Plenary Speakers

Riitta Oittinen
Marek Oziewicz
Walter Sauer

 Prof. Riitta Oittinen, University of Tampere

Riitta Oittinen holds a PhD in translation studies and she has been teaching translating (translating for children, translating the verbal and the visual as well as multimodality in translation) since 1987. Oittinen has written and illustrated more than 200 publications: books, articles, animated films, illustrations, art exhibitions in and outside Finland. Oittinen has taught translation in several countries in Europe and outside and she acts as Adjunct Professor (Docent) at the Universities of Tampere and Helsinki. She also holds the position of Senior Lecturer at Tampere University. Her brand new book Translating Picturebooks is authored by Riitta Oittinen, Anne Ketola, and Melissa Garavini. The book is forthcoming by Routledge in 2018. Oittinen’s production includes such titles as Translating for Children 2000 (translated into Spanish in 2003), journals, such as Meta (University of Montréal): in 2003 Translation for Children and in 2008 The Verbal, the Visual, the Translator in collaboration with Klaus Kaindl; in 2008 she co-edited with Maria González Davies Whose Story? Translating the Verbal and the Visual in Literature for Young Readers (Cambridge). Ms. Oittinen has published five monographs and edited several books. She also acts as an external reader of, for example, Perspectives. Translation Studies.

On the Multimodality of Translating Picturebooks. Excerpts from a Translator’s Diary

Images by Riitta Oittinen


Prof. Marek Oziewicz, University of Minnesota

Marek Oziewicz is the Sidney and Marguerite Henry Professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Professor of Literacy Education at The University of Minnesota. He teaches courses on fantasy and literature that helps young people become global citizens of a multicultural world. His publications explore how stories inspire readers to seek equity and challenge injustice. His most recent monograph, Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction (Routledge 2015), offers a cognitive history of justice and examines how non-factual narratives empower young people develop an understanding of real-life justice issues in the modern world.

From Fear to Hope: On Sources of Moral Agency in Stories about Justice


This talk is concerned with how works of children’s literature have participated in an ongoing cultural project to make our world safer for children and more just. The argument is situated within a proposition that our understanding of justice has evolved and can be theorized as falling into three distinct paradigms: Old Justice, New Justice, and Open Justice. Each paradigm offers its own ways of conceptualizing justice that translate into social and cultural forms, including narrative fiction. The affordances of each justice paradigm sediment in works of literature, allowing us to trace how the evolution of concepts related to justice has shaped specific literary traditions. The talk begins with a look at Stuwwelpeter and selected 19th century works that reflect the pedagogy of fear. A product of the Old Justice paradigm, the pedagogy of fear structured stories in which fear was evoked as the primary means to teach and ensure compliance with moral lessons, but was poorly suited to bring about genuine moral agency. From there, the argument moves to selected examples of children’s and Young Adult fiction that articulate New Justice and Open Justice assumptions. It concludes with an all-too-brief reading of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (2016) and Tracey Baptiste’s The Jumbies (2015). The two novels reveal how moral agency is now projected as arising from understanding rather than fear and in this way advance an Open Justice agenda in which justice is realization-focused, situated, plural and diverse.


Dr. Walter Sauer, Universität Heidelberg

Walter Sauer was born in 1942 and raised in Mannheim, Germany. He studied English and French philology at Heidelberg, Swansea (Great Britain) and Rennes (France), and received his doctorate in English Medieval studies from the University of Heidelberg. He held academic teaching positions in Santa Barbara, Cal., Seattle, Wa, and Albuquerque, N.M. and up to his retirement in 2005, was senior lecturer in English linguistics and Medieval studies at his alma mater, Heidelberg. His publications range from textbooks on English linguistics to editions of Middle English texts.

Outside of his immediate scholarly fields, Walter Sauer pursues two other interests, one being German dialects, including his own regional dialect of the Palatinate in South West Germany, in which he has published widely, and, of course, Struwwelpeter.

He has published dozens of different Struwwelpeter editions as well as numerous articles, and has lectured on the subject in Germany, Great Britain, France, and the United States. He and his wife Nadine have been keen collectors of Struwwelpeter for the last 25 years or so, and have exhibited parts of their collection in several museums in Germany and France.

Since 2001, the Sauers have run their own publishing house, „Edition Tintenfass,” which is devoted mainly to bi- and multilingual children’s books and publications in minority languages.

Walter Sauer is also the President of the Friends of the Struwwelpeter-Museum in Frankfurt, and edits their journal, „Struwwelpost,” which appears once a year and is devoted to research on Heinrich Hoffmann and Struwwelpeter.


Varietas delectat: The changing faces of Struwwelpeter


 Der Struwwelpeter is the most influential, the most controversial and, above all, the most variable of all children’s books. My lecture will focus on the latter aspect, presenting Struwwelpeter as a true chameleon of children’s literature. No other historical kids’ book, not Robinson Crusoe, not Max and Moritz, nor any of the many wonderful modern children’s books has experienced as many transformations and metamorphoses as Der Struwwelpeter.

The title I have chosen for this lecture „Varietas delectat: the changing faces of Struwwelpeter” reflects my personal experience with the book in more ways than one.

First, „varietas”: In studying and collecting Struwwelpeter, I have been fascinated by the theme of variation connected with this book. Indeed, I find this to be the most pervasive trait. It is apparent in the book’s development and publishing history, its interesting and ever changing iconography, the thematic variance of the book’s constituent parts, the linguistic diversity of its international reception, as well as the great variety of adaptations, imitations, parodies and the like.

Second, „delectat”: I definitely must confess to the „delectable” part of this familiar Latin quotation. No apology: Struwwelpeter for me is fun.

Finally, „the changing faces”: Although it would be easy to fill hours discussing Struwwelpeter’s changing physiognomy during the past almost 175 years, I will not limit myself to this one facet. I will rather extend the meaning of the phrase „faces of Struwwelpeter” metaphorically to include other varying features of the book and of its publishing and reception history, thereby presenting a sort of „tour d’horizon,” a Struwwelpeter panorama, including relevant research and desiderata.