Källa: Egon Møller-Nielsens "Ägget", Recreation Magazine 1954
Egon Møller-Nielsen's "Ägget", Recreation Magazine 1954.

Different social, historical, and ideological developments have led to various examples of what we might consider radical expressions in children’s literature. This two day-seminar investigates questions about radical writing for children, avant-garde and modernism in children's literature during the first half of the 20th century. The focus will lie on the relationship between children's literature and politics, progressive pedagogical ideas and different artistic and cultural turning points.

Open to all

The aim of the symposium is to bring together scholars from different fields of children's literature research, and to discuss the broad and complex field of radical publications and books for children in both Europe and North America.

Among the speakers are Kimberley Reynolds, Philip Nel, Julia Mickenberg, Nina Christensen, Sara Pankenier Weld and Boel Westin. 

The symposium is open to all.


Thursday 15 November

09:00 – 09:30


09:30 – 09:45


09:45 – 10:30

Sara Pankenier Weld
“Visual and Verbal Self-Referentiality in Russian Avant-Garde Picturebooks”

10:30 – 11:15

Kimberley Reynolds
“Transgressive Illusions and Radical Visions: Circuses in Children’s literature, 1920-1950”


11:35 – 12:20

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Jörg Meibauer
“Aftermath: Pacifist Children’s Lyrics in Interwar Germany”

  Lunch break

14:00 – 14:45

Nina Christensen
“Radically child-like? The Child/Artist Loop in Danish Picturebooks of the 1930es and 1940es”

14:45 – 15:30

Elina Druker
“The Play Sculpture: Utopian Visions of Modern Existence”

Friday 16 November

09:30 – 10:15

Boel Westin
“Multiple Aestethetics: Passion, Politics and Philosophy in the work of Tove Jansson”

10:15 – 11:00

Julia Mickenberg
“Radical Children’s Literature for Adults: Speculation and a Case Study”


Coffee and sandwiches

11:30 – 12:15

Philip Nel
“A Manifesto for Radical Children’s Literature (and an Argument Against Radical Aesthetics) ”

12:15 – 13:00

Final discussion