Shih-Wen Sue Chen is a Lecturer in Literary Studies at Deakin University. She received the research grant for her project "Children's Literature in Late Qing and Early Republican China, c. 1875-1915."
Poushali Bhadury is a PhD student and graduate instructor at the Department of English at the University of Florida. Her research is on nationalism and global consciousness in postcolonial print culture in India, especially on Deb Sahitya Kutir and Bengali Children´s Publishing (1947-1964). She receives the research grant, which she combines with a CLIR Mellon Fellowship, for field work in India on Indian publishing houses for source research.
Thomas Crisp, Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida in Sarasota, received the 2011 IRSCL Research Grant for his project on gendered identities in picture books. Drawing primarily on the fields of masculinity studies and feminist and queer theory, this literature-based textual analysis examines depictions of "femininity," "masculinity," biological sex and gender in Caldecott Medal and Honor books from the inception of the award through the present award-year. Resisting cultural cues and normative constructions, this textual analysis challenges conversations about the ways readers may locate images of themselves (or those in their lives) in these award-winning books, with further implications for the ways in which representations of gender can be interrogated by young readers.
Mercedeh Makoui won the IRSCL Research Grant for 2009 for her project 'The Reflection of Shahnameh on Contemporary Iranian Children’s Literature: Gender Roles in Re-versions of Classic Persian Folktales.'
Makoui's project will examine the gender relations in contemporary picture book retellings of three classic Persian folktales, those following the adventures of child heroes in Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. This Iranian national epic by Ferdowsi was composed around 1000 AD. The stories under examination tell of three generations of heroes; Zaal and his son Rostam, and Rostam’s son Sohrab. In assessing these narratives in their contemporary picture book form, this project will interrogate gender politics in Iranian children’s literature by examining the various adaptation strategies in retellings of the myths. The analysis will examine the ways in which state-controlled children’s publishing in Iran employs the ideological effects of children’s stories as tools for socialising the next generation into the dominant values of the broader adult culture. The research is of particular significance given the tension between retaining the authenticity of these historically powerful myths of nationhood and identity, and the changing agendas of the political administration in government at the time of publication.
The IRSCL Research Grant attracted a good range of applications in 2007. A number of these were from young or early-career scholars, giving pleasing evidence that children’s literature studies will be in excellent hands for many years to come. The adjudicating board was encouraged by the high quality of the submissions, and regretted that there was scope for only one grant.
However, the board was unanimous in its decision to award the 2007 grant to Dr. Anto Thomas Chakramakkil, of St. Thomas College, Trichur, Kerala, India, for his project: ‘Alice in India: Translations and Reception of Alice in Wonderland into Indian Languages, and the Development of Children’s Literature in India’. Board members were impressed by the scope and ambition of Anto’s proposed project, and were keen to support his work in developing children’s literature studies in India. In its aim to strengthen the network of children’s literature scholars in India, through the process of the research, the project seems likely to make a lasting impact. The plans to link the project with other research on Alice worldwide will also contribute to the wider community of children’s literature researchers, within IRSCL and beyond.
Receiving the grant at the 18th Biennial Congress in Kyoto, in August 2007, Dr. Chakramakkil emphasised that the funds were a tribute to the hard work of all Indian children’s literature scholars. The Children’s Literature Association of India, of which Dr. Chakramakkil is Secretary, is now active, launching 2008 with its second annual conference. ‘Alice in India’ will contribute to the activities of the association and give impetus to the growing momentum of scholarship throughout the subcontinent.
The recipient of the IRSCL Research Grant 2003 was Martina Seifert, a research student at Leipzig University, Germany. The project she submitted was entitled 'The Image Trap: On the Translation of Canadian Children's Literature into German', and is part of her PhD thesis on Canada as an 'image type' in German-language children's literature as well as related to two major projects (one at Leipzig University, the other at Ottawa University) with which she is affiliated.
Her approach towards researching the translations is a comparative, imagological one which asks the central question: how have existing images of Canada influenced the reception, distribution and evaluation of Canadian literary texts in Germany. The grant was to fund a research trip to the National Archives in Ottawa, and the Lillian H. Smith Library in Toronto, as well as a three-week research period at the University of Ottawa School of Translation and Interpretation with Prof. Von Flotow, whose major forthcoming publication on translation of Canadian Literature into German will include a section on children's literature by Martina.
The 1997 IRSCL Research Grant was awarded to Karen Sands for her work entitled, 'The Imagination and the Imagined Nation: Post-1945 British Children's Fantastic Fiction'. This work became the basis of her doctoral thesis from Cardiff University. It has also resulted in several other publications, including a 2003 article entitled 'The Enemy Without: Post-1945 Animal Fantasy and the Safety of Home Spaces' for the online journal The Looking Glass.