Nation and Childhood(s): The Cultural Politics of the Borders of Childhood

BORDERS -­‐ VIII Conference on Cultural Studies
December 3−4, 2015, University of Oulu, Finland

WORKSHOP TITLE:
Nation and Childhood(s): The Cultural Politics of the Borders of Childhood

ORGANIZERS:
Zsuzsa Millei: SPARG, University of Tampere, Finland and The University of Newcastle Australia
Robert Imre: SPARG, University of Tampere, Finland and The University of Newcastle Australia
Kirsi Paullina Kallio: SPARG, University of Tampere, Finland

In this workshop we are examining the limits and possibilities of nationhood and what those limits and possibilities mean for childhood and the experiences of childhood.

Agency, choice, citizenship, independence, safety, security, precarity, relationality and the myriad of categories that we assume we can deploy to understand childhood and experiences of childhood are all bound by the “realities,” spatiality, sociality and politics of the nation. Childhood as we know it today emerged at the same time as modern nation states were created (Therborn, 1996). Since childhood was not only instrumentalized for continuous nation-­‐building projects but due to its futurity (Jenks, 2006) it became intimately intertwined with the future of the nation. These developments in turn shaped how children experienced their childhoods.

Their progenitor disciplines are rarely influenced by explorations of conceptions of childhood and experiences of childhood despite the fact that these could also be “suppliers of knowledge” about the social and political (Alanen, 2014, p. 3, Skelton, 2015). Researching childhood and nation therefore could be “a key to a more comprehensive understanding of society at large” (Strandell, 2010, p. 179) and could serve as a diagnostic tool for testing and grappling with how larger socio-­political processes are taking shape and continue to operate (Stephens, 1995).

We invite critical analyses of the ways that this nexus between concepts of nation and childhood, the categories surrounding childhood and the experiences of childhood operate in the contemporary world, and have operated in the past. The workshop focuses on any aspect of the cultural politics of shifting borders of childhood and the nation.

Paper proposals (max 300 words) should be sent to rajat@oulu.fi If you have any question, please email: Zsuzsa.Millei@uta.fi
The deadline for the Call for Papers is 17 August 2015.

A workshop of two hours could contain four papers max. This way each presenter will get at least 30 min of time (out of which 15-­20 min are reserved for the actual presentation.
If you have any inquiries please address to Zsuzsa.Millei@uta.fi

Paper proposals (max 300 words) should be sent to rajat@oulu.fi by the 17th of August 2015.

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