Dr. Val Czerny presented “Mary Poppins: The Inter-War, Outer-Mind Sojourner” at a children’s literature conference at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense on September 28, 2012. The conference was entitled “The Children’s Literature in the Interwar Period: Revival and Mutations,” and was coordinated by Anne Struve-Debeaux, who has recently translated into French Hugh Lofting’s 1922 novel, The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle. The conference focused on works that were published during the inter-war period and yielded generative discussions that drew upon past writers’ ideas to illuminate current issues. The keynote speaker, Benoit Peeters, a writer of graphic novels, used a popular French series, The Adventures of Tintin, to discuss the influence of Hergé’s (that is, Georges Remi’s) comic artistry on the thinking of both children and adults. Other scholars focused on, for instance, the works of Benjamin Rabier (whose books about Gédéon, a duck with an unusually long neck, continue to influence almost every child growing up in France), as well as on English, Italian, and Russian works for children. Dr. Czerny’s presentation provided a psychological and philosophical approach to P.L. Travers’s novel, where she presented the concept of a “Poppins” force—a transformative agent within consciousness that is informed by an imaginative principle of interconnectedness. The announcement for the conference appeared online in “Fabula” (http://www.fabula.org/actualites/la-litterature-pour-la-jeunesse-de-l-entre-deux-guerres-renouveau-et-mutations_47477.php), and the conference itinerary has also been noted on other internet sites, including “Le magasin des enfants” (http://magasindesenfants.hypotheses.org/3225), “Portail de l’Association Internationale des chercheurs en littératures populaires et cultures médiatiques” (LPCM) (http://www.flsh.unilim.fr/lpcm/2012/08/colloque-international-%c2%ab-la-litterature-pour-la-jeunesse-de-lentre-deux-guerres-renouveau-et-mutations-%c2%bb-27-28-septembre-2012/) and “BéDé” (http://carnetsbd.hypotheses.org/1544).
Photographs -Notre Dame, Versailles Courtyard, Les Invalides, Crossing the Seine, Grand Palais, Sacre Coeur de Monmartre, Orangerie Versailles, Petit Trianon may be found on the Department News Cat Tracks page