Monday, August 03, 2015

CFP Alert: Children’s and young people’s rights in the digital age

Copy+Pasted from the Exploring Childhood Studies mailing list:


Children’s and young people’s rights in the digital age
Call for papers for a special issue of NEW MEDIA & SOCIETY

Editors: Sonia Livingstone and Amanda Third
Abstracts due (400-500 words): 15th September 2015

In 1989, Sir Tim Berners Lee released the code that would form the foundation of the World Wide Web, which now boasts an audience of three billion users worldwide. The same year, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the history of the UN. The trajectories thereby set in motion have recently become explicitly intertwined, with growing momentum behind calls for the recognition of the potential of online and networked media for promoting children’s rights. At the same time, researchers, child rights’ advocates and internet governance experts, among others, are concerned that children’s rights are being newly infringed rather than enhanced in the digital age.
While the past quarter of a century has seen the emergence of a significant literature examining the broad issue of children’s rights and, in parallel, a burgeoning field of research on children’s new media and digital practices in a variety of national and international contexts, the question of children’s rights in the digital age has yet to receive sustained scholarly attention, especially compared with the attention paid to adult rights online. Within popular discourse, children and young people are frequently configured as riding at the forefront of the ‘digital revolution’. Nonetheless, as high level debates about global internet provision and governance extend their geographic, political and economic scope, the position of children and young people is barely acknowledged. Further, in the twists and turns of often heated policy debates, children’s own experiences, voices and interests are vastly under-considered. This special issue thus seeks to contribute to the definition, empirical evidence base, and theorisation of the field internationally.
Not only are children’s needs and experiences in the digital age often treated as merely a minority interest but they are also often seen as essentially problematic, as demanding exceptional treatment from adult society or causing unwarranted restrictions on adult freedoms. It is important to recognise the fundamental nature of the challenges – this is not just a matter of ‘digital rights’ but of all children’s rights as they may be being transformed in a ‘digital age’. Nor is it just a matter of the exceptional circumstances that apply to children, for addressing the rights of children and young people also has implications for adult rights in a digital age. How does a consideration of children compel a wider re-examination of the concepts both of the digital and of human rights?
If children’s rights in the digital age have yet to receive attention in the global North, this is even more acute in the global South. The tipping point has already passed, with two thirds of the world’s nearly three billion internet users living in developing countries, many of them children. At present, the evidence regarding their online activities is very patchy, too often drawing on anecdote, practitioners’ observations and institutional reports or media accounts. There is thus an urgent need for a scholarly focus on the rights of children and young people within this larger picture of expanding connectivity in the global South. This is vital to foster debates about children’s rights informed by dialogues among diverse epistemologies, experiences and normative frameworks.
This special issue seeks to unpack the ways digital media are impacting – both positively and negatively – children’s rights today and, in doing so, to reflect on the ways that children’s rights might provide a meaningful counterpoint from which to consider the role of ‘the digital’ in advancing human rights more broadly. Assembling contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the field internationally, this special issue seeks to bring fully into view the ways in which children’s rights – indeed rights generally – may be being reconfigured by the appropriation of digital networked technologies around the world. Submissions will critically examine the normative and socio-technological assumptions embedded in conceptual, policy and practitioner perspectives. To catalyse the debates, we now call for reflective papers of 6000-7000 words analysing key dilemmas or tensions shaping children’s rights in the digital age, as well as shorter empirical or practitioner pieces (3000-4000 words each).

