"In Crusoe's Footsteps: Robinson Crusoe and the Robinsonade - A Tercentenary Appraisal"
6th September 2019, Digby Stuart Campus, University of Roehampton
Deadline for abstracts: 1st June 2019.
This year’s National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature conference explores the cultural heritage and continued relevance of the Robinson Crusoe story for young readers within modern and contemporary children’s literature. By way of a retrospective, we invite speakers to consider adaptations of the Robinson Crusoe story for young readers from the eighteenth century to the present day, drawing on the wide range of the Robinsonades produced in Defoe’s wake. We will be thinking about the origins and developments of the Robinsonade as well as the continued significance of the desert island story to children’s literature. Discussions will cover such topics as the expanding definition of the Robinsonade (which encompasses both the traditional island settings and non-traditional “islanded” topographies), the gendering and disengendering of the Robinsonade, and the crossover between the Robinsonade and other popular children’s genres and forms (the bildungsroman, the adventure narrative). We will also consider the relationship between Defoe’s source novel and the many adaptations of the Robinson Crusoe story, the crossover Robinsonade narrative for children and young adult readers, and the ways in which the experiences of childhood depicted within these narratives have changed over time.