Series introduction

While nature and the environment play an important role in much of Nordic children’s and young adult literature, there is still relatively little ecocritical research on this corpus. As in ecocriticism generally, much of the ecocritical focus within the field of children’s and young adult literature so far has been on Anglophone texts.

This series collects selected articles based on papers presented at a joint ENSCAN and NaChiLitCul workshop on Ecocritical Perspectives on Nordic Children’s and Young Adult Literature. The event was hosted by Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen on 25–26 October 2018. The workshop centred on mapping nature representations and ecological aspects of Nordic texts.

The response to the call for papers demonstrated a strong interest in ecocritical perspectives among scholars of Nordic children’s and YA literature. Although the majority of the twenty presenters were from Norway and Sweden, the workshop also attracted scholars from Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. The presenters offered papers on a wide range of topics, texts and formats, spanning from picturebooks covering Sami culture, urban landscapes, poetry and modes of environmental imagination to Arctic, dystopian and climate fictions for young adults.

In this series, the selected articles based on the workshop will appear consecutively in the Nordic Journal of ChildLit Aesthetics in 2019 and 2020, creating a sustained focus on ecocritical perspectives. The readers will encounter articles presenting ecological positions in Birger Jåstad’s authorship, modes of environmental imagination in Swedish children’s literature, analyses of both unfamiliar and urban landscapes in Norwegian picturebooks, representations of Nordic landscapes in YA climate fiction, ecocritical perspectives on horse fiction, Sami culture, and more besides.

Our hope is that this series of articles will instruct and inspire readers of this journal to engage with and further develop ecocritical readings of both Nordic and other under-researched regional literatures.