Keynote Speakers


Valeria Sardi


Professor of literary education and didactic at National University of la Plata (UNLP) in Argentina, she works as a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Research in the Institute of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences. Member of GT GLACSO “Territorialities, spiritualities and bodies” and part of the Research Network of and from Bodies; she currently directs a research project on sexed bodies, corporeal knowledges and affect focusing on pedagogical bonds and reading, writing, and orality in secondary schools. Author of Escrito en los cuerpos. Experiencias pedagógicas sexuadas (GEU, 2019), and Políticas y prácticas de lectura (Miño & Dávila, 2011), among a plethora of books and articles that approach reading and writing, gender(s)-sensitive teacher training, sexed-gendered corporealities and teaching, as well as childhoods and literature. She is also a poet and has organized free-of-charge reading workshops from a gender(ed) lens.


Marilisa Jiménez


Professor of Latinx studies and children’s literature at Lehigh University, Marilisa Jiménez García specializes in Latinx literature and culture. She is also the founding director and principal investigator of the Taskforce on the Institute of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, a research lab space co-led and co-founded by students and faculty of color at Lehigh. Jiménez García’s research on Latinx literature has appeared in Latino Studies, CENTRO: A Journal of Puerto Rican Studies, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Children’s Literature. Her forthcoming book, Side by Side: US Empire, Puerto Rico and the Roots of American Youth Literature and Culture (University Press of Mississippi, April 2021) examines the history of colonialism in Puerto Rico through an analysis of youth literature and culture both in the archipelago and the diaspora. Marilisa seeks to create pathways in her research between the multiple fields of Latinx Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, children’s and young adult literature, comparative literature, and education. She is also a Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color Fellowship recipient from the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and also the recipient of Lehigh’s Office of Multicultural Affairs 2019 Change Agent Award.


Spyros Spyrou


Professor of anthropology and childhood studies at the European University Cyprus. His work is located in the interdisciplinary field of Childhood Studies, and focuses on children’s identities (especially in relation to nationalism, migration, and borders), while also tackling questions of poverty, social exclusion, and vulnerability by exploring ways of empowering children and young people to become knowledge producers through participatory approaches to research. His most recent works engage with broader discussions on knowledge production in the field of Childhood Studies. Spyrou is currently working on a project funded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Hellenic Observatory at the LSE researching the role of children and young people as political actors in light of their participation in climate action. He is the author of Disclosing Childhoods: Research and Knowledge Production for a Critical Childhood Studies (2018, Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of Reimagining Childhood Studies (2019, Bloomsbury) and Children and Borders (2014, Palgrave Macmillan). He is also Associate Editor of the Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies, co-editor of the journal Childhood (Sage), and co-editor of the book series Studies in Childhood and Youth (Palgrave).


Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer


Professor of Children’s Literature at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. After having been a teacher in secondary education for several years, she started her academic career with a PhD on the literary socialization of young children within the family. Between 1998 and 2013 she held an endowed chair on children’s literature at Leiden University (the Annie M.G. Schmidt chair named after the best know author of children’s literature in the Netherlands). In 2001 she was appointed professor of children’s and adolescent literature at Tilburg University. Since 2011 she has been the coordinator of the Dutch Master’s program Children’s and Adolescent Literature at this university. Since 2019, she has been teaching in the Erasmus Mundus International Master Children’s Literature, Media and Culture, coordinated by the University of Glasgow. Between 2007 and 2021 Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer was president of the Dutch section of the International Board on Books for Young People. Her research interests are adolescent literature, the relation between children’s literature and age studies, and life writing for and by young readers.


Magda Sepúlveda


Professor of literature at our host university, the Catholic University of Chile, and associate researcher at the Centre for Contemporary Latin American Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Sepúlveda has directed important projects funded by the Chilean research agency (ANID) and has written several books, among them Chile Urbano (2013, Cuarto Propio), which brings together important North American and Chilean researchers dialoguing about the image of the country in films such as Tony Manero and the narrative by women writers, such as the novels by Nona Fernández. Her second book, Ciudad Quiltra (2017, Cuarto Propio), an essay on Chilean poetry produced from 1973 to 2013, won the Creation Award from the Ministry of Arts and Culture, establishing the importance of Mapuche poetry and the rebellion of women poets against gender stereotypes. Her latest book, Gabriela Mistral. Somos los Andinos que Fuimos (2018, Cuarto Propio), studies Mistral’s relationship with the ecological and cultural systems of the Andes. This book was selected by the National Authors Acquisition Program of the State of Chile to be distributed in all public libraries countrywide.


Clémentine Beauvais


Professor of English in education at the University of York in the United Kingdom. Her research revolves around literary and cultural aspects of childhood and education, especially children’s literature, creative writing, literary translation in education, and the history and cultural sociology of childhood. She is the author of The Mighty Child: Time and Power in Children’s Literature (John Benjamins, 2015), which proposes an existentialist theorization of adult-child relationships in children’s literature. She is currently exploring literary translation, its potential role in education, and its mediation and practices in children’s literature in the UK. Clémentine is also a writer for children and young adults in French, and a literary translator from English to French.