Picturebooks, Poetic Provocations, & Doin’ the Dozens: Pathways Towards Decolonising the Mind

Wednesday 9 December 2019

Dr Denise Chapman (@DrDeniseChapman)
Monash University

This seminar will explore how picture books, spoken word poetry, and call and response storytelling can be used to create emancipatory discourses for decolonising our minds. Denise will weave together dramatic performance, digital story creations, and discussion to illuminate a range of methods for understanding, troubling, resisting, speaking to oppressive social structures and power. Participants will learn about storytelling and archetypes derived from story traditions of the Gullah Geechee people, the descendants of enslaved West/Central Africans living on the coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina (USA). Denise will share her passion for picture books and folktales as well as offer picture books that even adults can learn from. Current research projects of Denise’s that bring together digital technologies and children’s literature will also be shared.

Dr Denise Chapman
Dr Denise Chapman

Dr Denise Chapman is a passionate storyteller, digital media-creator, spoken word artist, and critical autoethnographer who lectures in children’s literature, early literacy and new media/technology at Monash University. She has served as a literacy/inclusion specialist focused on home literacies, critical media literacy, and culturally-sustaining partnerships within diverse communities in Australia, Fiji, and the United States. Denise uses oral stories, children’s literature, film, pop culture, and interactive digital content as windows for transformative, emancipatory opportunities. Her research prioritises communities experiencing marginalisation and employs participatory, visual, creative and narrative methods illuminating inequities and put forward social change. Denise is currently exploring the lack of diverse transmedia stories for children and how this impacts children’s sense of empathy, self-worth, and diverse imagined possibilities.

Image: Children’s books lie on a bookshelf by Kostikova Natalia. Source: Shutterstock