The Child and the Book 2022 Conference

Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek – the author of this post – is a student of the Artes Liberales curriculum at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw.

On April 26–28, 2022 L-Università ta’ Malta hosted “The Child and the Book Conference: The Role of the Child as Citizen: Constructing Childhood through Agency and Activism”, where I had the pleasure of giving a talk entitled: We Support Girls Today so They Change the World Tomorrow. Shaping Girls’ Agency in the Contemporary Polish Magazine “Kosmos dla Dziewczynek” (“Cosmos for Girls”).

Presentation by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek We support Girls Today so They Change the World Tomorrow. Shaping Girls’ Agency” in the Contemporary Polish Magazine “Kosmos dla Dziewczynek (“Cosmos for Girls”) – photo by Piotr Mikusek, used with permission.

It was a fantastic time! During the three days of the conference I met amazing people from all over the world who, regardless of their age or academic background, shared a passion for children’s literature and art, both past and more contemporary. However, it was not only the love of books for young readers that made this conference so special, but above all the sense of mission and the belief, expressed among others by Meg Rosoff, American author of books for children and adults, during the conference, that dealing with children’s literature is not only a privilege, but also a duty. I also cannot count how many times words like agency and activism were mentioned. The conference was outstanding, the speakers were compelling and the sessions I attended were very informative. I also enjoyed the networking as I was able to meet people who have been for years giving direction to both Polish and foreign research on children’s literature, as well as beginners who, like me, are just starting their adventure with children’s literature.

Presentation by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek We support Girls Today so They Change the World Tomorrow. Shaping Girls’ Agency” in the Contemporary Polish Magazine “Kosmos dla Dziewczynek (“Cosmos for Girls”) – photo by Piotr Mikusek, used with permission.

If I were to try to briefly sum up “The Child and the Book 2022 Conference”, I would say: countless inspirations, pages of scribbled notes, and reaffirming once again how important children’s literature is. And all in a unique atmosphere and a real willingness to act.

A narrow street in the center of Valletta leading to the sea – photo by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek.
St. Publius in Floriana – photo by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek.

An important element creating the atmosphere of the event was Valetta itself with its wonderful Mediterranean climate, diverse cuisine, and fascinating culture. I am very happy that I was able to participate in “The Child and the Book 2022 Conference” and I am already looking forward to other academic opportunities and challenges. 

Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek on the day of the conference – photo by Piotr Mikusek, used with permission.
View of the sea from Valetta’s ancient walls – photo by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek.

Post by Gabriela Niemczynowicz-Szkopek, placed by Olga Strycharczyk

Further reading:

Conference website: https://www.um.edu.mt/event/childandbook2022

Conference programme: https://www.um.edu.mt/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/495635/TheChildandtheBookConference_CoreProgrammefinal_24051.pdf

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