CFP – Politics at Play: Children and the Politics of Everyday Life

Politics at Play: Children and the Politics of Everyday Life

Call for abstracts for the panel “Politics at Play: Children and the Politics of Everyday Life” for the AAACIG (American Anthropological Association Child Interest Group) in Charleston, South Carolina. February 16-19, 2011

DEADLINE for abstract submission: November 28

Anthropology, perhaps more than any other field, is particularly attuned to the political than lies outside the domain of formal or official politics. Scholars of children and youth have been key in this regard, demonstrating that there is more to children’s political lives outside traditional lenses of political socialization, or the political actors that children will be. Instead, a robust literature has coalesced concerning not only how children’s lives are structured by politics, but how children themselves speak directly to the politics, policies and programs that affect their lives, often challenging and reformulating them in the process. Much of this productive work occurs in and around children’s play, a domain that abounds with subversive potential and possibilities to highlight and challenge the contradictions of everyday life. This panel seeks to bring together current work on children engaging directly with the politics of everyday life and encourages discussion on reconceptualizing the political sphere from the child’s perspective and how to integrate this work into larger analyses that exclude children. Possible themes can include kids engaging directly with politics of race, space, nation, Empire, the body, but are not limited to the former.

Please submit abstracts by November 28th (conference deadline Nov 30th), although a brief statement of interest before then would be greatly appreciated. Please send to

CFP – Special Issue of Journal of Asian and African Studies: South Asian Children’s Literature

Journal of Asian and African Studies Cover

This call for papers announces a Special issue of the Journal of Asian and African Studies focused on Children’s Literature in South Asia. Some common themes for pre-modern fairy/folk tales in South Asia (as in the rest of the world) were: incest in various forms, ogress mothers eating their own children with great relish and general violence against the weak, the poor and/or children. It was thus with great “moral responsibility” that both the European ethnographer and his western educated indigenous counterpart set about, in the nineteenth century, to collect and sanitize these stories. The goal for them was to create a set of narratives that was deemed appropriate for the consumption of children.

The colonial ethnographer’s concern for the delicate sensibilities of children brings to focus a range of new discursive issues that emerged in the nineteenth century in South Asia. The first is of course the category of the “child” itself and recent scholarship has creatively delineated the historical processes that constituted the “child’s” formation and demanded its integration into the new nation. Far less studied have been the ideological tools that assisted the birth of this new “child”.

We are particularly interested in soliciting papers that explore:

  • The legacy of colonialism in South Asian children’s literature
  • The various vernacular literary traditions that emerged to historicize childhood and children
  • The segregation and consolidation of the “traditional” (oral/folk-tales) and “modern” in children’s narratives
  • The role of the market in determining the extent and nature of the publishing industry for children’s books
  • New literary traditions such as detective fiction and ghost-stories that both constituted and reconfigured a separate genre of “children’s literature”
  • Non-fiction writing for children, with special emphasis on journals for children
  • The role of translation in children’s fiction
  • Scientific and medical practices that legitimized the new epistemic field of studying and caring for children
  • The effects that the new category of the “child” had on older structures of family and familial practices

Please send a 300-500 word abstract to the guest editor Tithi Bhattacharya at with the subject line “Children’s Literature in South Asia” by October 1, 2010. Invitations to submit full papers will be sent one to two weeks after the abstract deadline.

Call for Chapter Proposals – The Sociology of Harry Potter

Document Icon

With the imminent arrival of the final movie adaptations of the world wide phenomenon of Harry Potter, it is time for the sociological imagination to be cast upon the Wizarding World. Like The Psychology of Harry Potter and The Philosophy of Harry Potter (previously published works with which we have no affiliation), The Sociology of Harry Potter will be a collection of essays examining the series from a disciplinary perspective. Possible topics include but are not limited to: Wizard society, culture, norms, socialization, conformity/deviance, the Wizard criminal justice system, education, stratification, inequality, race, class, gender, sexuality, family, media, medicine, mental health, leisure and recreation, military, government, law and public policy, interpersonal relationships, group relations, prejudice/discrimination, capitalism, work, aging/life course, collective behavior, social movements, emotions, memory, human rights, non-human rights, labour, religion, social aspects of death, dying & bereavement, art and visual culture, environmental issues, body and embodiment, etc.

Prospective contributors should send an Owl to the editors at by October 17, 2010 briefly describing their essay idea, what sociological theories and/or literature it would draw on, and indicating whether they have read the books, seen the movies, or enjoyed both. Proposals will be reviewed based on originality, depth of knowledge of the Wizarding World, and grounding in sociological scholarship. Preference will be given to those who have both read the books and seen the movies.

***This project is NOT in association with or authorized by J.K. Rolling, her US or UK publishers, Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, the American or British Sociological Associations, or any other official Harry Potter or Sociology related or trade-marked entity.***

CFP – Fear and Safety in Children’s Literature

2011 IRSCL Congress Logo

Fear and Safety in Children’s Literature
Call For Papers

20th Biennial Congress of IRSCL 4-8 July 2011
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Children’s literature has always been responsive to the tenor of the times. Texts for children and young adults take up the social, political, and humanistic interests and ideologies of the past and present, as well as speculate about the future. Since the earliest fairy tales, children’s writers have given imaginative interpretation to the darker, riskier side of society, while also offering reassurance, hope, and celebration of the human spirit.

