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Assembling Common Worlds Conference - Keynote Address: Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak

Jun
10
When: Friday, Jun 10, 2022, 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Attendance: Mixed Online and In-Person
Building: Malaspina Theatre
Vancouver Island University
900 Fifth Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5

Add to CalendarAssembling Common Worlds Conference - Keynote Address: Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak06/10/2022 04:30 PM06/10/2022 06:00 PMMM/DD/YYYYAmerica/VancouverFinding Hope? Researching Children’s Literature and Culture in 2022 Hope for a better future – for us, for contemporary children, and for the generations to come – is the bloodstream of children’s literature and culture scholarship. Regardless of differences in our theoretical approaches or choices of primary texts, we rely on the deeply entrenched belief that a taste for and participation in culture is crucial for young people as a gateway to a better life (Deszcz-Tryhubczak and García-González 2021). We thus provide critical readings of texts, expecting that other adults involved in the pedagogical project of childhood (e.g. parents, librarians or teachers) will find them useful in their own engagements with children. And yet I am hard-pressed to continue this “hopeful” scholarship, witnessing the ongoing suffering of asylum seekers of all ages and the erection of a wall meant to stop them at the cost of clearing the primeval forest (a UNESCO World Heritage site) at the Polish-Belarussian border. And I find it even more impossible witnessing the destruction of human and more-than-human life, as well as the devastation of land, water and air, in Ukraine, just across the border from my country. It is also growing on me that – in light of adults’ multiple betrayals of the future generations – cheerfully claiming that texts of culture addressed to young people can contribute to the emergence of more decent realities sounds like a bad joke. Is then assembling common worlds still a viable option? How can we embrace hopelessness? Or perhaps we are already like the scientists from the story concluding Shaun Tan’s Tales from the Inner City, who dig up human fossils as they are lamenting the irrevocable loss of multispecies kinships and the demise of life on the planet, including their own extinction? Grappling with these questions and doubts, in this talk I would like to invite a reflection on the sustainability of hope in children’s literature and culture scholarship and in other fields committed to researching childhoods. Bio Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak is Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Poland. She is the author of Yes to Solidarity, No to Oppression: Radical Fantasy Fiction and Its Young Readers (2016). She is also the co-editor (with Irena Barbara Kalla) of Rulers of Literary Playgrounds Politics of Intergenerational Play in Children’s Literature (2021), (with Zoe Jaques) Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film (2021), and (with Irena Barbara Kalla) Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind. She has served as a member of the board of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. Her research interests include posthumanism and children's participation in social, political and cultural life. Attendance for keynote addresses is free, in person or virtual. Register to attend an address here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597 If you have any questions or concerns regarding the conference please contact: Terri Doughty: Terri.Doughty@viu.ca or Janet Grafton: Janet.Grafton@viu.ca \n\nhttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597\nNanaimo Campus Building Malaspina Theatre \nVancouver Island University\n900 Fifth Street\nNanaimo BC V9R 5S5\n\nhttps://events.viu.ca/assembling-common-worlds-conference-keynote-address-justyna-deszcz-tryhubczakhttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597falseaYqCFcQpUzxLBYhTummH26494

Finding Hope? Researching Children’s Literature and Culture in 2022

Hope for a better future – for us, for contemporary children, and for the generations to come – is the bloodstream of children’s literature and culture scholarship. Regardless of differences in our theoretical approaches or choices of primary texts, we rely on the deeply entrenched belief that a taste for and participation in culture is crucial for young people as a gateway to a better life (Deszcz-Tryhubczak and García-González 2021). We thus provide critical readings of texts, expecting that other adults involved in the pedagogical project of childhood (e.g. parents, librarians or teachers) will find them useful in their own engagements with children. And yet I am hard-pressed to continue this “hopeful” scholarship, witnessing the ongoing suffering of asylum seekers of all ages and the erection of a wall meant to stop them at the cost of clearing the primeval forest (a UNESCO World Heritage site) at the Polish-Belarussian border. And I find it even more impossible witnessing the destruction of human and more-than-human life, as well as the devastation of land, water and air, in Ukraine, just across the border from my country. It is also growing on me that – in light of adults’ multiple betrayals of the future generations – cheerfully claiming that texts of culture addressed to young people can contribute to the emergence of more decent realities sounds like a bad joke. Is then assembling common worlds still a viable option? How can we embrace hopelessness? Or perhaps we are already like the scientists from the story concluding Shaun Tan’s Tales from the Inner City, who dig up human fossils as they are lamenting the irrevocable loss of multispecies kinships and the demise of life on the planet, including their own extinction? Grappling with these questions and doubts, in this talk I would like to invite a reflection on the sustainability of hope in children’s literature and culture scholarship and in other fields committed to researching childhoods.

Bio

Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak is Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the Center for Young People’s Literature and Culture at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Poland. She is the author of Yes to Solidarity, No to Oppression: Radical Fantasy Fiction and Its Young Readers (2016). She is also the co-editor (with Irena Barbara Kalla) of Rulers of Literary Playgrounds Politics of Intergenerational Play in Children’s Literature (2021), (with Zoe Jaques) Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film (2021), and (with Irena Barbara Kalla) Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind. She has served as a member of the board of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. Her research interests include posthumanism and children's participation in social, political and cultural life.

Attendance for keynote addresses is free, in person or virtual.
Register to attend an address here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the conference please contact:

Terri Doughty: Terri.Doughty@viu.ca

or

Janet Grafton: Janet.Grafton@viu.ca

Event Organizer:
Terri Doughty