21 June 2009

Manila Times column for 21 June 2009: "Focusing on children’s literature"

original post here.

yes, i'm attending this one.

By Libay Linsangan Cantor
Focusing on children’s literature

A national conference focusing on children’s literature will be held next month, and I urge people who are interested in the topic to attend it. It sounds like a promising event.

If you love children’s literature, especially if your work involves children and literature, then this conference is a must to attend. It’s called the Second National Conference on Children’s Literature and its official theme is “Panitikang Pambata sa Edukasyon” (or Children’s Literature in Education). Specifically, it will be held in two days, from July 16 to17, 2009, at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus (inside the Claro M. Recto Hall at the Faculty Center building). An association called the Pilandokan (or, officially, the National Research Society for Children’s Literature) is organizing this conference, with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

If you haven’t been to a national conference such as this, be ready for the deluge of information and new knowledge that comes with it. Usually, there are speakers who present papers/researches about a certain topic, and there are some workshops taking place, too. Since the focus of this conference is partly about education, there will be a lot of scholarly discussions about certain aspects involving children’s literature. It might sound boring because of the “academic aspect” (the usual impression of non-academicians) but, believe me, it’s not.

According to UP professor and children’s literature writer Eugene Evasco, the conference will discuss topics like the Filipino concept of child and childhood, the state of Philippine children’s literature, national identity, book piracy, children in television, children’s media, children and the social problems, literacy program for urban poor children and the deaf, and the formation of childhood identity. Evasco serves as the conference director.

I’m particularly interested in children and the media, especially because half of my professional career now involves going back to writing a children’s TV show. I began my scriptwriting career on TV by being part of writers’ pools of children’s edutainment shows about 10 years ago, and it’s interesting and exciting to note the differences of writing for such shows then and now, a decade hence. With the advent of the computer technology and everything going digital, children’s sensibilities have been changing, and children’s literature is, of course, getting affected by leaps and bounds. I’m particularly interested in what the speakers would say about this. I’ll write about my reflections on the conference, too, once it’s over.

If you want more information, please e-mail their secretariat at pagongatmatsing@yahoo.com. I’ll see you there, OK?

Comments? Suggestions? E-mail libay.scribevibe@gmail.com. She is also at libaycantor.multiply.com.

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