The Congress will address a range of critically important topics, texts, and theories related to the theme of Fear and Safety in Children’s Literature. Confirmed keynote speakers are: Professor Mavis Reimer, Canada Chair in the Culture of Childhood, University of Winnipeg; Professor David Buckingham, Director of the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media, London University (UK); and Professor Gillian Whitlock, University of Queensland (Australia).

Submissions for abstracts open: July 19, 2010

Closing date: December 1, 2010

Please visit the Congress website for details:

CFP – Juvenile Delinquency in the 19th and 20th Centuries: East-West Comparisons

Document Icon

12-13 March 2011
Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin

The history of juvenile delinquency has too often been written from an exclusively national perspective with little in the way of comparative or transnational studies. Particularly lacking are comparisons between the construction and understanding of juvenile delinquency in the cultural fields of East and West. How have attempts to define and problematise child and youth behaviours differed between Eastern and Western cultures? Have children and childhood been imagined differently in East and West? How have cultural constructions of the young affected the ways in which the behaviour of children and young people has been classified and understood in different societies? Is ‘juvenile delinquency’ a peculiarly western idea?

This two-day conference seeks to bring together scholars at all levels working in a variety of fields including history, sociology, literary studies, geography, anthropology and ethnography, to discuss these and related questions. It is hoped that such discussions will lead to a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which concepts of childhood, youth and delinquency have been shaped by particular cultural contexts.

Although we welcome papers based on the specific research areas of speakers, we ask that participants choose topics which are broad enough to function as the basis of comparison with other papers. It is hoped that an edited volume containing selected papers will be published after the conference. Potential topics for papers include but are not limited to:

  • Definitions of juvenile delinquency
  • Cross-cultural constructions of children, childhood and youth
  • Delinquency as a Western/Eastern construct
  • Generational relations
  • Educational systems
  • Governmental and legal responses
  • Young people and revolution
  • Young people and war
  • Gender and delinquency
  • Class and delinquency
  • Race and delinquency
  • Sexuality and delinquency
  • Portrayals of delinquency in art or in the media

Abstract Deadline: 15 October 2010

We welcome proposals for both panels and individual papers. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Please ensure that a title, your name, affiliation and email address are included with your abstract. Please send abstracts and a short bio to:

CFP – Cuteness: Yale CompLit Graduate Conference

Document Icon

Cuteness, or the Pragmatics of Diminution
Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
Department of Comparative Literature, Yale University

Keynote address by Paul Fry

Smallness, childishness, cuteness often have an unpredictable effect on the reader or viewer of literature or art that plays with the multiform potential of diminution. This conference attempts to initiate a conversation about some of the most ubiquitous elements of artistic communication: cuteness and diminution. Adorable animals, objects intentionally made small, thoughts and feelings intentionally made twee pervade art, literature, music, advertisement, cinema, interpersonal relationships, and everyday speech. In a way, diminution defines and channels our understanding of the world around us. Our aim is to assemble a cluster of presentations that explore the appeal and the potency of this phenomenon from a variety of angles and disciplines.

Papers may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Childishness
  • Diminution as strategy
  • Diminutives as a grammatical and descriptive category
  • Diminution and rhetoric
  • Theories of diminution
  • Metaphors of diminution or Diminution as metaphor
  • Pets
  • Smallness
  • Cuteness and advertisement
  • Diminution and genre
  • Disneyfication in architecture, literature and visual arts
  • Shirley Temple and her disciples
  • Cognitive aspects of diminution
  • Poetic diminution
  • Diminution and descriptive strategies
  • Cuteness and/or diminution as narrative device

Please submit abstracts of approximately 300 words to The deadline for abstract submissions is October 3, 2010.

CFP – Evil Children in Film and Literature

Document Icon

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory solicits papers that examine the role of evil children in film and literature. From the possibly wicked Miles and Flora in The Turn of the Screw to the feral children in Lord of the Flies to the demonic Damien in The Omen, evil children take on various forms. Some are corrupted or possessed by external influences—violent media, abuse, or Satan himself. Others, as William March’s novel and film suggest, are simply “bad seeds,” inheritors of morally deficient genes and rotten to the core from birth. What function do depictions of wicked offspring serve in texts and on screen? Are they repositories for particular cultural anxieties? Emblems of historical changes to the family unit? Responses to juvenile crimes? Markers of developments in scientific and psychological theories of selfhood? How do evil children demonstrate shifting views of innocence and depravity, redemption and sin? Are they a contemporary phenomenon, a product, perhaps, of Freudian thought? If not, do pre-Freudian evil children differ from their post-Freudian counterparts? LIT welcomes essays that consider the role of evil children in film and literature and that are theoretically grounded but also engaging and accessible. Contributions should be from 5,000-10,000 words in length.

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory publishes critical essays that employ engaging, coherent theoretical perspectives and provide original, close readings of texts. Because LIT addresses a general literate audience, we encourage essays unburdened by excessive theoretical jargon. We do not restrict the journal’s scope to specific periods, genres, or critical paradigms. Submissions must use MLA citation style. Please send one hard copy of your essay, along with a 100 word abstract, to Regina Barreca, Editor, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, University of Connecticut, Department of English, 215 Glenbrook Rd., Box 4025, Storrs, CT 06269-4025, USA. Please also email an electronic version of your essay to

Guest Editor: Karen Renner

Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2010