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Abstract Submission

Call for Presentations


Where the East meets the West

We agree with Emer O’Sullivan’s assertion that, Children’s literature has transcended linguistic and cultural borders since books and magazines specifically intended for young readers were first produced on a significant scale in eighteenth-century Europe (2005, p. 1). Taking place in a region where the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe meet, the 36th IBBY Congress celebrates the meetings of cultures in and through literature for children and youth. The East meets West theme of this congress is reflected in all aspects of life in Greece: from architecture, to politics, pop culture, food, art, music, education and of course literature.

The flows of people, cultures, religions and languages, and their interactions within it, have historically produced both intense cultural richness and tensions.  The current effects of globalization make this richness and tension even more forceful. Children’s literature plays an active part in the tensions between sameness and difference, the local and the global, the national and the transnational. Comparative approaches explore the children’s literature production, flow and interaction, analyzing relevant literary products, phenomena, processes and educational approaches. 

Jella Lepman, the founder of IBBY as well as the International Youth Library, believed that the sharing of children’s stories across national, cultural and linguistic boundaries can bring about intercultural communication and understanding – a vital ingredient for global peace and prosperity. We need intercultural communication and understanding more urgently than ever.

The East meets West theme offers a forum for delegates from across the globe to reach for ideas, connections, influences and comparisons within and across continental, national, cultural, linguistic and other boundaries. We can achieve this by grouping diverse books together, bringing them into a constructive dialogue with each other, exploring their cultural backgrounds and webs of relations, as well as highlighting the richness of diversity and the value of intercultural exchange, cultural sensitivity, and global awareness.

The 2018 IBBY Congress has three sub-themes. Even though all three are interconnected and relevant to the central theme, proposals should specify which sub-theme best fits their focus:

1.    Difference, sameness, and diversity in children’s literature

  • East and west cultural concepts and representations in books for children
  • Children’s books about immigrant experiences, individuals, and communities
  • Refugee voices, stories, and identities in children’s literature
  • Visual representations of difference, sameness, and diversity
  • Literary images of home and other/foreign countries, cultures, or ethnic groups
  • Colonial and postcolonial literature for children and youth
  • Negotiations of personal and social identities
  • Historical and/or current conflicts and war 
  • LGBTQ themes in international children’s books
  • Ancient civilizations in books for children and youth
  • Children’s books and social issues in different cultures and societies
  • Religion and religious groups in children’s literature
  • Disability and neurodiversity

2.    Translation, transfer, reception and comparison across languages, nations, and cultures

  • Cultural exchanges between literatures, languages and cultures
  • Retellings, parodies, cross-cultural references, simple and complex forms of interaction between literature from different languages and cultures
  • Relationships between children’s literature and other aesthetic forms (visual arts, dance, music, cinema, the theatre, etc.)
  • Importing and exporting children’s literature and culture through translation and transmediation: global challenges, local specificities, East meets West
  • Formation and development of various children’s literature genres within and across cultures and linguistic areas
  • Domestication and ‘foreignization’ as strategies of translating children’s literature
  • The visibility and/or the invisibility of mediators of children’s literature
  • Intergenerational dynamics in translation (crossover fiction, family adventure film, dual audiences, age appropriateness)
  • Image-textual dynamics (translating illustrated stories, picture books, novelizations and subtitling of children’s cinema)
  • Translation of children’s/YA literature as a negotiation process (between publisher demands, parental expectations, social norms, children’s cognitive abilities, emotional needs, and imaginative worlds)
  • Interfacing the ethics, politics and aesthetics of translation and transmediation
  • Copyright issues and the translation or transfer of children’s literature

3.    Engaging children and youth with international and multicultural literature

  • Enabling children to negotiate identity, difference, and diversity
  • Enhancing children’s global awareness through literature
  • Multi- and Inter-cultural education
  • Sharing narratives with and/or about immigrant and refugee children
  • International children’s literature in the curriculum
  • Critical literacy and intercultural understanding
  • Literature as a medium of education: past, present and future
  • Inspiring creativity and creative writing
  • Drama, play and the arts in intercultural education
  • New media and diverse reading experiences
  • The changing roles of libraries and librarians
  • Reading promotion and reading engagement
  • Visual narratives in the classroom
  • Language awareness/ Language education through children’s literature


The Organising Committee for the Athens IBBY Congress 2018 invites you to submit abstracts for presentations and posters. All presentations and posters are required to be given in the English language. Individual presentations of 15 minutes each will be grouped in parallel sessions of 75 minutes total. Posters will be on display for 75-minute sessions within the programme. Presenters will be required to be beside their poster during these sessions.

Abstracts will be blind peer-reviewed and should address the conference general theme and one of the conference sub-themes.



Abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length (not including reference list) and have titles of no more than 15 words. In addition to the abstract, please include your complete contact information (name, affiliation, address, email, telephone). If the proposed paper has multiple authors, this information must be provided for everyone listed.

Please indicate whether your abstract is for a poster or a presentation by choosing [POSTER] or [PRESENTATION]. Also, choose the sub-theme that best fits your focus.

Presentations and posters may be about a study, a programme, or an initiative. If the abstract relates to research, it should situate the research in the existing literature, indicate the focus or research question(s), briefly describe a methodology and summarize findings and implications. If the abstract relates to a programme or initiative, it should provide an overview of the purpose and participants, development, implementation and outcomes.

Poster design: If your poster has been accepted, you will be asked to produce a poster of the following dimensions: 0,70m (width) X 1,00m (height). You should use graphics, tables or other relevant visuals to illustrate the main points; use colour if possible. Have a clear focus and be well organised in order to guide the reader through the poster. Keep it simple, both in terms of the language and visuals used. Choose a readable font, large enough to be read from about 1m away (titles/main headings from about 2m distance). Include the title, your name, country and organisation in the display. You may wish to prepare a handout, which can be distributed to interested participants.

If accepted, we recommend that all speakers and poster presenters register by 31 March 2018 to guarantee inclusion in the programme. Presenters will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own registration, transport and accommodation. Suggestions for suitable accommodation will be made on the conference website.

For any clarifications you may contact Prof. Petros Panaou, Chair of IBBY 2018 Scientific Committee at: 


Important dates:
Abstract submission deadline: 31 October 2017

Notification of acceptance: 20 December 2017

Early bird registration: 1 September 2017- 31 March 2018

Deadline for submission of the full paper: 31 March 2018

Digital files submission (i.e. PowerPoint presentations, visuals etc.): 30 June 2018




Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature is seeking contributions for two special issues on relevant themes:

1. Translating and Transmediating Children’s Literatures and Cultures 
2. East meets West: Literature for Children and Youth in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus

For more information, visit and click on “Call for Submissions.”



Important Dates

30.08.2017  - Abstract submission opens

05.09.2017  - Registration opens

31.10.2017  - Abstract submission deadline

20.12.2017  - Notification of acceptance

31.03.2018  - Early bird deadline

31.03.2018  - Deadline for submission of the full paper

30.06.2018  - Digital files submission

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+30 2103643511

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