Michelle Anya Anjirbag

Michelle Anya Anjirbag completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and later joined the Constructing Age for Young Readers (CAFYR) project at the University of Antwerp. Her research interests include adaptation, fairy tales and folklore, Disney, magical libraries, the intersection of literature, media, and culture, and cross-period approaches to narrative transmission across cultures and societies. Her work has appeared in Gramarye, ChLAQ, Adaptation, Soc. Sci., and Jeunesse.

  • Lecture: Fairy Tales, Palimpsests, and Media
Julia Benner

Julia Benner is Professor of Modern German Literature and Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Media at the Institute of German Literature at the Humboldt-University, Berlin. Her research interests are historical children's and youth literature, exile literature, theories and methods of children's and youth literature studies.

Ada Bieber

Ada Bieber, PhD, teaches and researches in the Department of German Literature at Humboldt-University, Berlin. In her research, she focuses on German Studies and comparative studies in young people's literature and art, for example international picturebooks, East German film and literature, spatial studies as well as literary festivals.

Leander Duthoy

Leander Duthoy acquired his MA in literature and linguistics at the university of Antwerp, where he currently is working as a PhD-student for the Constructing Age For Young Readers (CAFYR) project, led by Vanessa Joosen.

Leander conducts qualitative reader response research centered on how the age of the real reader affects the understanding of age in fiction for young readers. To answer this question, he conducts semi-structured interviews with readers of various ages, in which topics such as the age of characters, intergenerational interactions and other reflections on age are discussed. These interviews are then transcribed and analyzed through NVivo.

Lena Hoffmann is a researcher at the Department for Children's and Young Adult Literature Research, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. After earning a PhD from the University of Münster, Germany, she has worked as a postdoc at the University of Cologne. In her thesis she analysed crossover literature from the late 19th century until the present. The book won the Book Award of the International Research Society for Children's Literature in 2019. Lena Hoffmann is especially interested in the interconnections of popular culture and children's and young adult media. In her current research project she deals with children's literature by celebrities.

  • Lecture: Authorship and Starauthorship in the Field of Children's and Young Adult Literature
Élodie Malanda

Élodie Malanda is a Postdoctoral Humboldt Fellow at the Saarland University (Germany), researching on Afro-French and Afro-German children’s and YA literature and on literary activism in the Afro-diasporic communities in France and Germany. She also regularly gives workshops on children’s literature and racial diversity for librarians in Germany. Previously, she has taught children’s literature at the University of Caen (France), worked as a script doctor, and been in charge of the educational programs in the International Youth Library in Munich. Her book about the pitfalls of good intentions in children’s and youth novels about Africa, L’Afrique dans les romans pour la jeunesse en France et en Allemagne. 1991–2010. Les pièges de la bonne intention was published in France (Honoré Champion) in 2019. She feels at ease in libraries and dance studios.

Elizabeth Marshall is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She is the co-editor of Rethinking Popular Culture and Media, the author of Graphic Girlhoods: Visualizing Education and Violence, and the co-author of Witnessing Girlhood. Her work on fairy tales, life writing, and comics, has appeared in a range of academic journals. She currently co-edits Routledge's Children's Literature and Culture series with Kenneth Kidd.

  • Lecture: No Pets, No Drunks, No Children: Animals, Intoxication, and Children’s Cartoons
Jennifer Miskec

Jennifer M. Miskec is a Professor English at Longwood University where she teaches various courses in children’s and young adult literature and culture, foundations to upper level special topics courses (such as a Middle Grade Novels course). Miskec runs two children’s culture study abroad programs, a winter program to South Africa and a summer program to Croatia and Serbia. Miskec co-directs Longwood University’s Children’s Literature Minor and Major Concentration. Miskec is currently working on various projects with fellow Fulbright scholar Zeljka Flegar from the University of Osijek in Croatia, including an edited collection on Place and Children’s Literature and an examination of the Fancy Nancy picture book series in Croatian translation. Miskec, along with Anette Wannamaker, is the editor of The Early Reader in Children's Literature and Culture: Theorizing Books for Beginning Readers.

