Gillian Rennie, “Artefact and Artefictions – Curating Michael Morpurgo”.
Tuesday 31st October 2017, 5:30 – 7pm.
City Centre Seminar Room 2.07, Bancroft Building, Queen Mary University of London.
Seven Stories’ Senior Curator, Gillian Rennie, will explore the challenge of curating the archive of one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
Gillian Rennie is Senior Curator at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She develops exhibitions across a multi-disciplinary team including featured authors and illustrators, designers and makers, conservators and learning practitioners. “Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories”, devised by Seven Stories, is at the V&A Museum of Childhood until February 2018.
Billiken is the world’s longest-running children’s weekly and will be one hundred years old in November 2019. It has always had the dual purpose of educating and entertaining children, placing comic strips and popular literature alongside content aligned to the primary school curriculum. This paper will explore key points in Billiken‘s history to see how the editorial conception of Argentine childhood has changed over time, and how these changes are visible in both the magazine’s content and the layout of that content. It will also examine the extent to which Billiken‘s changing understanding of the Argentine child correlates to ideological shifts advanced by the different political regimes the magazine has lived through. At the height of Billiken‘s popularity, the magazine had a weekly paid circulation of over 500,000, and was sold all across Latin America. As Billiken‘s centenary approaches, weekly circulation is down to 15,000, inviting questions about the future of this print magazine in the digital age.
Dr Lauren Rea is Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Sheffield and specialises in the Cultural History and Popular Culture of Argentina. Lauren’s current project on Children’s Literature and Childhood in Argentina’s Billiken magazine is funded by the AHRC Leadership Fellows Scheme.
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