Call for Papers


Submissions for the 2023 MACL Conference have now closed. We look forward to welcoming you in June!

A peer-reviewed graduate student conference 

University of British Columbia | Unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Vancouver, Canada | Friday 23 June – Saturday 24 June 2023 

What do we think of when we imagine the future? 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) projected a world in which humanity has spread to the stars, where visiting the moon is as routine as a flight across the country. Back to the Future Part II (1989) famously imagined hoverboards and flying cars by the year 2015. The YA dystopian boom of the late 2000s to 2010s imagined compartmentalized, constrained futures like in The Hunger Games (2008) and Divergent (2011). Today, in the face of impending climate disaster, growing economic disparity, and the lingering effects of a worldwide pandemic, the future still seems not only hard to imagine, but uncertain. How can we imagine a future that we may not live to see? How do children grapple with inheriting a future riddled with the mistakes and problems we are generating in the present? If the children are the future, what is that future going to look like? What agency do children have to create their own future? As we live through times of unprecedented global change–technological, cultural, and environmental–the future is no longer a distant reality. The future is created every day. (Re)Imagining Tomorrow: Agency and Possibility in Literature and Media for Children and Young Adults aims to discuss topics surrounding the future and its presentation in youth literature and media and showcase graduate students’ academic and creative work on the matter.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Forms of youth activism and agency in a changing world (e.g., climate change, children’s rights, education, etc.)
  • De-/Anti-/Post-colonialism of the near and far future
  • Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurism 
  • Posthumanism and technology in children’s literature
  • Cultural Change, Communication, and the Transformation of Identity 
  • Revolution, War, Resistance, and Reimaginings/Retellings
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Alternate/Virtual worlds
  • Hope, Resilience, and Memory
  • Change, Transformation, and Becoming
  • Utopia, Dystopia, Heterotopia
  • Evolution and Progress 
  • The Anthropocene
  • Time Travel
  • The future of the publishing industry and the impact of global crisis 
  • The future of local, national, and global children’s literature
  • Cultural, Social, and Economic Change
  • The evolution of children’s literature beyond text: films, sequential art, video games, and other media.

These topics are suggestions, as we are open to proposals on any aspect of the future, agency, and possibility in children’s and young adult literature, media, education, and culture. We welcome submissions from graduate and undergraduate students, scholars, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including literary studies, cultural studies, sociology, psychology, anthropology, media studies, and others.

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