  • Lecture: Placemaking in Children's Picture Books

Vanessa Joosen is associate professor of English literature and children’s literature at the University of Antwerp. She is the author of, among others, Critical and Creative Perspectives on Fairy Tales (Wayne State University Press, 2011), which won an ALA Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Publication, and co-editor of Grimm’s Tales Around the Globe (2014), for which she and Gillian Lathey received the ChLA Honour Award for edited book. Vanessa Joosen’s most recent research focuses on the intersections between age studies and children’s literature, which has resulted in the edited volume Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media (University of Mississippi Press, 2018) and the monograph Adulthood in Children’s Literature (Bloomsbury, 2018). In 2018, she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for the project Constructing Age for Young Readers (CAFYR), where she and her research team will use methods from genetic criticism, digital humanities and reader response theory to study age in children’s books.

Melanie Ramdarshan Bold

Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is an Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, where she teaches and researches children's and YA literature and book culture. Her research specialism is Inclusive Youth Literature and Book Culture, with a particular focus on the representation of people of colour, and the experiences of authors and readers of colour. Melanie has published widely on the topic; alongside numerous publications about contemporary book culture. Her book Inclusive Young Adult Fiction: Authors of Colour in the United Kingdom, 2006-2016, was published by Palgrave in 2019. Melanie’s interests in Youth Literature and Book Culture extends beyond academia. She was a judge on the UKYA book prize and the Scottish Teenage Book Prize, and is on the Advisory Boards for the CLPE Reflecting Realities project, the Pop-up Pathways into Children’s Publishing project, and Literature Alliance Scotland, and works with a number of cultural organisations across the UK.

  • Lecture: Women of colour in UKYA: subverting stereotypes and expanding identities
Thomas Smits

Thomas Smits is a post-doc researcher in the History of Implicit Bias project at the University of Antwerp. A historian with an interest in visual culture and computer-assisted methodologies, his research has been published in journals such as New Media and Society, Memory Studies, and Visual Communication. His book The European Illustrated Press and the Emergence of a Transnational Visual Culture of the News, 1842-1870 was published by Routledge in 2020.

Björn Sundmark

Björn Sundmark is Professor of English literature at Malmö University (Sweden), where he teaches English literature and children’s literature. He is the author of the study Alice in the Oral-Literary Continuum (Lund UP, 1999), and the co-editor of four essay collections: Translating and Transmediating Children’s Literature (PalgraveMacmillan, 2020), The Nation in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2013), Child Autonomy and Child Governance in Children’s Literature: Where Children Rule (Routledge, 2016), and Silence and Silencing in Children’s Literature (Makadam, 2021). He is also one of the editors of The Companion to Jabberwocky in Translation (Evertype 2021). He was the editor of Bookbird – Journal of International Children’s Literature 2015-2018, served on the Swedish Arts Council 2013-2016, and was Chair of the Swedish August Jury 2016-2019.

  • Lecture: Child Autonomy and Child Governance in Children's Literature: Where Children Rule

Illustrator, author and book designer Pieter Gaudesaboos (1979) appeals to all ages with his imagination and humour. Each picture book is totally different, and yet you immediately recognise a ‘Gaudesaboos’ when you see one. For over 15 years, his picturebooks have been published internationally. Pieter Gaudesaboos has received several awards, among which the ‘Gouden Uil Jeugdliteratuur’ and several ‘Boekenwelp’ awards. His work is playful, original and contains nostalgic and absurd elements. He often uses collages and mixed techniques, combining photography, digital illustrations and watercolour. He also sees to the book design. Pieter Gaudesaboos grew up in Bruges, together with his three sisters. His studies in graphic design and photography led him to Ghent, where he still lives, together with his friend Thomas and their daughters Leah and Suzie.

  • Lecture: From Little Red Rag to A Sea Full of Love: seven picturebooks off the beaten path