Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: M/MLA Special Session "The Rules of the Game: Cultural Play in Nineteenth-Century Children's Literature" (6/3/2011; 11/3-6/2011)

The Rules of the Game: Cultural Play in Nineteenth-Century Children's Literature
M/MLA, November 3-6, 2011

A special session on the relation between play and children's literature in the Nineteenth Century at the Midwest Modern Language Association 2011 conference that focuses on the theme: "Play...No Seriously"

This panel focuses on the intersections of children's play - fantasy, gamesmanship, adventure - and the development of an "adult" identity in children's literature from the long nineteenth century. The panel will explore the cultural implications of play inherent in the texts discussed, and engage with the second half of the conference’s theme: how “No, seriously,” for nineteenth-century children’s literature, is perhaps the most important part of play.

We are particularly interested in papers that explore how the didacticism of nineteenth-century literature, in an age in which children were considered "little adults,"  harnessed the energy and imagination of childhood and transformed it into a training exercise for adulthood. Papers that examine how play in children's literature shaped national identity are particularly welcome.

Deadline for abstracts June 3, 2011

Please submit a 250-word proposal and a brief bio to Professors Elizabeth Anderman (
Elizabeth.Anderman@Colorado.edu) and Erika Behrisch Elce (Erika.Behrisch.Elce@rmc.ca).

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