The Seventh International Literary Juvenilia Conference will be held virtually at UNSW Sydney from Wednesday 20 July to Friday 22 July 2022. 

Following the success of the 2018 conference on ‘Minority Voices’ at St. John’s College, University of Durham, the International Society of Literary Juvenilia (ISLJ) and Juvenilia Press, welcome you to a Zoom Conference from UNSW Sydney to discuss


Literary Juvenilia, material imagination and ‘things’

Young writers ranging from Pope, Chatterton and Burns in the eighteenth century, to Austen, the Brontës, Eliot and Dickens in the nineteenth, and Edith Wharton, C.S. Lewis, Judith Wright, Margaret Atwood, and J.K. Rowling in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have found inspiration and example in the everyday context of their writing practice—in a materiality related to their physical, social and cultural worlds and in the material conditions of their play, learning, imitation and critique. This conference will explore the material culture of juvenilia (youthful writing up to the age of twenty): the relationship between ‘things’ and literary imagination and practice.

The conference aims to provide a broad intellectual forum for academics, postgraduates, members of literary societies and the interested public.

There will be a panel dedicated to the juvenilia of the Brontës, especially that of Anne Brontë to acknowledge her 2020 Bicentenary, sponsored by the Australian Brontë Association. 


Keynote speakers: 

David C. Hanson, Professor and Head, Department of English, Co-editor of Nineteenth Century Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University. He specialises in the study of the creative process and how texts evolve from composition through stages of publication; and is editor of The Early Ruskin Manuscripts1826-1842, a digital edition of the early writings of influential art critic John Ruskin. 
Professor Hanson will speak on "Things that 'seemed so uncome-at-able': Juvenilia and the Print Culture of Travel"
Beverly Taylor, Professor and Head, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She specialises in Victorian literature and culture, especially poetry and women novelists including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Brontës. 
Professor Taylor will speak on "Becoming Acton Bell", in celebration of the 2020 Bicentenary of Anne Brontë.
Trevor Cairney OAM, Honorary Professor, University of Sydney; Life Fellow UNSW. He has been a teacher, researcher, Dean of Education, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) and College Head. He has written widely on pedagogy, early learning, language, children's literature, comprehension and family literacy. He has written 10 books and over 250 articles, and has presented keynote and plenary addresses to many audiences around the world. He also writes the well-known blog "Literacy, Families & Learning" which is followed internationally by thousands of parents, children's authors and teachers. Professor Cairney will speak on:
                           "The Relationship of 'Story', Meaning and Imagination to the World"
D.W. Harding (1937) suggested, "reading, like daydreaming and gossiping, is a means to offer or be offered symbolic representations of life". But this does not reflect a linear relationship to one's world. Early reading and writing are intertwined with children's explorations and actions, as they imagine futures and express meanings that matter. In this talk, I will explore the interrelationship of children's early experiences of literature, writing and life, as they explore their material world to construct and communicate meanings that matter.      


Conference organisers:

Christine Alexander, Emeritus Scientia Professor, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW
Chris Danta, Associate Professor, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW
Donna Couto, Administration & Assistant Editor, Juvenilia Press, UNSW
Ryan Twomey, Senior Lecturer, English Department, Macquarie University
Pamela Nutt, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney