Art And Culture

National Conference on Children’s Literature

National Conference on Children’s Literature National Conference on Children’s Literature

The fifth national conference on children’s literature was recently held at the Education and Psychology Faculty of the University of Shiraz. The conference was attended by over 300 professors, students and authors of children’s books.

The university’s children’s literature studies center is the first academic center to bring this genre into the higher academic realm, said Babak Shamshiri, head of the faculty of education and psychology at the opening ceremony of the conference. He added that a master’s degree program in children’s literature has been launched in Shiraz University, ISNA reported.

Over 165 articles and research abstracts were sent to the secretary of the conference, among which 32 articles and 11 posters were presented.

The conference focused on teen novels due to the remarkable progress in the field. Pointing to the importance of stories and novels “as a link to the incredible world of youngsters”, Shamshiri stressed the importance of “relations between theorists and pragmatists” in literature.

The philosophy of education is tied to stories, which he described as ‘miracles’. “I like to use the term ‘the miracle of tales’ because tales emerge from language, and are the most significant of cultural heritage and achievement.”

History is abounding with narratives recorded in books. People expressed what they knew in the form of stories. The problem with today’s modern world “is the weak presence of stories,” Shamshiri said, underlining the necessity of linking education systems with the ancient approach of narration.

The role of narratives in developing countries is weak. Replacing academic and philosophical language with simple narration “is a weak point of modern societies.”

Dr. John Stevens, professor at Macquarie University of Australia, who attended the conference, spoke on cognitive and social issues in adolescent fiction.

Dr. Ulrich Marzolph, renowned Dutch Iranologist, was another guest, who spoke on ‘investigation of children’s literature during the Qajar dynasty’.