CFP: Multi-cultural Toys Exhibition and Conference

Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation, University of Greenwich with the Pollock Toy Museum Trust
June 3rd-8th, Exhibition at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich: Saturday June 8th One-day conference

Toys have existed throughout human history in a few basic formats, while children have always created their own playthings. For centuries, craftsmen have created objects for children, which were available for purchase in places such as India and China before they were in Europe. Yet despite contemporary political espousal of innovation and entrepreneurship, the range of toys for sale in mainstream consumer outlets rarely reflects the cultural diversity of twenty-first century Britain. Globalization is usually understood as the dominance of particular brands rather than as an opportunity for diversification and dissemination of local materials.

Following the success of previous multi-disciplinary conferences, we invite papers and short contributions from anyone interested in this area, including academics, postgraduate students, professionals working with children, and representatives of the toy industry.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:
-Types of toys: balls, dolls, wheeled objects, construction toys, small-world toys
-Natural objects as playthings and the games they inspire(d)
-Children’s experiences of toys, either contemporary or retrospective
-Manufacture of toys and toy industries
-Imaginative play with different props
-Toys as training: the relationship between toys and social needs

Please send a short summary of your proposed topic (no more than 250 words) to Mary Clare Martin at playandrecreation@gre.ac.uk
Loans of objects or images are also welcome.
First deadline: March 31st, second deadline, April 15th.

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