Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What I'm doing this month

Later this month I'm going to a conference on fantasy. I've never done that before, and I have to say I'm intrigued. And excited: the two keynote speakers are Neil Gaiman and Jack Zipes!

However, in order to go, I have to write a paper. It's called, "Teach the Children: Education and Knowledge in Recent Children's Fantasy," and it's about how magical children learn. Or how they are taught. Or not taught. Or something.

So I'm working on it, and reading all kinds of interesting things. My primary texts are Harry Potters I and VI, A Hat Full of Sky, and The Golden Compass, though so far I have also already made mention of The Dark is Rising and A Wizard of Earthsea. I'm sure there are more books I could talk about but I'm already over my page limit and have hardly said half what I want to about the Pratchett and Pullman books. (Of course much of what I have will be junked before the conference, as is the way with my writing, so no worries there.) I'm really digging into this work right now, and it's a lot of fun, but I'm also at that stage in the paper when I'm convinced nothing I've written so far is any good but I probably won't have time to make it better, so this will be the conference where I finally and thoroughly embarrass myself. (Since I go through this stage every time, and since it hasn't happened yet, I'm handling it ok. I think.)

Because I am working on the paper, I have not yet posted on kid-friendliness in children's books, though I am thinking about it a lot. I'm also not joining NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo, much as I was tempted. I am, however, knitting when I'm not reading or writing. Christmas is coming, after all!


  1. The paper sounds really interesting to work on, and the conference sounds exciting! I'll be looking forward to hearing more about it.

  2. I doubt you'll embarrass yourself. I believe you will do great.

    Look at me, being all cheerleader-y today. WAHOO! SEVEN CHEERS FOR LIBBY!

  3. Thanks, Jules! (Can you just come to the conference and cheer me on there, too? I've always wanted to travel with an entourage...)