About the project

Although advances in technology persistently challenge our understanding of texts and literacy in contemporary life, we continue to expect books to be the main source of children’s reading and many of the books children read contain representations of children and young people reading books. With a grant from the British Academy, Evelyn Arizpe and Vivienne Smith set up a series of workshops to explore the multiple images –textual and visual- of children as readers within children’s literature in English. They invited a group of experts –children’s literature scholars, literacy specialists, sociologists, editors and others working in publishing and media- to join them in this exploration. Throughout four workshops, the group has engaged in a process of interdisciplinary enquiry and dialogue and considered issues around how, what and why children are shown to read; how this has changed over time and how these images match the child reader in the real world. They have also looked at how the book has been represented (for example, as a source of knowledge, power or emancipation). The papers will be presented at a conference in October 2013 in the University of Glasgow (more information about this event will be posted on this blog soon) and will be published in different forms in 2014.