Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Call for papers: Childhoods conference

Call for Papers

Childhoods Conference: Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood

Venue: University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Date: Thursday, May 5 - Saturday, May 7, 2011

This multidisciplinary conference will engage scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of academic disciplines (including the sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, policy studies, and education) in a consideration of the state of child studies, which has changed significantly in recent decades. Disciplines long dedicated to the study of the child, and childhood, have been recently revitalized and are engaged with the central problematic of what the child and childhood represent, including how these categories relate to others such as infant and youth. Figured in the plural, childhoods pose a significant crossroads for theoretical and empirical work on the nature of being human and development broadly construed. Various disciplines consider childhood as an experience, as a biological fact, as a social category, as an artistic and literary construct, as a category for historical and demographic analysis, as a category of personhood, and as a locus for human rights and policy interventions. Participating scholars will examine childhoods of the past, present, and future from around the world, and will present research results, policy approaches, and theoretical paradigms that are emergent in this re-engagement with the child and childhood. Bringing together divergent networks of expertise, this conference offers the opportunity for new research collaborations and the scholarly dissemination of innovative research.

Conference Format: three days of multidisciplinary panels with scholarly presentations on conference themes; poster sessions; several keynote events; practitioner sessions; and a film night.

Conference Themes and Questions:

Definitions of Childhood: invented or discovered: Who gets to define childhood? What counts as a good childhood? A "normal" childhood? How have been childhoods defined in various media (art, literature, social science, science)? By what measures? And at what historical junctures?

Indigenous theories of childhood: What alternate models of childhood and development exist? How can they be found? Interpreted? Shared? What is the role of the child and childhood in other societies? What rights, and responsibilities do they have?

Gender and childhood: How do the categories of gender and child overlap, extend, elaborate or contradict one another? How do sex, gender and sexuality shape the experience of childhood? What are the policy effects of concerns about boys at risk or girls at play?

Globalization: How do global models of childhood interact with local conceptions? Do global educational standards contradict or support local sovereignty? What are the effects of migration, diaspora, refugee status on childhood? How does globalization affect the commoditization of childhood?

Technology: What is a digital childhood? What are the effects for private space? For common space? For play?

Adolescence: What's the point of adolescence? As a category of human development? A demographic category? As a literary public? As a human experience?

Empowerment: What are the social and policy implications for a child-centred approach to human rights? How can we understand child agency in terms of violence and the law? What can empowerment mean for the very young child?

Health, Disability and Risk: How can we understand the experiential effects of health and disability on child life? When is diagnosis of ills or limitations helpful and when is it a hindrance? How is risk figured in childhood? What does a resilient childhood look like?

Keynote Speakers:
* Dr. Patrizia Albanese (Co-director of the Centre for Children, Youth and Families, Ryerson University)
* Dr. Mona Gleason (Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia)
* Dr. Allison James (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences, University of Sheffield)
* Dr. Perry Nodelman (Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of Winnipeg)
* Dr. Mavis Reimer (Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood and Director of the Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures, University of Winnipeg)
* Dr. Richard Tremblay (Director, Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment, University of Montreal)

Submission Guidelines: For presentations, and for posters, please send a proposal/abstract of between 300 and 500 words and a one page CV by October 1, 2010 via e-mail to: childhoodsCFP@uleth.ca. Proposals must include your name, affiliation, position, e-mail address, and phone number. Proposals for multidisciplinary panels are also welcome. Please note that presentations should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. We would especially like to encourage graduate students to contribute posters on their current research and will offer a prize for best student poster.

For more information, please see the conference website www.uleth.ca/conferences/childhood or contact childhoods-net-l@uleth.ca (please note the use of the letter l and not the numeral).

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