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Aliona Yarova

Aliona Yarova

Roundtable title: Children’s Literature and Culture Scholarship in/of the Anthropocene: Towards New Bonds and Crossovers 

Discussants: Marnie Campagnaro, Macarena García-González, Irena Barbara Kalla, Suzanne van der Beek & Aliona Yarova

Abstract: Over the last twenty years, children’s literature and culture studies has developed a strong orientation towards ecocriticism, ecopedagogy, ecopoetics, animal and plant studies, posthumanism, and new materialism (see e.g. Dobrin and Kidd 2004, Gaard 2008, Echterling 2016; Goga et al. 2018; García-González, Deszcz-Tryhubczak 2020; Oziewicz and Saguisag 2021, Yarova 2021, Campagnaro and Goga 2022, Duckworth and Guanio-Uluru 2022, van der Beek and Lehmann 2022). In this roundtable, a group of international scholars following these approaches in their work on children’s culture share reflections on the field’s current and forthcoming engagements with the Anthropocene (see e.g. Oziewicz et al. 2022) and with the scientific, pedagogical, cultural, and socio-political debates around it. Some of the issues we intend to address include:

– the emergence of the concept of the Anthropocene as radically changing how we think of and research childhood, children, and children’s culture

– children’s culture creators’ responses to the Anthropocene

– practices of learning about the Anthropocene with and from children

– challenges of teaching about the Anthropocene to students of children’s culture, including developing students’ ecoliteracy and fostering their environmental activism

– pressures of the researcher’s/educator’s obligation to propagate hope for a better, post-Anthropocene future (Braidotti 2019).

We believe that this exchange of questions and insights will encourage both ourselves and the audience to consider children’s literature and culture scholarship as an important contribution to interdisciplinary conversations about the Anthropocene. This roundtable is convened under the aegis of the Erasmus Mundus International Master: Children’s Literature, Media & Culture.

Bio: Aliona Yarova is a researcher and teacher of children’s literature. She gained an MPhil in Education from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from Malmö University, Sweden. Her doctoral dissertation focused on children’s literature and global citizenship education. Aliona currently works as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Society at Malmö University. She has published on children’’ magic realist literature, eco-criticism, and environmental education in Children’s Literature in Education, Barnboken: Tidskrift för Barnlitteraturforskning, Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature, and Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature.