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Issue #3 | Thursday, September 18, 2014

Newsletter No 3

Welcome to the third issue of the Institute of Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS) newsletter.  Although we are still basking in the hot prairie sun here in southern Alberta, we know that summer will soon be drawing to a close. We are already busy looking ahead to an exciting academic year, which will include the second Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood Conference, to take place in Lethbridge in May 2015. Details about the conference and the Call for Papers are included in this issue. Please share this with any colleagues who may be interested. We hope to see many of you of at the conference!

If you have your own news or announcements that you would like to have published in the newsletter, we would love to hear from you!  In keeping with the mandate of I-CYS, it aims to foster dialogue and enquiry across a range of disciplines connected to the study of children and youth.

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I-CYS Special Announcement - Call for Papers: 2nd Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood Conference

Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood II: A Conference Sponsored by the University of Lethbridge’s Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS)

Venue: The University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Date: May 8-10, 2015
Submission Deadline: October 31, 2014

We take great pleasure in announcing the second Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood conference, and look forward to continuing the conversations begun at the first conference in 2011, which drew together an international group of 125 scholars. We aim to build on the success of our first conference, and to exploit the synergies within the U of L’s newly established multidisciplinary Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS). We therefore invite scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of academic disciplines (including the sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, policy studies, social work, and education) to consider the state of child and youth studies, a vibrant and rapidly evolving field of inquiry.

Within I-CYS, we actively pursue a pluralist approach to the young. Our goals are to productively investigate childhood and youth as an experience, a biological fact, a social category, an artistic and literary construct, a category for historical and demographic analysis, a category of personhood, and as a locus for human rights and policy interventions. Our last conference attracted scholars from across the globe who contributed expertise across this entire spectrum.

We would like to invite all interested parties to attend and join us again for an examination of the many facets of childhood and youth in past, present, and future contexts. We welcome the presentation of your research results, policy approaches, and conceptual insights. As with our first conference, we wish to bring together divergent networks of expertise, ensuring that we offer the opportunity both 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 screening.

Conference Themes and Questions: 

1. Appropriations of childhood

Recent concerns about cultural appropriation raise questions of identity, authenticity, power, and categorical integrity. Do these issues apply to studying and working with the young? How are children and adolescents appropriated for other projects? This theme asks fundamental questions about what young people are (‘chattel, cherubs and changelings’ in the words of anthropologist David Lancy), what childhood and youth are, and what we think childhood, children, and youth ought to be.

2. Is work the opposite of play?

Concern about the role of play in childhood and about the dangers of child labour are longstanding. Do they rest on unquestioned assumptions about what constitutes these categories of practice and experience? Do research and analysis reproduce these categories as two political, social and experiential poles in the lives of the young? Is this useful or is it simply limiting? In addition, this theme also raises questions about what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘natural’ childhood and adolescence, and how this relates to our understanding of what different life stages are ‘for’ across cultures, historical periods, and evolutionary time.

3. Does humanitarian aid help or harm children?

The welfare of the young is one of the most powerful motivators for intervention, whether national or international. How does humanitarian aid shape a global order and reproduce particular categories of young people? This theme links to our other themes by bringing into focus the ways that particular definitions are employed to assess the welfare of children and adolescents in (among others) demographic and health surveys, epidemiological studies, and public health initiatives. Could such strategies and interventions be improved by incorporating insights from basic research in areas such as anthropology, sociology and evolutionary demography, behavioural ecology, and comparative psychology and neurobiology?

Proposals for papers on additional themes will also be welcomed.
Keynote Speakers:

Tim Gill | Tim Gill is one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood, and an effective advocate for positive change in children’s everyday lives. For over 15 years his writing, research, consultancy projects, and other work has focused on the changing nature of childhood, children’s play and free time, and their evolving relationships with the people and places around them.
Learn More.

Katie Hinde, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University | Katie Hinde’s innovative work investigates how variation in mother’s milk and behavioral care influences outcomes from post-natal life into adulthood and inter-generationally. She is also interested in the organization of personality and temperament, and blogs at &

Karen Wells, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, Birkbeck University of London | Karen Wells is Programme Director for International Childhood Studies and Lecturer in International Development. She is the author of Childhood in a Global Perspective (Polity, 2009) and has published widely on children and visual culture. She is currently researching the life history narratives of children who have been fostered into the UK from overseas (privately fostered children) in collaboration with Children and Families Across Borders. Learn more.

Jane Humphries, Professor of Economic History, All Souls College, Oxford | Jane Humphries’ recent book, Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution drew on a very large number of autobiographies by working men and used an innovative quantitative and qualitative methodology to illuminate aspects of children's lives which are inaccessible on the basis of more conventional sources. The monograph was awarded the Gyorgi Ranki Prize for an outstanding book in European Economic History by the Economic History Association in 2011 and provided the basis for a successful BBC4 documentary, ‘The Children Who Built Victorian Britain.’ The conference will feature a screening of this documentary and a discussion featuring Dr. Humphries.

Submission Guidelines:

We encourage single paper submissions to facilitate the construction of multidisciplinary panels. Proposals for multidisciplinary panels are also welcome. Graduate students are especially encouraged to contribute posters on their current research. A prize will be awarded for the best student poster.

Abstracts of 300 words for single papers and posters and of 500 words for panels can be uploaded to the conference website after September 1, 2014. The deadline for abstract submission is October 31, 2014

Please note presentations should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length.

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I-CYS Postdoctoral Appointment

Dr. Erin Spring

I-CYS is very pleased to announce that Dr. Erin Spring will soon be joining us as our Postdoctoral Fellow in Child and Youth Studies.  Dr. Spring is originally from Huntsville, Ontario. She received her Honours Bachelor of Arts from Trent University, and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. After teaching for a year in London, England, Erin pursued her Masters and PhD in Children’s Literature in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Erin taught on various courses and was a research assistant for two international research projects. In 2014, Erin was a part time member of the English Faculty at Trent University, where she taught a course called ‘Literature and the Environment’. Erin’s research interests include children’s and young adult fiction, children’s geographies, space and place, and ecocriticism. She is interested in what it means to be a young adult in today’s world. Erin has published various articles and is currently co-editing a book about the intersections between philosophy and children’s literature.

