SSCIP 2014 conference

Telling Tales: Children, Narrative and Image

The Seventh International Conference of the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past (SSCIP) - in partnership with La Trobe University, Melbourne Library Service and the State Library of Victoria.

When: 21 – 24 March 2014
Where: State Library of Victoria and Melbourne City Library

Registration fee:

  • SSCIP members: $150
  • Non-members: $180
  • Student members: $100
  • Student non-members: $120

The registration fee includes:

The opening evening drinks event (Friday 21 March)

4.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Cost: included in conference registration fee

Refreshments will be provided.

The SSCIP Conference will open in the splendid surroundings of the Blue Rotunda in the historic State Library of Victoria. Speakers will include Alison Lester, who is an inaugural Children’s Laureate and is a prominent advocate for children’s literature in Australia. There will also be a chance to view the newly opened exhibition of works from the Scholastic Dromkeen Children’s Literature Collection entitled Once Upon a Time (which includes works by Alison Lester) and to meet its curator, Ann Carew.

Location: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St (corner Swanston and La Trobe Streets), Melbourne VIC 3000
T: 03 8664 7000
Map and public transport information


Conference session (Saturday 22 March)

9.00 am - 9.30 am: Registration

9.30 am Welcome: Paula Kelly (Library Service Manager, City of Melbourne)

9.45 am - 10.15 am
Keynote Presentation: Telling Tales: War from a Child’s Perpsective
Mark Wilson (award-winning children’s book illustrator)

1A. The Child and the Environment: Narratives of Interaction
Chair: Dr Gillian Shepherd (Trendall Centre, La Trobe University)

10.15 am - 11 am: An unexpected story: late nineteenth century and early twentieth century photographs of children in field archaeologists' records
Dr Sally Crawford (Institute of Archaeology, Oxford University, UK)

11.00 am – 11.30 am: Coffee Break

11.30 am – 12.15 pm: The child versus the forest: environmental identity in Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel”
Victoria Tedeschi (University of Melbourne)

12.15 pm -1.00 pm: Developing an archaeology of childhood experiences in Australia 1788-1901
Margaretha Vlahos (University of Queensland)

1B The Child Remembered: Narratives of Memorialisation
Chair: Dr Lesley Beaumont (University of Sydney)

10.15 am -11 am: Remembering children: memory and memorialisation of children in the Egyptian New Kingdom
Dr Nicola Harrington (University of Sydney)

11.00 am -11.30 am: Coffee Break

11.30 am -12.15 pm: ‘I am left young and cut adrift… Oh, I have suffered a terrible grief: the representation of children in Athenian funerary iconography’
Dr Hugh Thomas (University of Sydney)

12.15 pm -1.00 pm: Narratives of life in the artefacts of death: remembering Roman children in words and pictures
Dr Ellen Westcott (Macquarie University)

1.00 pm - 2.00 pm: Lunch Break

2A Gender and the Child: Male/Female Narratives
Chair: Anna Burkey (Reader Development & Centre for Youth Literature Manager, State Library of Victoria)

2.00 pm - 2.45 pm: The Secret Garden and the Gaze
Emma Hayes (Deakin University)

2.45 pm - 3.30 pm:  Alice, Anya and Arisu: the Alice-Lolita connection to Japan and back again
Madeleine Hunter (University of Melbourne)

3.30 pm - 4.00 pm: Afternoon Tea Break

4.00 pm - 4.45 pm: Playing with Transchildren: Narrative, Image and Gender Dis/Affirmation in Two Transgender Picturebooks
Tom Sandercock (Deakin University)

4.45 pm - 5.30 pm: Rethinking Rapunzel: female embodiment and narrative across media
Emma Whatman (Deakin University)

2B Narratives of Parents and Children
Chair: Paula Kelly (Library Service Manager, City of Melbourne)

2.00 pm - 2.45 pm: Narratives of ancient childhood: children and parental ambitions in the Roman world
Dr Janette McWilliam (University of Queensland)

2.45 pm - 3.30 pm: Dismemberment, decapitation and disposal: narratives of the endangered child in ancient Greece
Dr Lesley Beaumont (University of Sydney)

3.30 pm - 4.00 pm: Afternoon Tea Break

4.00 pm - 4.45 pm: My son the hero: the parent-child relationship in Greek mythology and children’s literature
Miriam Riverlea (Monash University)

4.45 pm - 5.30 pm: Children in Roman epic narratives
Dr Rhiannon Evans (La Trobe University)

Conference session (Sunday 23 March)

9.00 am - 9.30 am

Keynote Presentation: (title tbc)

Kirsty Murray (award-winning children’s book author)

3A The Ideal Childhood and the Idealised Child
Chair: David Beagley (Lecturer in Literacy Education, La Trobe University)

9.30 am - 10.15 am: Classics and the construction of childhood in children’s literature, 1857-1907
Elizabeth Hale (University of New England)

10.15 am -11.00 am: Publishing, postage and prizes: classic Australian children’s literature in the public eye
Erica Hateley (Queensland University of Technology)

