Symposium: Photography in Children’s Literature

Hippolyte Bayard, 1842 (public domain)

Thursday 20 May 2021 10.00 –Friday 21 May 2021 13.00


A symposium on Photography in Children’s Literature will be held online at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics on 20-21 May 2021. The symposium should have been held 19–20 March 2020 but was postponed due to participating guests’ travel restrictions.


Photographs have been used to illustrate a great variety of genres within children’s literature. While many photographic illustrations from the beginning of the 20th century use staged scenes, or were part of the avantgarde experimentations within the media, documentary ambitions became increasingly common during the 1930s and 1940s and the photographic picturebook becomes a modern, educational and ideological medium. Many photographers and authors have created photobooks for children by combining photography with other artistic techniques, such as collage, photomontage and photograms. Inspired by ideas of a vanguard aesthetics, modernist artists often regarded photography as an aesthetic means to differentiate from the past in terms of form, style, and language. Similar kind of ideas can be traced in radical publishing for children during the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, within children’s literature, the choice of photography as a medium often expressed high aesthetic demands, but also ideological objectives. Thus, research concerning photography within children’s literature is also closely connected to ideas and changes in the conceptions of childhood, which impact on the depiction of children in relation to cultural transformation and social change. 

The symposium at Stockholm University will introduce leading scholars from seven countries and offers a meeting point for exchange of knowledge and research results within children’s literature, illustration history and photography. The symposium is admission free and open for all.

For registration and zoom-link, please contact:



Laurence Le Guen, Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer, Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, Jörg Meibauer, Jane Wattenberg, Monica Ruethers, Marnie Campagnaro, Anita Wincencjusz-Patyna and Elina Druker.



Have you got any questions regarding this event? Please contact Elina Druker:



Day I 20 May




Marnie Campagnaro

 “A successful photograph is worth as much as a story”: The influence of Photography on Bruno Munari’s picturebooks

15-20 min break


Monica Rüthers

The visual construction of an all-Soviet childhood in Soviet Photobooks


Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Jörg Meibauer

Portrait of the child as a socialist: An inquiry into photographic picturebooks of the GDR

1 hour lunch



Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer

Immigrants and Elves: The Everyday and the Fantastic in Danish Photographical Children’s Books


Jane Wattenberg 

Spellbound: Lona, Dare Wright’s Haunting Photo-Fairytale

Day II 21 May


Anita Wincencjusz-Patyna 

From Halley’s Comet to Scout Kwapiszon: On Photomontage in Polish Children’s Fiction in the 20th Century


Laurence Le Guen

From the ‘Children of all Lands Stories’ to the ‘Enfants du monde’ collection, providing a view of the Other in children’s literature

15-20 min break


Elina Druker 

In and out of focus: Anna Riwkin’s photojournalism and photographic picturebooks


Future plans and discussion

Publié par

Leguen Laurence

Docteure en littérature française,je suis l'auteure d'une thèse soutenue le 14 mai 2019, intitulée "Littératures de jeunesse et photographie, mise à jour et étude analytique d'un corpus éditorial européen et américain, de 1860 à aujourd'hui". Je fais partie du laboratoire CELLAM, de l'université de Rennes 2. Je suis également auteure de romans pour la jeunesse et commissaire d'expositions consacrées ux photographes Ergy Landau et Lily Franey. J'ai signé la postface de la réédition du livre d'Ylla : Deux petits ours, MeMo éditions.

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