Academic journal article Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature

Editorial

Academic journal article Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature

Editorial

Article excerpt

The theme of the Eighth International Conference of the Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research (ACLAR), held at Victoria University of Wellington on 27-29 June 2008, was 'Other Worlds in Children's Literature: Fantasy, Reality and Imagination'. The topics of the 76 papers presented ranged from fantasy, folklore, morality, and power of language to sexuality, timeslip, humour and cyberculture. This issue of Papers comprises selected papers from this conference.

Roderick McGillis's stimulating plenary address 'Fantasy as Epanalepsis: "An Anticipation of Retrospection'" discusses fantasy as memory, nostalgia and desire. McGillis in particular examines the 'there and back again' movement of fantasy in which journeys are followed by a return home, and in which the reader is invited to 'look back at what never was'.

The first three articles address issues of narrative and motifs. Webb explores how J. K. Rowling's narrative strategies in the Harry Potter series gradually develop in the reader an increasingly intellectual recognition of reality. In her analysis of The Incredibles and The Lion Boy trilogy Chappell examines the fantasy motif of exceptionality versus homogeneity in contemporary culture. Schaefer considers the main character's journey in The Neverending Story as a narrative towards finding free will. Next, two articles deal with the question of cultural perspective. By focusing on works by Ihimaera and Duiker, Brown discusses the creation of an alternative fantasy within colonised cultures. Hammer exposes the problem of representing perspectives of marginalised cultures from a non-indigenous point of view in three Young Adult novels by Allende. …

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