CERCLL offered two professional development opportunities in summer 2018– a workshop series, Literacy in the Wild: Getting Foreign Language Learners out of the Classroom and into the World (June 4-8), and a summer institute, Reading Globally: Critical Issues in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents (June 25-27)

Reading Globally: Critical Issues in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents

June 25-27: Kathy Short (University of Arizona) with experts and authors in global literature.

We live in a world where our lives are interconnected in complex ways across global cultures as well as fractured with tensions and walls that divide us. Global children’s and adolescent literature facilitates intercultural understanding, but issues of availability, access, authenticity, reader responsibility, and classroom use must be addressed for this potential to be realized.

In this three-day institute, participants explored current trends in global literature for children and adolescents, examined critical issues and approaches to analyzing these books, and experienced strategies for critically engaging with global literature. They used the Worlds of Words collection to immerse themselves in a wealth of global literature as well as to delve deeply into key books to develop their own critical understandings and to consider how to invite students into a critical reading of the word and the world. An additional component was interactions that pair classic, well-known texts often used in elementary and secondary classrooms with global children’s and adolescent literature to expand the curriculum and include global perspectives.

The institute was interactive and included presentations by experts in global literature and authors of global books along with time for browsing and reading books, engaging in literature circles, and discussing classroom connections. There were also breakout sessions where participants shared their work with global literature with each other.

Mitali Perkins joined us on Monday, June 25, Duncan Tonatiuh on Tuesday, June 26, and J.L. Powers on Wednesday, June 27 to interact throughout the day and present on global issues related to their books. Mitali Perkins writes middle grade novels that cross global cultures, including You Bring the Distant Near, Rickshaw Girl, Bamboo People, and Tiger Boy. She was born in Kolkata, India, lived in many places around the world, and currently resides in San Francisco. Duncan Tonatiuh is an author/illustrator who is both Mexican and American, growing up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His picturebooks include Danza, The Princess and the Warrior, Funny Bones, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, and Diego Rivera. J.L. Powers grew up on the U.S./Mexico border. She is the author of young adult novels set in Somalia and South Africa, Amina and This Thing Called the Future, and editor of That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone. She writes and edits The Pirate Tree, a blog on social justice, and established Catalyst Press to publish books by Indigenous authors from the African continent.


All workshops took place on the University of Arizona campus from 9 am to 4 pm each day. Continuing Education Certificates were provided for the institute for a total of 18 hours.

Registration Information:

Registration cost $100 until May 30th and then $120.

Cancellation Policy: A 50% refund was available if registration is canceled by email (cercll@email.arizona.edu) by April 30. After that, no refunds can be processed.

Lodging Information:

Hotels within walking distance of Worlds of Words, include: Aloft Tucson University and Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel.  You can also book a hotel on the streetcar route for easy access to the university because the streetcar has a stop right at the College of Education (http://www.sunlinkstreetcar.com/); CERCLL has used the Riverpark Inn for previous professional development events.


Contact wow@email.arizona.edu for further information about the institute or call +1 520-621-9340. If your questions are about registration, you may also contact CERCLL at cercll@email.arizona.edu.

Kathy Short's Biographical Statement

Kathy G. Short is a professor in Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona and works with educators around the world on inquiry-based global curriculum. Her research focuses on inquiry, global children’s and adolescent literature, dialogue, and intercultural understanding. She has co-authored many books, including Teaching Globally: Reading the World through LiteratureCritical Content Analysis of Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Essentials of Children’s Literature, Creating Classrooms for Authors and Inquirers, and Stories Matter: The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children’s Literature. She is director of Worlds of Words, an initiative to build intercultural understanding across global cultures through children’s literature, and is a past President of NCTE and USBBY.