Dublin City University’s Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture is set to lead the Creative Europe project ‘Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections.’
DCU co-principal investigator Keith O’Sullivan, associate professor in the School of English and director of the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, said that the aim of the project is “to discover, explore and promote literature that enables young readers to reflect on their identities and question stereotypes, bias and perceived norms around gender.
While children’s literature has the potential to shape a reader’s understanding of his/her gender identity, readers of children’s books still encounter too few female protagonists that are active agents within narratives, or male characters that challenge a hegemonic masculinity that can be reluctant to show emotion, fragility or dependency.”
To complete the project, DCU is partnering with the University of Bologna and project partners University of Vigo, University of Paris 13, Regional Library of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) and City Library of Sarajevo. This €310,000 project, which is co-funded with a European Union grant, brings together specialists working in children's literature, gender studies, translation studies, library science and education.
With each partner taking responsibility for an aspect of the project, DCU is leading the creation of the bibliography by coordinating partners in the search for texts and supervising the selection of texts through international workshops.
To share findings, the project partners will create an online bibliography of children’s texts concerned with gender identity. The website will be of interest not only to educators, parents and readers, but also to the public.
To supplement the online bibliography, project partners will also create dedicated sections in several libraries throughout Europe to promote books in the bibliography. Sue Miller, subject librarian at DCU Institute of Education, is responsible for promoting selected books within the DCU Library.
Running alongside will be range of educational activities to support the aim of the project, including lectures; public readings; workshops for children, parents and educators; the translations and publication of books where possible; and events in collaboration with national organisations, such as Children's Books Ireland.
The project runs until December 2018.