Symposium/CfP - Pedagogy of Images II: Depicting Communism for Children, Princeton University, March 31-April 1 2017

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Every effort will be made to offer assistance with travel and accommodation expenses to selected candidates.

The Pedagogy of Images project started in 2015 with an exploratory symposium that mapped out approaches to studying the process of amalgamation of text and image within the boundaries of the illustrated book for young Soviet readers. As a part of the general desire to translate Communism into idioms and images accessible to children, these books visualized ideological norms and goals in a way that guaranteed easy legibility, without sacrificing the political appeal of the message.

Using a corpus of Soviet-era illustrated books for children from the collections of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University, the participants of the first meeting focused on the dual verbal-visual representation of the Communist imaginary and sensibility in early Soviet books. The initial symposium also had a second purpose: to achieve a more nuanced awareness of the ways in which digitization of these works can facilitate more exhaustive mining of the information contained in these rich graphic and verbal artifacts. An edited volume growing out of the work of this first symposium is currently in production.

The goal of the second symposium is to expand the generational boundaries of scholars working on early Soviet children’s books. We invite advanced Ph.D. students and recent Ph.D. graduates from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to submit their proposals for participating in a two-day symposium that will take place at Princeton University on March 31- April 1, 2017.

The proposals should focus on the expanded corpus of digitized materials from the Cotsen collections, which consists currently of more than 160 titles. In the interest of increasing the scope of disciplinary approaches to the visual language of the Soviet children’s book (and to avoid thematic duplications), we ask potential participants to consult the list of the contributions already included in the edited volume.

Please, send a short CV and a 500-word proposal, describing your choice of children’s books, methods, and arguments, which you would like to develop for your presentation at the symposium to by December 30, 2017.

Finalists will be notified by January 15, 2017. Final papers should be submitted by March 15, 2017. During the symposium, participants will be paired with leading senior experts in the field, who would provide critique of the contribution and guidance for its future development.

The Organizing Committee:

Thomas F. Keenan
Serguei A. Oushakine 
Katherine M.H. Reisc

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