Nordic Children’s Literature Around 1968

A particular importance is usually ascribed to the years around ‘68. Some scholars have even termed the long 1960s “a mini renaissance” during which artistic standards and values, as well as ideas about society and the individual’s place in it, were transformed in certain ways (Marwick 1998). In the narrative of the Nordic countries, the 20th century is generally described as a development from poor, agricultural and traditional societies to industrial and modern welfare states where the state played a strong role in the realization of equality and high social security. At the same time critical narratives of different ideological colours arose in the 1960s to challenge the success story of the modern state. This Barnboken theme wants to highlight that the image of the child played a significant role in these different narratives and thus stimulate further investigations of what has been dubbed a golden age for Nordic children’s and YA literature. In this special theme, authors are therefore invited to consider the years around ’68 in relation to children’s literature and culture from different perspectives.

Topics for this special theme on the years around ’68 might include but are not limited to:

  • Children’s literature and the social and aesthetic transformation of culture;
  • Experimental ideas of child and childhood inscribed in texts and images for children;
  • The use of children’s literature in relation to different social movements, such as the peace movement, the new left, environmentalists, the women’s movement, citizen groups, and minority groups;
  • The expansion and diversification of children’s publishing;
  • Genres and modes of children’s literature, such as the YA novel, poetry, social realism, fairy tales, and fantasy;
  • Motifs and themes of children’s literature, such as poverty, vulnerability, power, participation, gender, ethnicity, masculinity, nature;
  • Children’s literature and the promotion of children’s rights around ’68;
  • Narratives of the modern Nordic countries, the Nordic welfare state, and the nation

Deadline, abstracts: 6 November 2017

Please send a 300-word proposal to The following information should be included: The title of the article, the name of the writer, affiliation, and e-mail address.

Deadline, articles: 10 April 2018

The articles will be published in 2018. Articles submitted for consideration may not have been previously published in any other context.

Texts are sent via e-mail to or via the login system on Barnboken’s website: For further information on submission details such as length, see Author Guidelines:

Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research is published by The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books. All articles accepted have been peer reviewed by at least two peers and will be published online under an Open Access model. The main language of the journal is Swedish, but articles written in Danish, Norwegian and English are also welcome. We are especially interested in contributions related to Sweden or the Nordic countries.

Guest editor of this theme is Associate professor Olle Widhe, Gothenburg University, Sweden (contact: The editorial committee consists of Professor Björn Sundmark, Malmö University, Sweden, Dr. Åsa Warnqvist, The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, Sweden (Editor), and Mia Österlund. Barnboken is published with financial support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).

A guide to our reference and note system can be found at the journal website.

For more information, please contact:
Åsa Warnqvist
The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books
Odengatan 61
SE-113 22 Stockholm
Phone: + 46 8 54 54 20 65