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A Is For Anansi: Literature for Children of African Descent

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A Is For Anansi: Literature for Children of African Descent

October 8-9th 2010


presented by

Institute of African American Affairs – New York University

 

Location for all programs: Kimmel Center-NYU,

60 Washington Square South Rm. 914-Silver

Please RSVP at (212) 998-IAAA (4222)


A Is For Anansi will cover the history, criticism and theory of contemporary books for and about children of African descent, as told by its most influential critics, scholars, teachers and producers. The need for more in-depth analysis and for more information, critical evaluation, and publications on this topic still remain. The conference will look at these and consider other questions and issues as well.


Schedule:

                   Friday, October 8th, 2010 – Opening Reception

                  

6:00 - 6:30 pm

● Opening KEYNOTE

Andrea Davis Pinkney—Vice President, Executive Editor, Scholastic

 

Bernette Ford—Editor and Founder of Color-Bridge Books

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LITERATURE

Nancy D. Tolson—Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education Department, Mitchell College

 

 

6:30-8:00 pm

History/Significance/Meaning of Writing/Publishing/Selling Literature for and about Children of African Descent (importance of bookstores; going beyond the obvious that it’s good for other people to learn about other people)

 

 

Moderator: Cheryl Willis Hudson—Vice President & Editorial Director, Just Us Books; Author, My Friend Maya Loves to Dance

 

Regina Brooks—Founder and President of Serendipity Literary Agency

 

Kathleen T. Horning— Director, Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

Joe Monti—Agent, Barry Goldblatt Literary; former children's fiction buyer at Barnes & Noble

 

Hannah Ehrlich— Marketing & Publicity Associate, Lee & Low Books

 

Colin Bootman—Illustrator/Author, The Steel Pan Man of Harlem,

The Music in Derrick’s Heart


Saturday, October 9th, 2010

 

9:00 -9:30 am   Breakfast and Welcome

 

9:30 – 11:00 am

 

Issues of Identity & Representation (historical overview, phenotype-illustrating the books, role of language, look beyond books: cinema, advertisement, TV)

 

Moderator: Zetta Elliott—Author, Bird, A Wish After Midnight

 

George Ford—Illustrator, The Story Of Ruby Bridges, Ray Charles

 

Nicole Tadgell—Illustrator, Lucky Beans, No Mush Today

Myisha Priest—Assistant Professor, Gallatin, New York University

Khafilah McCurdy—Editor, The Journal of African American Children’s Literature

 

Nnedi Okorafor —Author, The Shadow Speaker, Zahrah the Windseeker

 

Respondent: Fabienne Doucet Fabienne DoucetNew York UniversitySteinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human DevelopmentAssistant Professor of Education, New York University

 

11:00 – 12:30 pm

 

Let the Children Speak (roundtable of kids discussing children’s books, “books that have had a profound effect on me and why” video games vs. reading, why don’t I read, use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, video blogs and more, audience can include children, parents, teachers)

 

Moderator: Clairesa Clay—Teacher/Filmmaker

 

12:30 – 1:30 pm  Lunch

 

12:00 – 2:00 pm  Rare Books Display from the collections of Fern Gillespie

        and Rashidah Ismaili, Room 910

 

 

1:30 – 3:00 pm

 

Critiquing & Evaluating the Books/Content (stereotypes, censorship, violence, raw images in picture books, depictions of the black family, political correctness in writing for children in terms of its ability to stimulate imagination as well as enhance cognitive and cultural development)

 

Moderator: Laura AtkinsLecturer, National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature in London, England

 

Wanda M. Brooks—Associate Professor of Literacy Education in the College of Education, Temple University

 

Andrew P. Jackson —Executive Director, Queens Library’s Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center

 

Oralia Garza de Cortes —Latino Children's Literature Consultant

 

John Sellers—Children’s Reviews Editor, Publishers Weekly

 

Respondent: Summer Edward—Founder and Managing Editor of Anansesem-Caribbean children’s literature ezine.

 

3:00 – 4:30 pm

 

                        Literacy & Education for/of the Black Male

 

Moderator: Clairesa Clay—Teacher/Filmmaker

 

Katie Sciurba—Lecturer, University of San Diego

 

C. Jama Adams—Chairperson and Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

 

Tony Medina— Poet/Associate Professor of Creative Writing, Howard University

 

4:30 – 5:00 pm  Closure/Round Up/Survey

 

5:00 – 6:00 pm  Rare Books Display from the collections of Fern Gillespie

      and Rashidah Ismaili, Room 910

 

5:00 pm

 

RECEPTION w/PERFORMANCE

Tribute to Virginia Hamilton, Tom Feelings, and Leo and Diane Dillon

 

Moderator: Esther Cooper Jackson—Editor, Freedomways Reader and Social Activist

 

Leo and Diane Dillon—Illustrators, Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears

 

Arnold Adoff—Poet and Anthologist, Roots and Blues: A Celebration

 

Rashidah Ismaili—Poet/Educator

 

Kamili Feelings—Writer/Teacher

 

Michael Patrick Hearn—Author,  Myth, Magic, and Mystery: One Hundred Years of American Children's Book Illustration