Erin’s research crosses the boundaries of traditional academic fields in that she is interested in the lives of young people from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives. During her fellowship at the Institute for Child and Youth Studies, Erin hopes to continue investigating the interconnections between young adult fiction and young adult readers’ constructions of place within and beyond the text. Through a case study design, she hopes to investigate the ways in which several young adults in southern Alberta respond to how place and place-identity are construed within their own lives. Correspondingly, she will interpret how these readers responded to how place is rendered in a contemporary, Canadian young adult fiction text. A multidisciplinary theoretical framework underpins her research, including geography theory, ecocriticism, identity theory, and children’s literature criticism. She anticipates that her work will make an original contribution to an understanding of young adult readers and their experiences of place. She hopes to foster dialogue about Canadian young adults across numerous disciplines, including children’s geography studies, children’s literature criticism, and educational research.

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I-CYS Accolades

I-CYS is proud to announce that one of its founders, Dr. Sergio Pellis, is the recipient of the 2014 Ingrid Speaker Medal for Distinguished Research, Scholarship, or Performance. Dr. Pellis, who is a member of the I-CYS Directorate, received the prestigious honour in recognition of his influential research on animal behaviour and behavioural neuroscience. Congratulations Serge!

Read the full story.

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Spotlight on Graduate Research at the University of Lethbridge

Deanna Forrester

Doctoral student looks to understand Samoa's trend-bucking population growth.

Birth rates often fall as nations become more developed, but the opposite is happening in Samoa. University of Lethbridge Ph.D. student Deanna Forrester may know the reason why. Read the full story.

Jillian KingGraduate student takes a closer look at anti-vaccination sentiment.

Some parents reject standard medical vaccines for their children, but little is known about their reasons.  That is about to change thanks to University of Lethbridge graduate student Jillian King, who is studying the trend locally. Read the full story.

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Recent I-CYS Events

Scholars from Canada, the US and Europe

Riskadelience as Playful Engagement:

From May 8-10, 2014, I-CYS hosted a cross-disciplinary workshop on risk and resilience. The gathering of a diverse array of scholars from Canada, the US and Europe produced some dynamic conversations around the categories of risk and resilience as participants discussed their work from a multidisciplinary perspective.

We asked our participants to expose themselves to risk, and to see just how resilient they are, by asking them to attempt something different to the usual academic workshop. To this end, we invited the artists of DodoLab, Lisa Hirmer and Marlaina Buch, along with the U of L's Complex Social Change project, to come along and help us to explore the possibilities for conducting our research in unorthodox ways, and producing a wider variety of outputs, besides the standard journal article or conference presentation. We wanted to encourage a more creative approach that will help our research reach a wider, more general, audience.  Artists Lisa Hirmer and Marlaina Buch helped kick things off with a creative “trophy-building” project that had participants working in teams as they playfully considered the challenges and rewards of working in the field of child and youth studies.

Through the playful exploration of new strategies for conducting research, and daring to think differently about how work is conducted within one’s own field, the workshop’s aim was to allow our participants (which included members of I-CYS) to develop a whole new mind-set to think about risk and resilience, fully embracing the advantages of a multidisciplinary perspective, and so paving the way for a truly inter-disciplinary approach to the study of child and youth. All too often, those of us who work on childhood feel relegated to the ‘kids’ table’, where ideas are taken less seriously than those who engage with adult themes. But the kids’ table is also where you can have fun, break the rules and avoid the strictures of tradition—it represents a realm of possibility, where chances are taken because no one tells you no. We enjoyed welcoming our participants to the kids’ table, and to some fruitful, unconventional and innovative discussions.

The workshop enabled scholars and practitioners interested in young people to generate new ideas about their own work based on informal discussions and small group work with folks from across disciplines.  Each participant made a brief, informal presentation about how the "conjoined categories" of risk and resilience have (or have not) informed his or her past and present work.  These short talks helped to foster conversations about sources, methodology, analytical techniques, research questions, secondary literature, and practical engagements (among other things!). 

This workshop was very much in keeping with the vision of the Institute for Child and Youth Studies, which is to be playful and creative as we create new knowledge and make links with other people across and beyond the academy. Some of the activities associated with the conference included a workshop with children on the afternoon of May 8th. Conducted by artists Lisa Hirmer and Marlaina Buch, this took place at Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, a local organization devoted to Aboriginal children and their families in southern Alberta. Opokaa’sin was the first partner of I-CYS and Executive Director Tanya Pace-Crosschild was one of our workshop participants.

I-CYS would like to thank the following participants:

  • Carly Adams, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, University of Lethbridge
  • Kristine Alexander, Assistant Professor of History, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies, & I-CYS Co-Director, University of Lethbridge
  • Louise Barrett, Professor of Psychology & Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cognition, Evolution, and Behaviour, University of Lethbridge
  • Adriana Benzaquen, Associate Professor of History, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Marlaina Buch, Independent Artist
  • Hillary Fouts, Associate Professor of Child & Family Studies, University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • Elizabeth Galway, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of English, University of Lethbridge
  • Mona Gleason, Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia
  • Lance Grigg, Associate Professor of Education, University of Lethbridge
  • Lisa Hirmer, Independent Artist
  • Jay Johnson, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, University of Manitoba
  • Jason Laurendeau, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
  • David Lawson, Research Fellow in Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Linda Mahood, Professor of History, University of Guelph
  • Heidi MacDonald, Associate Professor of History, University of Lethbridge
  • Josie Mills, Director/Curator, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
  • Tamara Myers, Associate Professor of History, University of British Columbia
  • Jan Newberry, Associate Professor of Anthropology & I-CYS Co-Director, University of Lethbridge
  • Janay Nugent, Associate Professor of History, University of Lethbridge
  • Tanya Pace-Crosschild, Executive Director, Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, Lethbridge
  • Serge Pellis, Professor of Neuroscience & Board of Governors Research Chair, University of Lethbridge
  • Gyda Swaney, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Montana
  • Amy Von Heyking, Associate Professor of Education, University of Lethbridge

