Saturday 3rd July – Monday 5th July 2010
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Call for Papers
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks to investigate and explore all aspects of childhood. The period of life prior to adulthood is one of dramatic change and development of physical, intellectual, psychological, and many other types of characteristics. The nature of childhood and its significance as a separate phase of life, however, is viewed quite differently in different cultures and in different historical eras. This conference will look at all aspects of the experience of childhood as well as the social and cultural perceptions of children and childhood. We encourage submissions on any theme to do with the nature of childhood, including, but not limited to the ones listed below.
1. Definitions of Childhood
~ How has the concept of childhood developed over time?
~ How is childhood viewed differently across different cultures and eras?
~ What are the boundaries of childhood? (Are children made to grow up to fast? Are mature people infantilized by definitions of the boundaries of childhood?)
~ Is 'childhood' a singular category or is it composed of quite distinct multiple categories?
2. Childhood and Development
~ What are the important aspects of physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual, moral, social, etc. development in childhood?
~ How do institutions (like schools, medical centres, and even legal systems) effectively nurture the unique developmental needs of children?
~ How has our understanding of childhood as a period of development changed over time? Are there ways we are still getting it significantly wrong?
3. Children and Relationships
~ What are the dynamics of children’s relationships with their family, peers, and their community?
~ How are children’s social relationships either experienced positively or negatively?
~ What are the dynamics of children’s relationships with social institutions (like schools and religious organizations)?
~ What is the nature of children’s relationships with animals?
4. Perceptions and Depictions of Childhood
~ How do adults perceive children and childhood? How do they perceive the capabilities, responsibilities, and privileges of childhood?
~ How do they perceive their own experiences of childhood? (Nostalgia? Embarrassment? Amusement?)
~ How do children perceive themselves?
~ How are children and childhood depicted in media such as art, literature, film, television, advertising, etc.?
5. Other Issues of Childhood
~ Children and education: What issues are the concerning how children are educated?
~ Children and leisure: How is involvement in recreational activities (including sports) either beneficial or harmful to children?
~ Children and the law: Does the criminal justice system effectively deal with children both as victims of crime and as perpetrators of crime?
~ Children and rights: What rights do children have in virtue of being children? To what extent must the choices of children be respected?
~ Children and gender: How are children socialized into gender-specific roles? What are the issues and concerns connected to how children form gender and sexual identities?
~ What is the nature of children’s relationship to the world of work?
The Steering Group welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 15th January 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 28th May 2010.
300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Joint Organising Chairs:
Department of Philosophy,
University of Calgary,
Network Founder and Leader
The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers maybe invited for development for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s)
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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