Racism and the Need for Diversity in the Canon of Stories for Children
Join TYA/USA, in partnership with Arts in Color, in a national conversation on addressing the racism and oppression that impacts the entire TYA industry in personal, professional, and systemic ways.
How do we challenge the “classic” stories we tell to children and reimagine the canon itself? Leading Children’s Literature Scholars will explore how the stories we tell shape young people; demonstrate how racism is found throughout the “classic” and contemporary children’s literature; highlight the ways in which protagonists of color are represented in children’s stories; and offer ways to meaningfully diversify the stories we create and tell to young people.
Over the course of a 11-session webinar series we will explore a variety of issues and perspectives regarding the ways artists and organizations can begin to (or further) embed antiracist practice in Theatre for Young Audiences.
In addition to the 11 webinars, participants will be provided with reading materials, resources, follow up questions to deepen their learning, and a Slack Channel for further dialogue. Join colleagues across the country in actively engaging with ways to dismantle racism and white supremacy in the TYA field, and work toward making (or sustaining) meaningful change in creating a truly equitable landscape for our artists, organizations, and our young audiences.
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Time: 1:30 – 2:45 PM ET
Cost: Sliding Scale. Visit www.tyausa.org/antiracism for details.
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is Associate Professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Educational Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, she was a member of the NCTE Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color’s 2008-2010 cohort, served on the NCTE Conference on English Education’s Executive Committee from 2013 until 2017, and is the immediate past chair of the NCTE Standing Committee on Research. Currently, she serves as co-editor of Research of the Teaching of English, and her most recent book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (NYU Press, 2019).
Philip Nel is University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University. He is the author or co-editor of eleven books, including Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books (2017), three volumes of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, 2013, 2014, 2016), a double biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (2012), Keywords for Children’s Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul, 2011), and Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature (co-edited with Julia Mickenberg, 2008). Forthcoming: second edition of Keywords for Children’s Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul and Nina Christensen, 2021) and fourth volume of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby (co-edited with Reynolds, 2020). He blogs at Nine Kinds of Pie <http://www.philnel.com/>, and tweets as @philnel.
Sarah Park Dahlen
Sarah Park Dahlen is an Associate Professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. A graduate of UCLA’s Asian American Studies Department, she earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She co-founded and co-edits Research on Diversity in Youth Literature with Gabrielle Halko, co-edited Diversity in Youth Literature with Jamie Campbell Naidoo, and co-edited the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly’s Special Issue on Orphanhood and Adoption in Children’s Literature with Lies Wesseling. Her next books address race in the wizarding world with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Asian American youth literature with Paul Lai. sarahpark.com @readingspark