This is a CFP inviting abstract submissions for a panel entitled “The Stakes of Childhood and the End(s) of Anthropology” for the 108th AAA Annual meeting in Philadelphia in December. This panel seeks bold, innovative and experimental work that tries to answer the following questions:
*How can the study of childhood reorient the study and goals of anthropology as a whole?
*What exactly is unique about children and how can we grasp “the child” while neither fetishizing nor obliterating their Otherness?
*How might the unique characteristics of “the child” and their perspective speak to a revived anthropology?
*Which of anthropology’s many blind spots does “the child” bring into focus?
*What are the political implications of an anthropology of childhood or a reoriented anthropology that includes “the child”?
Almost twenty years have passed since the “new studies of childhood” pointed out the fallacies of the passive child of developmental or socialization theory. A large amount of responses to this intervention have either insisted that children are just like adults or have cordoned off children into their own bounded worlds referred to as “children’s culture.”
The task of this panel is to intervene at this early exciting state of the anthropology of childhood to expand the conversation concerning how we think about the uniqueness of the child and ponder the impact of this for the end(s) of anthropology. Will the anthropology of childhood become an intellectual ghetto, or can the re-theorization of the child be more like the anthropology of gender, a movement that shook the foundations of anthropological knowledge and whose reverberations still echo today? Before the programmatic statements and agendas confine and restrict the production of knowledge and before any ossification curtails the radical implications for re-theorizing the child, this panel seeks experiments and fragments that are grounded in theory and/or ethnography with children. What are the implications of the child’s perspective on anthropology as a whole or the anthropology of specific topic or areas such as: neoliberal regimes, reforms and shifts; transnationalism and cosmopolitanism; the homeland security state; the current economic and environmental crisis; the normalization of violence; and beyond.
Please submit abstracts by Friday, March 27th to Maria Kromidas, firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to submit any questions or statement of interest before then. Time is running out– all materials due to the AAA by April 1st!
Teachers College, Columbia University
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