In 2020 out of 18 invited guests only four were able to visit us due to the pandemic. With that in mind the International Yout Library was more than happy to reopen it’s doors for the first fellowship recipients in 2021. Just as the previous years we were looking forward to the new guests, exciting topics and interesting conversations.
Mateusz Swietlicke (Poland)
Mateusz Swietlicke from Poland is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław where he teaches at the Institute of English Studies.
From February until April 2021, Mateusz came to the International Youth Library to research for his book about Memory and the images of Eastern Europe in Canadian historical fiction, published after the year 1991.
He says that the collection of the IYL is spectacular and the great amount of sources he found here helped him a lot with his book.
Mateusz first interest in children’s literature began when he was 10 years old and he read the book “Anne of Green Gables”. Since that, children in literature have always been a subject in his academic life. He studied American and Ukrainian Literature and has a PhD in Literary Studies. Since 2015 Mateusz has been regularly publishing about children’s literature and describes himself not only an expert in that but also in popular culture and film.
The next step in Mateusz future is to finally finish his book project and then return to Munich and it’s ‘beautiful places’ as he called it.
Volha Hapeyeva (Belarus)
Volha Hapeyeva from Belarus came to the International Youth Library to research for her extraordinary project: The Anthology of non-rhymed poetry for children from different authors in different countries. Volha wrote her first book for children when she was only 13. This book sparked her interest in how other authors across the world work with children’s literature.
Her interest in languages made her study English, German and French and with that, in combination with Volhas studies at the Linguistic University in Minsk, it is no surprise that she calls herself a poet, writer, translator and linguist. Even though Volha’s project is about poetry, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of how poetry works and to increase her poem collection in the future. We are excited to read about Volhas project as she plans to release it in German as well and hope to welcome her back soon at the IYL.
Cristina Gumirato (Italy)
Cristina Gumirato is a PhD Student in education at the Cattolica University of Milan from Italy. She became interested in children’s literature during her work as a primary school teacher and will be holding workshops for MA students about children’s literature in the future. After Cristinas dissertations about Beatrix Potter and Jella Lepman (the founder of the IYL), the Italian came to Munich to write about Children’s Literature in Europe in the post-WWII period with focus on IYL and Italian scholars. In this way, Cristina hopes to give a voice to Jella Lepman’s message and to all the scholars that collaborated with her.
An important statement from Cristina is:
“All literature is born from the human need to tell stories in order to better understand the universe we live in – they help us to live, to survive; they help children to grow up!”
Liliana Santos (Portugal)
Liliana Santos came across the fellowship program of the International Youth Library in December 2019 during her research for her PhD. But unfortunately the application deadline had already passed. Nevertheless, she did not forget about the IYL and realized her stay as a fellow in May and June 2021.
She has always been interested in literature and has a Bachelor’s degree in English and German language, literature and culture.
Lilianas goal while staying in Munich is to enlarge her theoretical research in general and also to get in contact with the first editions of the books she will analyze for her project about informed children, empowered citizens: silence, voice, gender and racial representations in Effie Lee Newsome, Virginia Hamilton and Jacqueline Woodson.
Liliana states that the IYL was very inspiring and that she is extremely happy and grateful to have worked here.