Posting this for a friend - wish I'd thought of it! I'm basically the departmental Groke. Here's a scene in which the new university managers meet a Moomin:
And this is my response:
I've loved the Moomins for many years. I had a couple of books as a child, but never saw the comic strips or TV series. As a kid, I knew there was something special about the emotional sophistication of these fat herbivores - going back to them later I realised that Jansson had created a nigh-on perfect set of characters through which to explore anything from fascism (the comic strip in which Moominvalley is invaded by bullying exercise fanatics) to depression (take your pick) but which never lectured or moaned: there's at least as much joy at simple things and egalitarian community values as there is worry.
Call for papers
The Moomins, created by Tove Jansson, have delighted and enlightened adults and children for generations, and have been translated into several languages. In all, nine books were published , together with five picture books and a comic strip, between 1945 and 1993. The Moomins have since been the basis for numerous television series, films and even a theme park called Moomin World in Naantali, Finland.
At the centennial anniversary of their creator’s birth, a new film has been released and more of Jansson’s works are now being translated from Swedish into various other languages, including, finally, her work for older readers. This has put the Moomins back on the map, and created a second ‘Moomin boom’, which is, in itself, worthy of analysis. Her works have often been regarded in terms of potential autobiographical readings – an approach perhaps encouraged by Jansson’s much-famed ‘island’ lifestyle – but the time is ripe for revaluations and reconsiderations. This collection therefore seeks to extend the work already done in the field, and to take into consideration as many of the different variations, and incarnations, of the Moomins as it is possible to cover in a book-length study, it aims to have an open focus, and to begin conversations about The Moomins, their roles, impact and influences as children’s characters, and their status as ambassadors of a greener, more bohemian, lifestyle.
I am seeking contributions of 5000 words and envisage that the collection will comprise entries on the books, comic strips, theatre productions, TV series (Soviet & Japanese) and film, and even the theme park. At present I do not have a publisher for this book but will be approaching Palgrave, Bloomsbury et al once I have some more contributors and potential chapter abstracts to submit. Themes might include (but are not limited to):
Grief and loss