the 14th biennial conference of

the australasian children's literature association for research

July 8 - 10, 2020

Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

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Update: Coronavirus / Covid-19 Pandemic


Thank you for visiting our Conference website. As you are no doubt aware, the Covid-19 / Coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact globally, affecting international travel, conferences and other public gatherings, and the operations of many educational institutions. On Friday 13th March, the Australian Government instigated mandatory self-isolation period of two weeks for all incoming persons upon arrival to Australia, as well as a ban on many public gatherings.


In light of these challenging circumstances, it is with regret that ACLAR advises that our 2020 Conference is to be postponed for the foreseeable future. We acknowledge that many of you will have made plans for attendance, and we are truly sorry that we are unable to proceed at this time. However, with many institutions banning international travel, the safety concerns over conferences and other gatherings, and the potential for operations to be suspended by institutions such as our host university, we find that the conference is nonviable. Ultimately, the health and wellbeing of our members, conference delegates and guests is paramount.


This is a challenging time for many, and we ask for your understanding and forbearance in these extraordinary circumstances. We will continue to keep you informed as to when our Conference may be rescheduled, and we look forward to the opportunity to welcome you to Perth in the future.


Welcome to ACLAR 2020!

Owning our Voices: Authenticity, Legitimacy, and Agency in Children’s and Young Adult Literature

In 2015, Corinne Duyvis created the hashtag #ownvoices to designate literature featuring diverse characters written by authors who share the same diverse identities. Initially intended to highlight writers working on the periphery, the #ownvoices movement has resulted in widespread debate on notions of marginalisation, authenticity, appropriation, and political correctness. Within the world of Children’s and YA literature, this debate is particularly nuanced when considering that the voice of the child is typically at odds with its adult authorship. The 2020 Biennial ACLAR conference will explore some of the tensions within these key debates.


Our keynote speakers include Corinne Duyvis herself, as well as Brenton E. McKenna, a Yawuru man and graphic novelist. In addition, our guest speaker at our welcome function is Holden Sheppard, a queer, award-winning Western Australian writer.

On the banks of the stunning Swan River, Perth is home to two million people. Plan to stay a few extra days to take in the vibrant arts, music or sporting scenes. There are pristine beaches warm enough for winter swims, stunning views over the city from Kings Park, world-class shopping, an exciting array of dining and drinking venues and the renowned Literature Centre in the historic port of Fremantle.


Hosted by Curtin University's beautiful St George's Tce Campus, the 2020 ACLAR Conference places you in the heart of the CBD; the doorstep to our fantastic city.


We look forward to welcoming you to Perth.






Curtin University's St George's Terrace Campus is located in the heart of the dynamic Perth CBD. It is comprised of two heritage-listed buildings, located at 137-139 St George's Tce. 137 is the Old Perth Technical School, built in 1910, while 139 is the former Old Perth Boys School, dating back to 1853.

The buildings have been carefully restored to retain their period features, whilst meeting six-star sustainability standards. The campus is part of the Brookfield Place precinct, home to some of Perth's most exciting bars, restaurants, galleries, shopping and cafes.

Curtin University St George's Terrace Campus is within walking distance of accommodation, Elizabeth Quay and the Swan River, public transport (including the free CAT buses) and everything else that Perth has to offer.



Presenters are invited to submit abstracts exploring an aspect of the conference theme:

Owning our Voices: Authenticity, Legitimacy, and Agency in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.


Abstracts may address one of the following strands:

  • The #ownvoices movement and subsequent debate

  • Authenticity and representations of child and young adult identities

  • Voice and vocalisation in Children’s and YA literature

  • Narrative strategies of polyphony, dialogism, and heteroglossia

  • Diverse identities and their representation in Children's and YA literature

  • Intersectionality and its implications within Children's and YA literature

  • Translated, dialectal, or foreign-language Children’s and YA Literature

  • Issues of writing or publishing from the periphery or a position of marginality

  • Concepts of authenticity and legitimacy within Children's and YA literature

  • Social justice and/or cultural appropriation and Children’s and YA literature

  • Young people as producers of Children’s and YA literature

  • Fan fiction and other responses to literature by young people

  • New media and emerging forms of literature that directly engage with young people

  • The relationship between writers of Children’s and YA literature and young readers

  • The status of Children’s Literature studies within the academic or publishing context.


Abstracts exploring alternative strands that relate to the conference theme are welcome.


Abstracts should directly address the conference theme and should identify specific texts, theoretical, and/or methodological approaches to be discussed. For an individual, 20-minute paper, abstracts should be no more than 250 words. Groups wishing to collaborate on the presentation of 90-minute panels should submit an abstract of up to 500 words, detailing how the overall presentation will fit into the conference theme, the individual critical, and theoretical approaches to be taken by each speaker, and the envisaged structure for the session. All panel sessions should include time for Q&A with each speaker.

Abstracts should be submitted by 29 February 2020 to Adam Kealley:

Download a PDF version

of the Call For Papers






Registration & Refreshments


Keynote 1: Corinne Duyvis




Panels 1





Panels 2


Cocktail Reception

with guest speaker

Holden Sheppard




Panels 3



Panels 4




Afternoon Excursion

Fremantle Literature Centre

and Fremantle surrounds





Keynote : Brenton E. McKenna



Panels 5


Lunch & AGM


Panels 6



Closing Remarks

A PDF of the program will be available for download from here once finalised



Perth has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Many are within a short walk from the conference venue, or take advantage of the free public transport within the CDB.

ACLAR has partnered with the following two hotels. Please ask for the Curtin University / ACLAR conference corporate rate when booking.

Quay Hotel Perth

Luxury hotel overlooking Elizabeth Quay

walking distance from conference venue

Rooms from $136

Ibis Styles East Perth

Fresh new budget-friendly hotel

just a five-minute free bus ride away

Rooms from $109



Perth City

Experience all that Perth has to offer; from great shopping, stunning beaches, a world-class dining scene and myriad events. Explore Elizabeth Quay, Kings Park, Yagan Square and the home of Perth's nightlife scene, Northbridge.


 Whether you are into the outdoors, sports, music, or the arts, Perth has  something for everyone. Take in an AFL match at Australia's top stadium, Optus Stadium, some local music or the dazzling program of the Winter Arts Festival.



Perth is located on the traditional lands of the Noongar people, on the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River). Learn more about Noongar culture while you visit.

Swan Valley


Only 45 minutes from Perth, the Swan Valley plays host to a range of wineries, distilleries, breweries and purveyors of gourmet produce.



The port city of Fremantle, only 30 minutes from the Perth CBD, is home to the renowned Literature Centre, hosting events, exhibitions and a bookshop dedicated to children's literature.


 Perth offers much for both readers and writers, including the stunning new City of Perth Library, the State Library of WA, the Centre for Stories, the Katherine Susannah Pritchard and Peter Cowan Writers' Centres, independent bookshops and literary events.


With two extremely popular queer venues, including the longest-running queer nightclub in Australia, as well as community and arts events, Perth has a small but dedicated queer scene.



Perth is committed to ensuring access and inclusion for visitors of all abilities. The City of Perth offers a comprehensive online guide is available with details to assist with transport requirements and other assistive services.



Got a question? Send us a message!

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