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Upcoming I-CYS Events

I-CYS is looking forward to a number of exciting events in the coming year.  Some of the things we have planned include:

Thursday, September 25, 2014. (7:00p.m. PE261).  F.E.L. Priestly Lecture by Dr. Kathy Kacer.  “The Holocaust and Children’s Literature: Teaching Sensitive Material to Young People.”  Children’s author Kathy Kacer will address the issue of how to explore the Holocaust and other sensitive topics with young people.

November 26, 2014: Una Ridley Lecture by Dr. Cindy Blackstock (co-sponsored with the Faculty of Health Sciences). “Reconciliation: The Children's Version.”

May 8-10, 2015: Conference: Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood II (University of Lethbridge.  See the CFP above for more information)

Friendly Feedback: I-CYS expects to hold a Friendly Feedback session each semester. These are informal working sessions for graduate and undergraduate students working on child and youth studies.

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Building Connections Between Scholars of Childhood and Youth

In July 2014, I-CYS Co-Directors Jan Newberry and Kristine Alexander attended the University of Sheffield Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth’s 5th International Conference. Focused on the theme of “Researching Children’s Everyday Lives,” the conference attracted over 200 scholars from 27 countries. It featured three keynote speakers: Pia Christensen, Professor of Anthropology and Childhood Studies at the University of Leeds; Margaret Mackey, Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta and an expert in young people’s literacy and literature; and Tom Cockburn, an expert on children and citizenship from Edge Hill University. The conference featured three days of papers and discussions about young people and the everyday, focusing on such issues as migration, health, play, agency, war and natural disasters, methodology, disability, schooling, sibling and intergenerational relationships, technology, space and place, museums and libraries, and food.

Like I-CYS, the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (CSCY) is an interdisciplinary research centre whose members are breaking new ground in the study of young people. This year’s conference was also an opportunity to celebrate the career of Allison James, Professor of Sociology and Director of the CSCY. Professor James, a foundational figure in the field of children’s studies, was a keynote speaker at the University of Lethbridge’s first “Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood” conference in 2011.

We’re looking forward to continuing many of the conversations that were begun at the conference, and especially enjoyed the enormous selection of candy that was available at every tea break!

A number of participants posted about the conference’s panels and posters on Twitter, and their tweets and photos have been collected here.

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Recent Research by the I-CYS Directorate

Dr. Sergio Pellis, Department of Neuroscience/CCBN:


Pellis, S. M., Pellis, V. C., Barrett, L., & Henzi, S. P. (2014). “One good turn deserves another: Combat versus other functions of acrobatic maneuvers in the play fighting of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops).” Animal Behavior & Cognition 1: 128-143.

Himmler, B. T., Kisko, T. M., Euston, D., Kolb, B. & Pellis, S. M. (2014). “Are 50-kHz calls used as play signals in the playful interactions of rats? I. Evidence from the timing and context of their use.” Behavioural Processes 106: 60-66.

Himmler, B. T., Nakahashi, A., Snow, E., McMickle, A., Muhammad, A., Biondolillo, K. D., Pellis, S.M., & Kolb, B. (2014). “Juvenile play experience does not affect nicotine sensitization and voluntary consumption of nicotine in adult rats.” Developmental Psychobiology 56:1052-1060.

Himmler, S. M., Lewis, J. M. & Pellis, S. M. (2014). “The development of strain typical defensive patterns in the play fighting of laboratory rats.” International Journal of Comparative Psychology 27: 385-396.


Pellis, S. M. “Play fighting: A comparative perspective.” American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C. (August 2014).

Pellis, S. M. “Play and development of a socially competent brain.” Family Centre, Lethbridge, (May 2014).

Himmler, B. T. & Pellis, S. M. “Do sex differences exist in juvenile rat play behavior?” Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, Minneapolis (April 2014).


“People behind the science” podcast (August 14, 2014)

NPR interview on the importance of play (August 7, 2014)


Dr. Jan Newberry, Department of Anthropology


“Women and Children First: Networked Care and the Re-emergence of the Domestic Community.” TRaNS: Trans –Regional and –National Studies of Southeast Asia, 2:2 (2014): 271-291.


“Everyday Play in the Spaces of Democratization:  Early Childhood Programming in Indonesia.” Researching Children’s Everyday Lives: Socio-Cultural Contexts. Centre for Study of Childhood and Youth 5th Annual Conference, University of Sheffield (July 2014)


Dr. Kristine Alexander, Department of History


“Everyday Life in Wartime: Children on the Canadian Homefront, 1914-1918.” Researching Children’s Everyday Lives: Socio-Cultural Contexts. Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield. (July 2014)

“Girl Guiding on the Edge of Decolonization: Building a World Centre in India in the 1950s and 1960s.” Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. University of Toronto.  (May 2014)

“Emotional, Intimate, and Family Histories of the Great War in Canada.” The Peripheries of World War One: New Spatial and Methodological Perspectives. New York University. (May 2014)

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Calls for Papers (Publications)

CFP:  Special Issue of Red Feather Journal: The Child in Media
Deadline: September 15, 2014

Red Feather Journal, an online, peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary journal of the child image, seeks submissions for the Fall 2014 issue (deadline September 15th, 2014).

