This proposed panel will explore the intersections of race, girlhood and social justice in children’s literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Focusing especially upon the work of children’s authors and illustrators of color, this panel will examine how and why narratives of girlhood often function as a medium for social commentary. Through the lens of literature, we will also consider how race, gender, and sexuality shape the contours of coming-of-age for girls in the United States and beyond. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: twentieth- and twenty-first-century multi-ethnic narratives of girlhood, such as the works of Cynthia Kadohata, Jacqueline Woodson, Julia Alvarez, Louise Erdrich, and Ed Young; teaching narratives of race and girlhood, from K-12 to the college-level; transnational representations of girlhood and race; and, African American girlhood and children’s literature of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Please send a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV to Kristen Proehl, kproehl_at_clemson.edu, and Sharon Holland, sharon.holland_at_duke.edu, by March 1, 2012. Send inquiries/questions to kproehl_at_clemson.edu.
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