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African Children’s Comparative Literature

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Organizer: Tesfaye Mesele Zinabu

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Seminar on children’s literature in Africa will give deep insight about trends and advances of children’ literature in Africa.  It will be a platform for attendees to have the opportunity to understand environmental, social and cultural issues that can affect the lives of children. Moreover, attendees will get the chance to see how children’s literature in Africa is inclusive, representative, and helpful in imparting insights about culture, and its role in education for children. The conference explores different features of children’s literature pertaining environment, education, war and human rights, representation and equity, and media and techno-culture.  It will devise schemes to ensure that children’s literature remains relevant in raising awareness about pressing issues, and bringing changes of attitudes and shaping values and norms to meet expected results that benefit children and the society at large. It provides a favorable platform for scholars in the area to come up with ideas about issues of representation (domination, underrepresentation, marginalization, silence, and equity), and to challenge the status que. Furthermore, it sees how children’s narratives are used in school textbooks in light of instruction and engaging of students germane to social issues that can affect children. Also, the conference will explore how children’s narratives are employed in displaying issues of war, human rights and children’s vulnerability, their roles and positions in light of these issues. It holds a discussion on the ways media and technology engage children and expose them to different narratives.  At the end of the conference, participants will gain a better insight about children’s literature and its role in exposing different issues regarding children’s participation in activities germane to the environment, see how children’s narratives are employed in education and engage school children, and observe the mental models, or representation of characters, values, norms and beliefs that circulate in the narratives. Besides, participants will have a better understanding about the different cultural landscapes in light of the beliefs and attitudes about war, human rights and equity. In addition, participants will identify ways that children’s literature come to media and provide children access to reading and engaging in school. Generally, participants will have an insight about pressing issues that currently affect children and children’s literature in relation to the environment, education, human rights, representation and media.  This will further lead conference participants to collaboratively design research themes that can encourage them to work together and bring up sound solutions that can help children’s literature evolve and meet expected results. 

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