Contemporary children and adolescents divide their time over many different media. These media do not develop in isolation. Rather, they shape each other by continually exchanging content and modes of mediation. This conference addresses the exchanges between children’s literature and adjacent media (oral narrative, theatre, film, radio, TV, digital media).
Media are best defined as cultural practices that forge specific links between senders and receivers of messages, facilitating certain types of communicative behavior. As newer media tend to imitate, if not absorb, older media, they force older media to reassert their uniqueness and indispensability in a rapidly changing media landscape. How has children’s literature staked out its own niche in these historically variable ‘mediascapes’ in the course of time? How do electronic and digital media affect children’s emergent literacy and literary competence? How have children’s books and the newer electronic and digital media impacted on children’s play? What sort of communicative behaviors are facilitated by the diverse media available to children and adolescents nowadays? Which ethical and political issues are raised by the fact that children’s literature has to share its claim to the audience’s attention with a whole gamut of alternative media? These questions are central to the 21st biannual conference of the IRSCL.
The aim of the conference is to strengthen the ever closer ties between children’s literature scholars and media experts, and to bridge the gap between hermeneutic methods from the humanities and empirical, experimental methods from the social sciences.