January – April 2018
Élodie Malanda, originally from Luxembourg, is an independent researcher and associate at the New Sorbonne University in Paris. She wrote her dissertation about the imparting of values in children’s and youth literature about Africa. She discovered that many of the authors from France, England and Germany who are willing to write anti-racist books without stereotypes are falling into the trap of a colonialist marked image of Africa. That is why, during her stay at the International Youth Library, she wants to write an annotated bibliography as a recommendation list about sub-Saharan Africa in children’s and youth literature. For her professional future, she imagines several possibilities: Working at university, in publishing or in the cultural sector. P.G.
Mai – June 2018
Maciej Skowera is a PhD candidate in literature studies at the University of Warsaw. He has an M.A. in cultural studies, an area where he has already dealt with literature for children and young adults and especially fairy tales. Now, he is focusing on English and American Literature. For his project at the International Youth Library, he is analyzing adult and young adult rewritings of children’s literature classics In some of those rewritten stories, the protagonists, like Peter Pan or Alice are now adults themselves and behave accordingly: issues such as violence and sex are often treated there. At the IYL, he found secondary literature that is not available in Poland. But most of all, he found a place to concentrate calmly and without distraction on his dissertation. P.G.
Mai – June 2018
Krzysztof Rybak is a PHD student from the University of Warsaw, Poland. In his dissertation, he focuses on contemporary Polish children’s and youth literature about the Holocaust. He discovered children’s and youth literature through his B.A. course on classical mythology in contemporary children’s books. This led him to a Master in children’s and youth literature and afterwards to his current PHD. In the International Youth Library, he found international books about the Holocaust that he could compare to his Polish corpus, but above all, he got a glimpse of the diversity of international children’s literature thanks to his numerous conversations with the language from the IYL and with scholars from all over the world. É.M.
Mai – July 2018
Mell Brites from Brazil follows two careers: In addition to her PhD studies at the University of São Paulo, she also works as children’s books editor. But inboth professions she pursues the same goal: She wants to move the study of children’s literature in Brazil out of the very pedagogical corner and strengthen literary theory. For her PhD project in Brazilian literature, she is studying new trends in children’s literature and the relation between those trends and post-modernism. She concentrates on contemporary literature and appreciates the novelty of children’s literature critique, of whose structure she can become a part. At the IYL, she had access to secondary literature that she didn’t find anywhere else, but what she loved most was how much respect for children’s literature exists – an attitude that she also wants for Brazil. P.G.
Mai – August 2018
Alain Belmond Sonyem (Kamerun)
Alain Belmond Sonyem from Cameroon is an adjunct university lecturer at the University of Yaoundé, specializing in German children’s and youth literature. After having worked on classic children’s authors like Erich Kästner and Christine Nöstlinger, he dedicated his PHD dissertation to the representations of Africa in German contemporary children’s and youth literature. During his stay in the International Youth Library, he examined the way German children’s and youth literature about Africa was used in the school curriculum in Germany and Cameroon. He also seized the opportunity of his stay in the IYL and the easy access to secondary literature to write an article on the Swiss publisher house Baobab. É.M.
June – July 218
Frances Bottenberg came from the USA to the International Youth Library for two reasons: first of all, she is interested in philosophy for children and wanted to use the resources of the IYL to familiarize herself with the medium of the picture book: She was not only interested in the many books from all over the world, but also in the library staff’s expertise. The second reason was her job as translator of the White Ravens catalogue which she has been doing for over ten years now. She wanted to get to know the people behind this project. During her stay in Munich, the lecturer in philosophy from the University of North Carolina focused on the question of what makes picture books philosophical and how illustrators and authors work to create a philosophical meaning. Also valuable for her work were the talks with the highly qualified international guests of the library. P.G.
June – September 2018
Fateme (Neda) Farnia is an Iranian researcher, who created a model to study empowerment in young adult fiction. During her stay in the IYL, she applied this model, which she originally developed in her PHD dissertation, to selected picture books of the White Ravens Catalogue. As a scholar, she was thrilled with the large amount of secondary sources in the IYL and, as a bookworm, she took great pleasure in reading a lot of picture books, poems and young adults novels she had access to in the library. But most of all she’s grateful for having met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world, whoshared her passion and her belief in the power of Children’s Literature to change the world. É.M.