11.00 am -11.30 am: Coffee Break

11.30 am - 12.15 pm: ‘Very Australian and normal’: the construction of narratives around childhood reading habits in Australia, 1930-1960
Bronwyn Lowe (University of Melbourne)

12.15 pm -1.00 pm: Longing for the idealized child: Charles’ Dickens Oliver Twist and Little Nell
Jack Tan (University of Melbourne)

3B The Endangered Child
Chair: Dr Gillian Shepherd (Trendall Centre, La Trobe University)

9.30 am - 10.15 am: Narratives of abuse in children’s literature: an Australian Perspective
Anna McCormack (Deakin University)

10.15 am - 11.00 am: Tragic children in Virgil’s Aeneid
Dr Anne Rogerson (University of Sydney)

11.00 am -11.30 am: Coffee Break

11.30 am - 12.15 pm: The influence of the East Dragon and West Dragon and Children
Hyunhee Song (Hannam University, South Korea)

Afternoon: Opportunity to attend Children’s Book Festival Events

Optional events

Optional events are either free of charge or are in addition to the registration fee:

Conference dinner (Saturday 22 March)

7.15 pm for 7.30 pm start

Cost: $90 (payable at conference registration)

The Conference Dinner will be held at the Ludlow Bar & Dining Room. Superbly located in the Southbank complex on the banks of the Yarra River with views of the city lights, the Ludlow Bar & Dining Room is a short walk across the river from the conference venue and offers a menu based on Southern European cuisine. The conference dinner price includes 3 courses, with wine.

Location: Ludlow Bar & Dining Room, By the Yarra, Building 3, 6 Riverside Quay, Southbank, Melbourne VIC 3006
Tel: 03 9699 1676
Map reference

Victorian Goldfields field trip (Monday 24 March)

8.45 am - 5.00 pm (approx.)

Cost: $85 (payable at registration)

Join us for a daytrip to historic Castlemaine and Daylesford in the goldfields district of rural Victoria to explore more narratives of children, childhood and history.

We travel by private coach to Castlemaine, a gold rush boom town dating back to 1851 and in its heyday briefly bigger than Melbourne. Here we will visit Pennyweight Flat Cemetery, one of Castlemaine’s earliest cemeteries set on a rocky hill above Pennyweight Flat, one of the richest goldfields. The Cemetery preserves stories of early gold diggers and their children, and we will be given a guided tour by Dr Celestina Sagazio, Historian and Manager of Cultural Heritage at South Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust.

After lunch (independent) in the historic centre of Castlemaine – home to Georgian architecture and the Theatre Royal, the oldest continuously operating theatre in Australia – we travel to the nearby goldmining town of Daylesford, now famous for its surrounding natural spring mineral spas.

In Daylesford we will visit the splendid 19th century Convent Gallery. Originally built as a private residence for the Gold Commissioner, the building was converted in the 1880s to house the Holy Cross Convent and Boarding School for Girls; after the Convent was moved in the 1970s, it fell in dereliction but was restored and reopened as a gallery in 1991. Here we will have a private story telling in the atmospheric and evocative surroundings of the well-preserved Convent Chapel by renowned storyteller Anne E. Stewart ( This will be followed by afternoon tea (included) in the Convent before our return to Melbourne.

Included in price:

  • travel from Melbourne CBD to Castlemaine and Daylesford (departure/arrival at State Library of Victoria) in private a/c coach
  • guided tour of Pennyweight Flat Cemetery by Dr Celestina Sagazio
  • Convent Gallery admission 
  • private story telling by Anne E. Stewart
  • afternoon tea at the Convent Gallery, Daylesford

Not included in price:

  • Lunch in Castlemaine (Castlemaine has numerous cafés and food outlets located close together in the town centre and recommendations will be provided)

Melbourne Museum tour (Friday 21 March)

Cost: FREE

Strictly limited places

The Australian Children’s Folklore Collection (1:00 pm or 3:00 pm, Melbourne Museum)
The Australian Children’s Folklore Collection (ACFC) documents children’s games, rhymes, riddles, jokes, superstitions and other kinds of children’s folklore, and includes written material, photographs, audio cassettes, video tapes, play artefacts and a number of specialist collections of children’s lore. We are privileged to have Dr June Factor (one of the founders of the ACFC, together with Dr Gwenda Davey) as our host for this visit.

Location: Melbourne Museum, Nicholson St, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne VIC 3053
Tel: 131 102
Map and public transport information 

State Library tour (Friday 21 March)

Cost: FREE

Strictly limited places

Children’s Research Collection (1.00 pm or 3.00 pm, State Library of Victoria)

This visit will be hosted by Juliet O’Connor, Children’s Research Librarian at the State Library of Victoria and take place in the McArthur Gallery in the State Library of Victoria. The Children’s Research Collection records childhood reading from the 16th to 21st centuries, and Juliet will present items which provide an overview of childhood reading from educational books to imaginative fictions published between the 16th and 20th centuries.

Location: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St (corner Swanston and La Trobe Streets), Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 8664 7000
Map and public transport information

More information

For more information, please contact: Gillian Shepherd or Jennifer Ellis
T: + 61 3 9479 2845 or + 61 3 9479 2864

 Register now