Red Feather Journal seeks well-written, critical articles on any aspect of the child image or image of childhood. The journal welcomes submissions that examine a broad range of media:  film, Television, the Internet, print resources, art, or any other visual medium. Some sample topics include, but are certainly not limited to:  studies of images of children of color; child as commodity; images of children in international films; political uses of the child image; children in advertising; childhood as myth, visual adaptations of children’s literary works; child welfare images; images of children and/in war or conflict; the child image in video games; images of children and material culture; or any other critical examination of the child image, or childhood, in a variety of visual mediums. Red Feather Journal welcomes international submissions.

Red Feather Journal will also consider submissions of tasteful photo essays or artistic works. Copyright information, including permission for use of each image, must be included with the submission. Red Feather will not use any image without the express written consent of its copyright holder. Interested contributors please submit the paper, an abstract, and a brief biography (with full contact information) as attachments in Word to

Deadline for submissions for the Fall 2014 issue is September 15th, 2014.


CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Children and Media
Deadline: October 1st, 2014

The Journal of Children and Media (JOCAM) will commemorate its 10 year anniversary in 2016, with a special issue entitled: JOCAM NEXT. The editors of JOCAM are inviting innovative contributions, both in terms of content as well as format, to discuss the future of the field. We are looking for big-picture commentaries and analyses about the status of Children, Adolescents and Media as a field: what we’ve accomplished in the past decade, and the topical, theoretical, and methodological challenges and controversies we need to address over the next decade. Authors should feel free to address the broad range of issues facing our field, or to focus on the challenges of the next decade with regard to a specific topic, such as digital learning, media violence, participatory culture, immigration, or childhood obesity.

We are not looking for integration of the existing literature, as several recently published handbooks and texts have done an excellent job doing just that. Neither are we looking for empirical studies, as those can continue to be submitted to regular issues of the journal. What we are seeking are original commentaries and analyses which spotlight the challenges and opportunities facing children and media researchers as we look to the future of our field.

Questions include, but are not limited to:

  • What are the challenges to future research in the field?
  • What are the main unresolved theoretical and/or methodological controversies?
  • What do stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, parents, educators, media industries) need from us?
  • What can we learn about our field from other disciplines and what can they learn from us?
  • How should we build bridges with the public and stakeholders?
  • What should be the nature of the relationships between research and advocacy?
  • How should research manage the local-glocal-global tensions and challenges?
  • What did you once believe about media and child development that you no longer believe today? How does this reflect the direction the field can or should be taking?
  • Can we be making better use of theory (both established and cutting edge) as we orient our research?
  • How has the lived experience of childhood changed over the past 10 years, and how might it continue to evolve as we look toward the next decade of JOCAM?
  • How have we influenced policy and practice in various countries over the past decade, and where do we need to inform it over the next decade?
  • What are the key unanswered substantive questions about children and media that we need to address over the next decade?

We welcome commentaries as well as creative formats such as dialogues, paired commentaries, debates, interviews, personal trajectories, visual illustrations and the like from those interested in the role of media in children’s and adolescents’ lives from all disciplines and perspectives. Established scholars may want to consider paired commentaries that bring in emerging voices or veteran scholars from related fields. Contributions can range in length up to approximately 4000 words.

Please send an abstract of up to one page by October 1st, 2014 to Dafna Lemish, co-editor. All inquiries should be addressed to Dafna as well. Authors will be notified by November 1st of whether their proposed contribution has been invited for submission for the special issue. Final manuscripts will be due on March 1st, 2015. Invitation to submit does not constitute a guarantee of publication. All contributions will be reviewed by the editorial team: Co-Editors Amy Jordan and Dafna Lemish and Review and Commentary Editor Vicky Rideout, and reviews will be sent back by June 1st, 2015. Revisions will be due by August 1st, 2015. Publication date: Volume 10, Issue 1, February 2016.


CFP: Special Issue of Sex Education: The Media’s Evolving Role in Sex Education
Deadline: October 24, 2014.

Entertainment media have long been identified as having a key role to play in education about sex and relationships. All too often in studies of sexual learning the media have been assessed for their potentially negative effects on young people. For example, studies have correlated consumption of particular media forms with early sexual intercourse or teenage pregnancy, while parents and schools have been seen as providing a positive corrective. However empirical research shows that this simple binary is not always accurate: in some instances entertainment media may offer positive information and representations while school or parents often offer more moralizing or conservative perspectives. For example, a young person growing up in a homophobic family may see happy queer characters in a sitcom; or young people attending a school that emphasizes young women’s role as gatekeepers and controllers of men’s sexuality may find helpful TV dramas that explore women’s active sexual agency.

This special issue of the journal Sex Education will engage with these and related concerns, pausing to take stock of where we are now, especially with respect to the positive role that old and newer forms of media can play in learning about sex.

Papers may focus on any aspect of the entertainment media, and on any aspect of healthy sexual development – including, but not limited to, open communication about sex, assertiveness, sexual agency, sexual identity, or an acceptance that sex can be pleasurable. If you are not sure whether your article is appropriate for this special issue, please feel free to send an abstract in the first instance to

Timeline: You should submit your article for review by the 24th October 2014. You can find the journal’s instructions for authors here.


CFP: Special Issue of Children’s Literature Association Quarterly: Orphanhood, Foster Care and Adoption in Youth Media
Deadline:  November 1, 2014

This special issue of ChLAQ will focus on the different ways in which orphanhood, foster care, and adoption have been depicted in media for youth past and present. We also aim to take perspectives from birth countries and birth parents into account. We invite papers that both extend and disrupt existing adoption discourses, including but not limited to:

  • the cultural construction of “adoptability”: constructions of children in need (deserving/undeserving children); of birth parents, foster parents and adoptive parents (deserving/undeserving parents)
  • presence/absence of birth parents and birth countries in Western stories of adoption and fostering
  • the genres of orphan narratives: the sentimental novel and beyond
  • adultism and the hidden adult in orphan narratives
  • the (ab)uses of children’s literature as a socialization tool in raising and educating adoptees
  • representations of intercountry adoption in birth countries
  • the politics of belonging; intersectional perspectives on race, class, nation, gender and sexuality in orphanhood, foster care and adoption
  • the adoptees write back: adoptees’ perspectives on the cultural construction of orphanhood and adoptability
  • the impact of narratives and visual art (action art, intervention art, etc.) on  adoption laws, policies, and practices

Papers should conform to the usual style of ChLAQ and be between 5,000-7,000 words in length. Queries and completed essays should be sent to Sarah Park Dahlen and Lies Wesseling by November 1, 2014. The selected articles will appear in ChLAQ in 2015.


