»Under the pavement lies the beach« or »Power to the imagination« – these slogans characterise the movement of ’68, which publicised its social and political demands in a creative and programmatic fashion. The year 1968 not only marks a significant upheaval in what was then West Germany, it also has strong East and West European as well as international dimensions. ’68 can be understood as a cipher for protest movements which re-evaluated and challenged institutional structures, revolutionised gender and intergenerational relations and radiated into daily life, family life as well as individual lifestyles. Literature and the media, too, were subjected to critical revision, new formats and writing styles established, traditions either abandoned or continued within new paradigms.
Children’s literature and media were significantly shaped by these developments. Their contents were influenced by the anti-authoritarian discourse in education and by the demands of emancipation movements, their themes and aesthetics by politicised concerns and a new orientation towards sociopolitical reality. Children’s literature scholars have studied and identified ’68 as a paradigm shift. Recent studies, however, have also looked at developments in the late 1950s and early 1960s, pointing out that changes on the literary-aesthetic and content levels actually started much earlier.
Fifty years after this ›paradigmatic‹ caesura, the second volume of the Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society brings the cipher »’68« into focus to discuss historical and contemporary dimensions of this junction. Articles from a variety of European perspectives examine the manifold implications of this topic from theoretical and subject-oriented angles and in its different medial forms, and discuss these in the context of their significance for today’s children’s and young adult culture.
Beyond this focus theme, and in line with the concept of the Yearbook, two fundamental theoretical and historical articles on questions of children’s literature and media present current avenues and perspectives. And the ten articles are followed by book reviews. Thanks to the involvement of the members of the German Children’s Literature Research Society (GKJF), over 30 relevant publications from the past year are discussed in individual and collective book reviews.