our words make worlds

Imagining Children and Conflict Conference: Learning from Comics and Picture Books in French

A One-Day Conference at Stranmillis University College, Belfast, Saturday 1st February 2020 organised by Dr Sharon Jones (Stranmillis University College) and Dr Manu Bragança (University College Dublin).

We live in a visual culture. Crossing the disciplinary borders of Education, Languages, Visual Arts, the Humanities and Religious Studies, this one-day conference will explore the real or potential impact of French comics and picture books on the lives of children and young people, with respect to conflict and forced migration. Key questions to be investigated include: Can pictures generate learning and understanding across the curriculum? If so, what type of learning do they generate? Can the experiences of children in the past illuminate contemporary life and promote mutual understanding in diverse multicultural and multilingual contexts?

We look forward to welcoming two distinguished Keynote Speakers:

Rachel Hausfater Children’s Writer (novelist and author of picture books including Le petit garçon étoile / The Little Boy Star: An Allegory of the Holocaust)

Claire Gorrara Professor of French Studies, Cardiff University

We invite proposals for research papers and workshops (in English) within and across the following areas: Education, French Studies, History, Psychology, Visual Arts, Geography, Cultural Studies and Religion. Participatory, comparative and interactive approaches are welcome. Themes explored through the conference may include: 

  1. The use of visual texts in language learning
  2. Content and Language Integrated Learning and the study of conflict
  3. Comics, ideology and propaganda
  4. Storytelling, identity and memory
  5. Fostering understanding and awareness through storytelling and pictures
  6. Children, WWII and the Holocaust in France today
  7. Picture books and circle time across the curriculum in primary schools
  8. Comics and critical debate across the curriculum in post primary schools
  9. Addressing sensitive topics with children through pictures (conflict, forced migration, death and loss)
  10. Cultural literacy and language acquisition
  11. The treatment of conflict in linguistically and cultural diverse schools
  12. Critical literacy and engagement with visual texts
  13. Trauma and Resilience

Following the conference we will explore the possibility of publishing an edited volume or a special issue in the topic.

Proposals of up to 300 words, in English, should be emailed (in MS Word format) to s.jones@stran.ac.uk by Friday 1st November 2019.

For further information, see the conference webpage.