I'm in Ann Arbor for the 37th annual conference of the Children's Literature Association, enjoying listening to others talk about their research. I was headed to the 10:00 session, "Telling Tales" but so were a lot of other folks. I arrived a few minutes late, opened the door, and saw no empty seats. So, I'm taking a break and hope to hear from other conference-goers about papers given by Catherine McKenna paper and Kay Weisman.
At 8:00 I went to a session chaired by blogger, friend, and scholar, Sarah Park. It was called "Constructing the Author and/as Celebrity". Papers were given by Sara van den Bossche (Ghent University) on Astrid Lindgren's work, Camille Parker (independent scholar) on blogging and author blogs, and, Maria de Guadallupe Serrano Diez (University of Winnipeg) on the works of Mexican Francisco Gabilondo Soler, a Mexican writer who created and performed as Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor (in English, the Little Singing Cricket).
I enjoyed all three immensely and hope that each paper evolves into a publication. There were interesting points made about what gets canonized (most people know Lindgren's work while few outside of Mexico would know Soler's work), and how writers today use blogs.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to a session called "Playing Indian" that was also quite good. Both, Alan Scot Willis (Northern Michigan University) and Kay Harris (University of Southern Mississippi) cited Native scholars, specifically, Philip J. Deloria and Rayna Green. It is very important that people studying depictions of American Indians read the work of Native scholars and apply that work to their analysis of children's books. I look forward to reading more from Willis and Harris.
At the books exhibit, I bought two books. One is Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories. I bought it because of one name on the cover.... Durango Mendoza. The volume includes one of his stories. This one is "The Passing". Durango is husband to my dear friend, Jean. First published in 1966, it would be interesting to compare how the volume evolved over time, what authors were added and when. The copy I bought also has a story by Louise Erdrich, and one by
I also bought Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction about Learning to be American. I'll have to study the stories, and think about the collection and the title of the book. "Learning to be American". It includes several stories I want to read: Tiffany Midge's "A Half-Breed's Dream Vacation", Louise Erdrich's "The Red Convertible", Diane Glancy's "Portrait of the Lone
Enough for now... going to gather my things and head for another session.