June – August 2018
Xavier Mínguez-López’ interest in children’s and youth literature goes back to his twenties, when he started writing children’s and youth books in Catalan. He also worked as a lecturer for children’s publishing houses and now he’s an assistant professor at the University of Valencia. His field of research ranges from Literary Education in general and Children’s Literature in particular to animation and interdisciplinarity in arts education. In the International Youth Library, he worked on diversity – especially cultural diversity – in visual books of the White Ravens Selection in Spanish, English, German, French and Italian. He hence continued the research he did for his PHD about Interculturality in Catalan children’s and youth literature. He’s happy to have found every book he was looking for and to have collected a lot of material that will be a rich resource for future scholarly works. É.M.
Vasiliki Vasiloudi from Greece combines her experience as a primary school teacher with her position as an adjunct university lecturer of children’s literature and history of childhood at Democritus University of Thrace: alongside her research and her teaching activity she’s giving workshops at a children’s library and blogs about children’s literature. At the IYL she continued a research project on Fine Arts Museums in picture books (which she started with her colleague Laura Viñas Valle), examining under which terms certain artworks become adapted in picture books. In the library, she didn’t only find an international sample of picture books that allowed her to have a more inclusive perspective on her subject, she also encountered a truly international environment that fostered academic solidarity and promoted high standard research. É.M.
Wafa Mezghani is an English teacher at ISET in Tunis, Tunisia. She’s also a writer and a translator of children’s books and the president of the Tunisian section of IBBY. For her research project at the International Youth Library, she examines gender representations – and especially the portraying of women – in the White Ravens Selection 2017 and 2018. Her goal is to transmit the results of this research to publishing houses, authors and illustrators in Tunisia, in the hope that Tunisian children’s and youth literature will diversify its topics and representations in the future. What she loves about IYL, are the people: the librarians were very helpful, the lecturers and her contact person, Petra Wörsching, didn’t just give her bibliographical advice, but also offered various recommendations for the cultural program. She got to see Neuschwanstein, the Christmas markets and she even participated in Munich’s cultural life by reading a French picture book to German children during the international winter stories event at the IYL! É.M.
August – September 2018
Christine Bellen’s love for children’s and youth literature manifests itself in various ways. Aside from her academic activity as an Assistant Professor at Ateneo de Manila University in Philippines, she also writes short stories for children, as well as scripts for films, theater plays and musicals for kids. Her creative work is nourished by her research: hence she transformed the Filipino short stories of “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” (“The Stories of Grandmother Basyang”) into picture books and into a musical play after having examined them in her Master studies. In her dissertation, she studies the topos of mountains in contemporary children’s literature of the Philippines. During her stay at the International Youth library, she explored the possibilities of a collaboration between picture books and theatrical plays, examining if there are elements that permit particular children’s books to be transformed into a theatrical play. Her stay at the IYL confirmed her belief that children’s books are a real treasure to mankind. She also greatly enjoyed the discussions with the other fellows and now feels enriched by the knowledge and the culture of everyone of them. É.M.
September – December 2018
Philip Nel, University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University, is convinced: what we read as children shapes the way we see the world! Thus the American scholar of South African descent is particularly interested in diversity in children’s and youth literature. After having worked on racism in American children’s literature, he came to the International Youth Library to explore the German discourse about multiculturalism through German picture books. During his time in Munich, he also explored the area, visiting Munich’s museums and historical sites, enriching his research with this cultural and historical knowledge. He loved the international character of the library, embodied in its collection as well as in its staff and fellows. Meeting people from all over the world expanded his own perspective as a scholar and developed deep friendships that continue to enrich his life. É.M.
September – November 2018
Sabah Aisawi is an associate professor of children’s literature studies at Imam AbdulRahman bin Faisal University in Saudi Arabia. After working on subjects like animal stories of the 19th and 20th century, national identity in picture books, disability literary studies, her current research is dedicated to immigration in picture books. During her stay in the International Library, she focused more specifically on the representation of Syrian refugee children in Arabic, English and German picture books. At the IYL, she highly appreciated the easy access to critical work. She also used her stay at the IYL to connect with the Arabic-speaking community in Germany, giving talks about Arabic children’s books at the Kulturzentrum für arabische Sprache und Kultur München and at the Arabic library in Berlin. É.M.