CFP: Childhood and Pethood: Representation, Subjectivity, and the Cultural Politics of Power.
Deadline: November 1, 2014

While scholars of children’s literature and childhood studies frequently discuss representations of animals in children’s texts, there is little discussion of the often parallel ways in which these texts construct animal and child subjectivity. At the same time, while critics in the field of animal studies have remarked upon the cultural tendency to think of pets as children, there is little scholarly work on the larger implications of understanding pets as children and vice versa. Even though children and pets are similarly constructed, represented, and dominated in Western culture and society, scholars have largely neglected to interrogate childhood and pethood together.

This collection of essays will investigate the political implications of understanding pets as children and children as pets, specifically in the ideological construction of both as subordinate to and dependent on adults, and examine the cultural connections between domesticated animals and children. We further aim to use the frequent social and cultural alignment between children and pets as an opportunity to analyze institutions that create pet and child subjectivity, from education and training to putting children and pets on display and using them for entertainment purposes.

Current constructions of childhood and pethood have developed alongside the emergence of the modern nation-state, relegating children and pets to marginalized spaces in contemporary Western society. In what ways, then, have the modern concepts of “the child” and “the pet” emerged together, and how have these concepts been linked to the project of nation-building? How much institutionalized power should adults have over children and domesticated animals, and how is their lack of rights justified rhetorically? How does understanding pets as children illuminate unequal power relations, and what do such relations look like? What kinds of connections between childhood and pethood do we see historically and today, and what are their implications?

We will draw on recent work in childhood studies, animal studies, and cultural studies to examine how together these disciplines can productively interrogate the cultural politics of power over subjects society collectively views as needing to be trained and schooled in order to become “proper” members of society and the nation. We hope to gather a diverse range of essays that examine cultural and historical constructions and alignments of the child and the pet, theoretical understandings of childhood and pethood, and literary representations of children and pets.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The exploitation of children and pets through cultural constructions of childhood and pethood, as well as through the connections between them
  • The commercialization of children and animals: pet products, children’s toys, advertising
  • Tricks and Talents: putting children and animals on display, zoos, pet shows, child beauty pageants
  • Cuteness and the politics of affection
  • Fear of wildness, the instinctual, the uncivilized; containing wildness in children and pets
  • Training pets and schooling children
  • The biopolitics of childhood and pethood
  • Disney’s portrayal of pets and children
  • How much agency do children and pets have? How much do we pretend they have?
  • The Internet and online videos: funny pet and child videos; pet- and child-shaming online
  • Child/pet, child/adult, and pet/adult relationships in literature
  • Subject construction and nation-building
  • Child-pet relationships vs. adult-pet relationships: Are pets “children” for children? Does pet keeping help turn children into adults by teaching them responsibility and caretaking?
  • Pets and education: how do pets in schools and pets as vehicles of education contribute to a child’s learning, and what lessons are being taught?
  • Children and pets in philosophy; philosophies of childhood and pethood
  • Animals and children across cultures; non-Western conceptions of pets and children; what connections do non-Western cultures draw between pets and children?
  • The perceived (and forced) asexuality of children and pets: containing sexuality in children and pets
  • Depictions of the slave figure and the “noble savage” as analogous to the pet/child
  •  Baby voices: talking babies and talking animals; projecting voices onto babies and animals; communicating with pets and children
  • Infantilizing pets; breastfeeding pets; dressing up pets as children; throwing birthday parties for pets
  • Children and pets in visual culture

Please send abstracts of up to 500 words, or any questions, to Anna Feuerstein and Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo by November 1, 2014. Full essays (5,000-7,000 words) will be due July 1, 2015.

CFP: Child Studies in Asia-Pacific Contexts
Deadline: November 30, 2014

Child Studies in Asia-Pacific Contexts (CSAC) is a multidisciplinary international journal that publishes papers on children’s development in diverse social and cultural contexts in Asia Pacific region. CSAC’s paramount aim is to examine biological, emotional, cognitive, social, and cultural development of children; the role of social and cultural contexts, such as family, educare setting, school, and community, in children’s development; the interaction between development and context; and its theoretical and practical implications, including social policies for children. We welcome studies that present results of primary scientific research. Case studies or policy reports that are not based on scientific research with sound methodology are not considered for publication.

We publish in February and August and are now accepting papers for publication in the 2015 February issue. The submission deadline for publication in the February issue has been extended to November 30, 2014. To submit, please visit our homepage.

CFP: Special Issue of Girlhood Studies: Indigenous Girls
Deadline: January 30, 2015

The special issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, “Indigenous Girls”, is open to diverse forms of expressions on the theme. These forms can include academic articles, short stories, personal essays, digital and other art media, and book reviews.

We are interested in academic papers that take a strengths-based approach to thinking about the lives of Indigenous girls and girlhood. We want to hear about how Indigenous girls are resisting stereotypes, thriving, taking a stand in their communities, and participating in social, communal or political action. We welcome papers on all aspects of Indigenous girlhood — but are particularly interested in ones that focus on health and wellbeing, social justice, resistance, self-determination, decolonization, environmental justice, parenting, relationships, sexuality, culture, agency, and pride and that explore the intersections of indigeneity and gender. Academic articles should be no more than 6,500 words in length (including bios and abstracts).

