen collection items on display for attendees to
see after the speakers’ presentations:
Some Presenters & Discussion at the Conference
(click on any thumbnail image to view larger version)