Call for papers: Border-Crossing in Children’s Literature

The Second International Symposium for Children’s Literature &
The Fourth US-China Symposium for Children’s Literature

June 14-16, 2018
Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University

The International Symposium for Children’s Literature, first held in 2012 as the US-China Symposium for Children’s Literature, was born at an exciting moment in children’s books and reading in China. Imported/translated picture books and juvenile literature, along with parent-child shared reading practice, were increasingly introduced to rising middle-class Chinese families and rejuvenated the creation of domestic works. The symposium has become an important venue where leading scholars from China, USA, and an expanding list of countries exchange the latest research on children’s literature, fertilizing the field with inquiries that cross national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries.

The Cotsen Children’s Library is proud to host the Second International Symposium for Children’s Literature in 2018. Cotsen is a special collection of international historical children’s materials housed within Princeton University Library. It is one of the few institutions, outside East Asia, that house a sizeable and growing research collection of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean books, magazines, manuscripts, original artwork, prints, games, and toys for children’s entertainment and education.

The Second International Symposium for Children’s Literature seeks to facilitate interchange of ideas on new issues in children’s literature research between scholars from East and West. We are particularly interested in two thematic areas.

(1) Children’s literature on the screen
Electronic screens have joined paper to carry text, images, and other multimodal contents that entertain, educate, inspire, and stimulate children. Shelby A. Wolf (2014) challenged us to widen literary analysis “to include the interplay of visual, auditory, and interactive opportunities” offered by digital children’s literature. We welcome proposals that investigate digital picture books or children’s book Apps from dimensions that range from definition to creation, evaluation, criticism, usage, access, response, and impact.

(2) Border-Crossing in Children’s Literature
This is a broad area that encompasses multicultural, international, and translated children’s literature, in any format and genre, including but not limited to East Asian children’s literature, its relationship with global literature, its application in second language education, and East Asian-themed American works.

Submission Timelines

August 14, 2017 — Deadline for submitting abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute presentations (in English or Chinese) to

September 14, 2017 — Decision notification. The symposium is able to schedule up to 24 presenters into the program.

February 14, 2018 — Deadline for the submission of your paper. The necessity of on-site, simultaneous translation requires that we receive the full text of your presentation with adequate time to have English-Chinese bilingual versions prepared.

Following the symposium, we plan to assemble revised versions of the symposium papers into a book or a special journal issue.


Dr. Minjie Chen
Cotsen Children’s Library
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton University Library
Phone: (609)258-9574

Dr. Qiuying (Lydia) Wang
Professor, Reading/Literacy (K-8)
School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences
Oklahoma State University
Phone: (405)744-8001


Wolf, S. A. (2014). Children’s literature on the digital move. The Reading Teacher, 67(6), 413-417.

Printable Flyer


“Wild Lives:” An Afternoon of Talks on October 16th, Guyot Hall Auditorium, Princeton University

COTSEN-SMALL-POSTER-for-EMAILCotsen Children’s Library, the Graphic Arts Collection, and the Friends of the Princeton University Library will be co-hosting:

 Wild Lives: Catesby, Audubon, Lear, and Ford

October 16th, 2016 from 2:00-4:30 PM
Guyot Hall Auditorium, Princeton University

Please join us then for an afternoon of talks discussing the distinguished natural history illustrations of Mark Catesby, John Audubon, Edward Lear, and Walton Ford.

Our four speakers and their presentations will be:

Robert M. Peck ’74, Curator of Art and Senior
Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel
University: The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear

Aaron M. Bauer, the Gerald M. Lemole Professor of
Integrative Biology at Villanova University: Mark Catesby, Pioneering Zoologist of
the American Southeast

Neal Woodman, Research Zoologist with the USGS
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: Audubon’s Contributions to
Rafinesque’s Zoological Discoveries
in the American West

A talk by contemporary artist Walton Ford

No reservations are necessary, but you may call or email me for more information at: 609-258-1148 or

Here’s a map of Guyot Hall:

Closest parking is on Ivy Lane, lot no.14, open to everyone on Sunday afternoon.