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Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

184 Hills Road

Cambridge

CB2 8PQ

United Kingdom

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This one day symposium features a range of panels exploring the concept of the children's book as material object.

The growth in digital media has led to a corresponding ‘material turn’ in academic interest concerning the book as a material object. Children’s books in particular raise the question of the role of the physical and material form in communicating meaning. From the eighteenth century, children’s books have been marketed alongside (gender-specific) toys, and today, pop-up books, illustrated books, and textured books all attest to an interest in exploiting the physical nature of books for children. Children’s books also appear in many forms: picturebooks, comics, digital apps, and video games. This symposium aims to explore the many physical forms that children’s books can take, and asks what we can learn from studying the materiality of the children’s book.

Keynote speaker: Philip Nel

Philip Nel is University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University. His next book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, will be published by Oxford UP in July 2017. He is the author or co-editor of ten other books, including three volumes of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby (2013, 2014, 2016; two more forthcoming), Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012), Keywords for Children’s Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul, 2011), Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature (co-edited with Julia Mickenberg, 2008), and The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats (2007). Since 2011, he has been General Editor of Routledge’s Children’s Literature and Culture Series. He blogs at Nine Kinds of Pie , and tweets as @philnel.

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Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

184 Hills Road

Cambridge

CB2 8PQ

United Kingdom

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