Special Issue: Histories of Play

International Journal of Play
Call for papers for forthcoming Special Issue: Histories of Play

The universality of children’s play crosses times, places and cultures — and histories of play offer unique perspectives on children and their worlds, and the wider societies they inhabit. This special issue examines the histories of play across historical periods, exploring (but not limited) to such topics as:

• continuity and change in children’s play and playlore
• histories of the material and oral cultures of play
• the economies and consumption of games, toys and play “things”
• the spaces and environments of play in historical context
• documenting histories of play through visual, oral and other sources
• transnational and comparative histories of games and playlore
• remembering play: nostalgia, “kidults” and memorialization
• children’s voices in the history of play

The guest editors of the Histories of Play special issue (no. 3 in 2016, appearing in December) are Kate Darian-Smith (University of Melbourne) and Simon Sleight (King’s College London). Potential contributors are invited to send an abstract of 300 words to the editors by 1 November 2015 in the first instance.

Full papers of up to 7,000 words, which will go through a blind peer-review process prior to publication, need to be submitted by 1 April 2016. Suggestions for shorter pieces of up to 2,500 words on historical archives and cultural collections relating to the histories of play are also welcome.

Please check the International Journal of Play (Taylor and Francis Online) website for details on the journal and regarding presentation of material:
http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rijp20/current#.VZINnvmqpBc

Email contact for further information, enquiries and to submit abstracts:
Kate Darian-Smith: k.darian-smith@unimelb.edu.au
Simon Sleight: simon.sleight@kcl.ac.uk

Childhood and Gender in Time

CALL FOR PAPERS: Genesis on Childhood and Gender in Time

The journal Genesis. Rivista della Società Italiana delle Storiche calls for papers for a special issue dedicated to “childhood and gender in time.”

The nature of childhood and its significance as a separate phase of life are at the centre of a process of critical rethinking, which is generating new and challenging interdisciplinary research. We would like to explore the social construction of gender in childhood, from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, giving particular attention to the role of play, toys, and children’s literature. Our aim is to examine how gender norms and gender models have been formulated and propagated in different historical, geographical and cultural contexts, but also how those models have been appropriated, contested and possibly subverted. We are interested in the relationship between the effort of regulating children and the “agency” that children are able to express, particularly in the context of a children’s peer culture, in which play (broadly understood) has a central role.

Continue reading “Childhood and Gender in Time”

SHCY 2013 recap: Interior/Exterior Spaces for Play

Annmarie Valdes, 3rd year PhD Student at Loyola University recaps Session 20 on Day 2 of the conference. This session dealt with interior and exterior spaces for play and recreation, 1600-1950.

I would like to begin this post on a short personal note: My initial attraction to this panel occurred in part because I spent the first decade of motherhood in, near or cleaning up after countless trips to the sandbox (along with the toys that they wanted to bring to the sandbox). On lazier days I allowed a space in the backyard for a “mud hole”. Even now I consider time spent in that particular “space,” the sandbox, invaluable—both for me and my children. The construction and destruction of worlds built with sand and mud—for me form part of the definition of play. During this time my thought about the sandbox and the mud hole was simple: children need a proper place (or space) to play. Simple? Maybe? And alongside this a couple of reminders 1) that historians need to be careful about interpreting play, as it is such a subjective activity and that what play is or means to and for children and adults if often different—adult research from an adult point of view and 2) when one has a personal interest and experience in a topic, how does one go about maintaining objectivity and 3) how can historians resolve the need for accounts from a child’s point of view?

Continue reading “SHCY 2013 recap: Interior/Exterior Spaces for Play”

New E-book: Toys, Play, Culture and Society

New digitized version available for free on Scribd (search: Jean-Pierre Rossie) and on www.sanatoyplay.org (see publications) of the book:

Rossie, Jean-Pierre (2005/2013). Toys, Play, Culture and Society. An Anthropological Approach with Reference to North Africa and the Sahara. Foreword by Brian Sutton-Smith, 256 p., 144 ill.

The black and white photographs of the 2005 version have been replaced by the original color photographs. At the same time some minor linguistic and formal adaptations have been made but the content remains unchanged.

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.

Continue reading “CFP: Multi-cultural Toys Exhibition and Conference”

CFP: Deconstructing Dolls: The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys & Play

Book Title:

Deconstructing Dolls: The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys & Play

Book Editor:

Miriam Forman-Brunell, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City

Publisher:

Peter Lang Press
“Mediated Youth” series, edited by Sharon Mazzarella

Continue reading “CFP: Deconstructing Dolls: The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys & Play”