We also welcome short stories and narratives, which while scholarly in nature, employ a format allowing for reflexivity and storytelling across multiple disciplines. We invite visual essays, and other works of art or personal essays from self-identified Indigenous young women and girls including trans, Two Spirit and gender non-conforming grlz.

We also welcome book reviews (1500 words) that focus on Indigenous Girls.

DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 30 JANUARY 2015. Inquiries and submissions may be sent to:
Girlhood Studies
Kirsten Lindquist
Sarah Flicker

Visit GHS online for further details, including submission guidelines.


CFP:  Special Issue of The Lion and the Unicorn: Children’s Rights and Children’s Literature
Deadline: May 31, 2015

We are seeking papers that investigate the intersections between the histories, theories, and practices of children's rights and children's literature. In response to the ratification of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) in 1989, advocates and scholars have debated the necessity and revealed the complexity of defining and implementing children's rights across the globe. Critical discourse on children's rights, however, has not yet fully examined the role that children's literature plays in shaping, promoting, implementing and interrogating children's rights. This special issue invites scholars to explore the connections between the institutions of children's rights and children's literature.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Depictions of young people's political and/or economic participation in children's and young adult literature
  • Literary representations of child soldiers, child laborers, child sex workers and other young people whose rights are deemed violated
  • The role of children's literature in fulfilling young people's rights (such as the right to education and the right to leisure)
  • The relationships between charters on human and children's rights (such as the 1930 White House Convention Children's Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1989 United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child) and twentieth-century children's literature
  • How historical fiction and non-fiction about other rights movements (women's rights, gay rights, Civil Rights, labor rights, immigrant rights, etc. ) attempt to shape young readers' understanding of rights
  • U.N.-funded children's books that explicitly promote children's rights
  • Poverty and children's and young adult literature
  • Colonialism/Postcolonialism and children’s and young adult literature
  • Citizenship and children's and young adult literature
  • Censorship and children's rights
  • Conflicts between child characters and adult characters over the child's rights and obligations

Essays should be sent to guest editors Lara Saguisag and Matthew B. Prickett by May 31, 2015. Submissions should be 15-20 pages (4000-6000 words). Accepted articles will appear in issue 40.2 (2016) of The Lion and the Unicorn.


CFP: Special Issue of Jeunesse on Mobility
Deadline: June 30, 2015

Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures invites essay submissions for a special issue addressing mobility in relation to youth texts and culture(s). We welcome essays that consider registers of race, class, gender, and disability. Essays should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length and prepared for blind peer-review.

Mobility invites us to think about bodies, identities, and agency from diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Im/mobility can be many things: geographic, physical, ideological, imaginative, temporal, social. What are some of the ways that we might analyze this amorphous—in fact, mobile—topic in light of young people, their texts, and their cultures?

Submissions are requested by: 30 June 2015.

Inquiries may be directed to Larissa Wodtke, Managing Editor.


CFP: Childhood Explorer
Deadline: Open

Childhood Explorer is an online publication that focuses specifically on the experience of childhood around the world. In its pages, you will find informative and inspirational stories about childhood and about projects and campaigns that provide quality education, care, and support to children and youth in diverse communities and circumstances.

Call for Manuscripts:
We invite you to submit short, 1- to 3-page, articles for consideration. We are seeking narrative, conversational articles that stay focused on a personal story of childhood, while connected to a global issue concerning childhood and children's education.

Please see author guidelines and samples of the writing style and content we are seeking. For more information about this publication, contact .

Read more.


CFP: Children and Youth in Popular Culture. A Series Edited by Debbie Olson
Deadline: Open

The Children and Youth in Popular Culture series features works that interrogate the various representations of children and youth in popular culture, as well as the reception of these representations. The series is international in scope, recognizing the transnational discourses about children and youth that have helped shape modern and post-modern childhoods and adolescence. This series also recognizes that too often “popular culture” is a buzz word for “Western” culture. One of the unique goals of this series is to expand that definition to include children and youth in popular cultures that are positioned beyond the West. The scope of the series ranges from such subjects as gender, race, class, and economic conditions and their global intersections with issues relevant to children and youth and their representation in global popular culture: children and youth at play, geographies and spaces (including World Wide Web), material cultures, adultification, sexuality, children of/in war, religion, children of diaspora, youth and the law, and more.

Lexington’s Children and Youth in Popular Culture series is a timely addition to current scholarship in the field of children and youth studies that also explores new areas in the study of the intersections of children and youth and popular culture, particularly in the growing study of globalization and its representations of children and youth, childhood and adolescence.
If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Debbie Olson.

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Calls for Papers (Conferences)

CFP: 4th International Conference on the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families
Young People, Borders & Wellbeing. January 12-15, 2015. San Diego, CA.
Deadline: October 15, 2014

This is the 4th international children's geographies conference, prompted by the vitality of geographies of children, young people and families. The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for the exchange of different knowledges, ideas and experiences among researchers and practitioners from a variety of international contexts and disciplinary fields and to foster the exploration and advancement of geographies of children, youth and families.

Taking inspiration from its location on the US/Mexico border, the fourth international children's geographies conference will be organized around the theme of young people, borders and well-being. We encourage presenters and participants to explore the bordered contexts of children and young people’s lives, including (but not limited to) childhood/adulthood, intergenerational relations, politics, (im)mobilities, ethnicities, citizenship, education, labor, play, engagement, activism, etc. We are particularly interested in papers that investigate young people’s well-being and geographies of hope. The deadline for submission to the conference program (organized sessions, papers or posters) is Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Please, submit paper proposals electronically through the conference website.

The conference is also open to innovative session formats that focus on experimental themes, methodologies, presentations and performances. To propose a panel, paper, poster, or other type of session, please send a session abstract of no more than 250 words. Include affiliation and contact information of all participants and request that participants submit their abstract online individually. Each session is 100 minutes (1 hour 40 minutes), which can be divided into a variety of different formats (4 paper presentations with one or two discussants is suggested).

CFP: Child, Youth, and Place in Atlantic Canadian Literature/Enfants, jeunes et lieux dans la littérature canadienne de l'Atlantique. 9th Thomas Raddall Symposium. July 9-12, 2015. Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
Deadline: December 1, 2014

There are many varied representations of children and youth in Atlantic Canadian Literature, be they in realistic or fantastic fiction, in (auto)biography, in poetry, in texts that incorporate illustration such as picture books or comics: Kevin Major’s Hold Fast, David Adams Richards’s Lives of Short Duration, Christie Ann Conlin’s Heave, Kathleen Winters’s Annabel, Lynn Coady’s Strange Heaven, Andy Jones’s Jack tales. Likewise there are many representations of setting both realist and imaginary, critical and nostalgic: Antonine Maillet’s Acadie, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Prince Edward Island, Richards’s Miramichi. What do these books tell us about childhood and youth, its spoken and unspoken challenges? About place in a geographical and social sense? About the place of children or youth in relationships with peers, adults, institutions? About the place of stories for or about children? And how do readers and critics respond to them?

The objective of this symposium is to open up conversations on the relations among peoples and places: children, adolescents, adults, schools, libraries, universities, publishing houses, and their habits and habitats. We are particularly interested in fostering dialogue among educators at all levels (pre-school through university), librarians, editors and publishers concerning the full range of books that depict childhood/youth and place in Atlantic Canadian Literature in both English and French.

Please send in your 500 word proposals for papers that examine representations of place in literature for and about children/youth in Atlantic Canadian literature, your contact information, and 100 word biography to by midnight December 1, 2014. Panel proposals are also welcome and should include a panel overview along with proposals for the individual papers. For more information visit the website.


CFP: Popular Cultural Association/American Culture Association: Education, Teaching, History & Popular Culture. April 1-4, 2015. New Orleans, LA.
Deadline: November 1, 2014

The Area of Education, Teaching, History and Popular Culture is now accepting submissions for the PCA/ACA National Conference, New Orleans, LA, held April 1-4, 2015 at the New Orleans Marriott.

Educators, librarians, archivists, scholars, independent researchers and students at all levels are encouraged to apply.  Submissions that explore, connect, contrast, or otherwise address area themes of schooling, education, teaching (including preparing teachers/preservice teacher education), history, archival studies, and/or their linkages to popular culture from all periods are desired. 

Deadline for proposals is November 1, 2014. To be considered, interested individuals should please prepare an abstract of between 100-250 words. Individuals must submit electronically by visiting the conference website and following the directions therein.

Graduate students are STRONGLY encouraged to submit their completed papers for consideration for conference award. Graduate students, early career faculty and those travelling internationally in need of financial assistance are encouraged to apply.

Decisions will be communicated within approximately two weeks of deadline. All presenters must be members of the American Culture Association or the Popular Culture Association by the time of the conference. Any further inquiries can be directed to Dr. Edward Janak. For additional information about the conference, please visit the website.

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Seminars, Exhibitions & Events

2014 Day of General Discussion: Digital Media and Children’s Rights

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is holding its Day of General Discussion (DGD) in Geneva on 12 September 2014. The topic for this year’s discussion will be “Digital media and children’s rights”. The Committee is inviting children and teens (under 18 years old) to share their opinions and experiences before the day (they can also participate via Facebook and Twitter during the event).

Before the DGD children can: write to the Committee, send a report, make a short film or create a Storify page. The two main themes will be: Access to digital media and ICT, and Children’s participation and education online.

All opinions should be sent to by 5 September 2014.

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Graduate Opportunities Related to Child & Youth Studies

Master of Childhood and Youth Studies
Southern Cross University, Australia

The Graduate Certificate and Masters of Childhood and Youth Studies are designed to meet the needs of people working, or intending to work, with children, young people and their families. These courses are targeted toward professionals from fields as diverse as social work, welfare, family services, health, education, family dispute resolution, sport and recreation, law, juvenile justice, international community development, research and policy development. The Masters course includes studies in:

  • Child protection and participation
  • Young people’s social and emotional wellbeing
  • Children’s rights
  • Young people and the law
  • Supporting children through difficult times
  • Drugs, alcohol and sexual health
  • Embracing diversity
  • Program evaluation
  • Research with and for children
  • Workplace leadership
  • Professional portfolio development

The courses are offered externally/online allowing you to apply your learning immediately in your workplace. There is a strong focus on authentic and professionally-relevant assessment - no written examinations. You can enrol in a full award, or undertake single units as accredited professional development and continue on to the awards at a later date. Students who have completed a Bachelor degree in a similar discipline may receive advanced standing towards the Masters award.

Contact for further details. 


Ph.D. and MA Programs
Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University (Camden, NJ)

The Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey USA, opened its doors in September 2007 as the first Ph.D. granting program in Childhood Studies in North America. In addition to the Ph.D., the multidisciplinary program offers BA and MA degrees. Graduate students in the program come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them an impressive array of educational and life experience. The Masters of Art program continues to grow and produce new and innovative leaders in their field.

Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2015 entering doctoral class; applications for the Masters of Arts program are accepted year-round. Deadline for applications for doctoral study is January 5, 2014. Funding is available on a competitive basis for qualified applicants. Visit the Graduate Admissions website.


MA in Vulnerabilities and Protection
The Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield

The Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield is pleased to announce the launch of a new MA in Vulnerabilities and Protection starting in September 2014. 

For more information click here.


Masters in Childhood and Youth Studies
University of Sussex

MACYS is a one year taught Masters closely linked to the dynamic Centre for Innovation in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) which runs many exciting projects in areas such as digital childhoods, children’s political participation, and the everyday lives of young people in care. The MA course is taught by leading researchers and practitioners and we support MACYS students to become researchers in their own right as well as practitioners with specialist knowledge and skills. If you would like to find out if MACYS is right for you contact Professor Rachel Thomson, and explore the following websites:

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Recent Publications in Child and Youth Studies

The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World

Judith Evans Grubbs and Tim Parkin, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World. (Oxford University Press, January 2014) ISBN: 9780199781546. 


Psychiatrised Children and their Rights: Global PerspectivesSpecial Issue of Children & Society 28:3 (May 2014): 165–256

Children's Literature and New York City

Pádraic Whyte and Keith O'Sullivan, eds. Children's Literature and New York City (Routledge, March 2014) ISBN: 978-0415823029

This collection explores the significance of New York City in children’s literature, stressing literary, political, and societal influences on writing for young people from the twentieth century to the present day. Contextualized in light of contemporary critical and cultural theory, the chapters examine the varying ways in which children’s literature has engaged with New York City as a city space, both in terms of (urban) realism and as an ‘idea’, such as the fantasy of the city as a place of opportunity, or other associations. The collection visits not only dominant themes, motifs, and tropes, but also the different narrative methods employed to tell readers about the history, function, physical structure, and conceptualization of New York City, acknowledging the shared or symbiotic relationship between literature and the city: just as literature can give imaginative ‘reality’ to the city, the city has the potential to shape the literary text.

Childhood Deployed

Susan Shepler. Childhood Deployed: Remaking Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone (NYU Press, June 2014) ISBN: 978-0814770252

Childhood Deployed examines the reintegration of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Based on eighteen months of participant-observer ethnographic fieldwork and ten years of follow-up research, the book argues that there is a fundamental disconnect between the Western idea of the child soldier and the individual lived experiences of the child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Susan Shepler contends that the reintegration of former child soldiers is a political process having to do with changing notions of childhood as one of the central structures of society.

Kids on YouTubePatricia G. Lange. Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies (Left Coast Press, March 2014) ISBN: 978-1-61132-936-0.

Debunking the stereotype of the self-taught computer whiz, new media scholar and filmmaker Patricia G. Lange describes the collaborative social networks kids use to negotiate identity and develop digital literacy on the 'Tube. Her long-term ethnographic studies also cover peer-based and family-driven video-making dynamics, girl geeks, civic engagement, and representational ethics.

Tweening the Girl

Natalie Coulter. Tweening the Girl: The Crystallization of the Tween Market (Peter Lang, February 2014) ISBN: 9781433121753 

Tweening the Girl, challenges the accepted argument that the tween market began in the mid-1990s.  It was actually during the 1980s that young girls were given the label, “tweens” and were heralded by marketers, and subsequently the news media, as one of “capitalism’s most valuable customers”. Tweening the Girl, expertly traces the emergence of tween during this era as she slowly became known to the consumer marketplace as a lucrative customer, market and audience. It clearly illustrates how ‘tweenhood’ which is often assumed to be a natural category of childhood is actually a product of the industries of the youth media marketplace that began to position the preteen girl as a separate market niche that is notched out of the transitory spaces between childhood and adolescence.

The SAGE Handbook of Child Research

Gary B. Melton, Ahser Ben-Arieh, Judith Cashmore, Gail S. Goodman, and Natalie K. Worley, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Child Research (Sage, December 2013 ) ISBN: 9781412930161

In keeping with global changes in children's social and legal status, this Handbook includes examination of children as family members, friends, learners, consumers, people of faith, and participants in law and politics. The contributors also discuss the methodological and ethical requirements for research that occurs in natural settings and that enables children themselves to describe their perspective.

Little Red Readings

Angela E. Hubler, ed. Little Red Readings: Historical Materialist Approaches to Children’s Literature (University Press of Mississippi, April 2014) ISBN: 9781617039874

Description available here.



Migrant Youth

Lauren Heidbrink. Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State: Care and Contested Interests (U of Pennsylvania Press, May 20114) ISBN: 9780812246049

Heidbrink draws on U.S. historical, political, legal, and institutional practices to contextualize the lives of children and youth as they move through federal detention facilities, immigration and family courts, federal foster care programs, and their communities across the United States and Central America.

Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village

Bambi L. Chapin. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village: Shaping Hierarchy and Desire (Rutgers, June 2014) ISBN: 9780813561653

Description available here.



Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies

Carmel Smith and Sheila Greene. Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies (Policy Press, May 2014) ISBN: 9781447308072

Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies presents the contrasting perspectives of some of the leading figures involved in shaping the field of Childhood Studies over the last 30 years. Using in-depth interviews, twenty-two high profile pioneers, who represent a range of disciplines and nationalities, share personal and unpublished accounts of their work and careers. They reflect upon the significant changes that have taken place in the study of children and childhood, discuss the evolution of ideas underpinning the field, examine current tensions and dilemmas and explore challenges for the future. This book fills a gap by offering important insights into researchers’ experiences in Childhood Studies and their ideas about the central issues confronting the field. It will be of interest to students, practitioners and experienced academics from all disciplinary backgrounds who are seeking to contextualise, understand and advance our understanding of childhood, children and youth. Read more.

Flavia Pires and Christiane Falcao, eds. Children and Childhoods in Latin America. Special issue of Childhoods Today. 8:1 (August 6, 2014). More information available here.

Allison J. Pugh. “The Theoretical Costs of Ignoring Childhood: Rethinking Independence, Insecurity and Inequality.” Theory and Society 43:1 (January 2014): 71-89.  More information available here.

Sandra J.T.M Evers, Shanti George, Roy Gigengack and Roy Huijsmans, eds. ‘Generationing’ Development: Situating Children and Youth in Development Processes. Special Issue of The European Journal of Development Research. 26:2 (April 2014). Find out more.

Máire Messenger Davies. “Television.” Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Ed. Heather Montgomery. New York: Oxford University Press, 27th March, 2014. More information available here.

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Please note: All Calls for Papers are posted as a courtesy and do not signify any endorsement on the part of I-CYS. The Calls for Papers listed here may have been edited for inclusion in this newsletter. For complete details on all CFPs, please contact the relevant journal or conference organizer directly.