Papers on key dilemmas or tensions that respondents to the call might address include:
  • The tension between universal or fundamental human rights and the specific rights demanded by the digital age
  • The tensions between ‘adult rights’ and ‘children’s rights’
  • The relationship between children’s rights and their citizenship
  • Collective rights versus individual rights
  • The tension between ‘adult power’ and ‘children’s rights’
  • The tension between the universal (‘the child’, ‘rights’) and the specific (the lived experiences of children)
  • Hierarchies of children’s rights in the digital age
  • Children’s rights in the digital age in the global North and global South 
Empirical or practitioner pieces might address:
  • Children’s privacy rights and the role of peers and peer culture
  • Youth participation rights in the mediated public sphere
  • Historical shifts in children’s communication rights
  • Child protection in the global South: is the internet helping or hindering?
  • From principles to practice: applying arguments about digital rights in particular domains
  • Who is (or should be) ensuring children’s rights online – parents, government, industry?
  • Children’s creative workarounds to gain health resources online
  • Evaluating initiatives for e-learning and other digital educational programmes
  • How are children’s rights represented or abused in ‘big data’
  • Digital exclusion as a barrier to children’s communication rights
  • Rethinking possibilities for children’s identity and expression in the network society
  • Problems of reputation for networked youth
  • Public policy /multi-stakeholder governance regarding children’s rights in the digital age
  • Children’s information rights: what are the dilemmas?
  • Education for all – newly possible in the network society?
  • Grooming, hacking, cyberstalking, trolling and other crimes against children online
  • Meanings/limits of “voice” in participatory research on children’s rights in the digital age
  • The intergenerational dimensions of children’s rights
Please submit abstracts for either the ‘dilemma’ papers or ‘empirical/practitioner papers’ by 15th September 2015 to both editors – Sonia Livingstone (s.livingstone@lse.ac.uk) and Amanda Third (A.Third@uws.edu.au).

The editors will invite full papers from selected submissions by early October, with full papers to be submitted for independent review by 1st February 2016. It is anticipated that the special issue will be published via Online First by late 2016.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Looking for Research Assistants for Fall 2015

Copyright © 1969 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.

As the new school year is fast approaching, I am now focused on assembling new research teams for my two, ongoing projects: Kids DIY Media and Playing at Making. I will be hiring RAs at the Master's and PhD level (and possibly undergraduate as well) for both projects, as per the terms and job descriptions contained in the ads below.

For both projects, I have a certain number of hours of work that need to be completed, but am somewhat open as to how these get divided up (i.e. I will either hire fewer RAs working a greater number of hours, or a larger number of RAs working a smaller number of hours). The deadline for applications is August 14 (2015). Interviews will be scheduled in the later part of August and/or early September.

Please distribute these ads widely! And if you have any questions, just shoot me an email at: sara[dot]grimes[at]utoronto[dot]ca.

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Fall 2015 RA Positions
RESEARCH ASSISTANT
KIDS’ DIY MEDIA PARTNERSHIP

Professor Sara Grimes, Faculty of Information, has a number of Research Assistant (RA) positions available for qualified students, at both the Master’s and PhD levels. Qualified applicants must have full-time student status for the duration of the RAship (or be within six months of completion/graduation), and be available to complete a majority of their duties in person at the  University of Toronto St. George campus. Preference will be given to University of Toronto students, but qualified students from other recognized post-secondary Canadian institutions may also be considered. Similarly, preference will be given to graduate-level students, but undergraduates are also welcome to apply if other criteria and qualifications are met.

The RAs will assist with research and activities relating to Year 2 of the Kids’ DIY Media Partnership, a three-year, SSHRC-funded project aimed at bringing together academics, industry stakeholders and policymakers to discuss and analyze emerging issues associated with children’s online media making and sharing. Ideal candidates for these RA positions posses previous research experience  and/or formal training in common qualitative and/or quantitative social science research methods (especially content analysis, focus groups, and policy analysis), have excellent written communication skills, and are able to work independently, as well as in a team.

General responsibilities of Master’s level RAships may include:
- Assisting in qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis
- Assisting in the writing and dissemination of research reports
- Assisting in community outreach (e.g. translating reports into popular press articles, fact sheets for children and parents, materials for teachers and child advocates, etc.)
- Assisting in promoting project events and activities (e.g. writing blog posts)
- Assisting in the creation and facilitation of project events (e.g. moderating a group discussion at a daylong workshop)
- Some literature review

The PhD level RAships may include additional responsibilities, such as:
- Assisting in the design and coordination of qualitative and quantitative data analysis
- Assisting in the writing of academic papers based on project results, including conference presentations and journal submissions
- Assisting in the supervision and coordination of Master’s  and undergraduate level RAs
- Assisting in coordinating, communicating and liaising with project partners (e.g. ensuring partner access to project documents, providing timely feedback to and from partners on project deliverables, etc.)

Other or more specific tasks can be prioritized according to successful applicants’ interests and strengths. The specific responsibilities and nature of the work associated with these positions will vary depending on the experience and academic level of the students who are ultimately selected to fill them. Salaries are similarly pre-set and scaled based on the level of the student’s current academic program (e.g. undergraduate, Master’s, PhD).

To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at sara[dot]grimes[at]utoronto[dot]ca by 4pm, Friday August 14, 2015. More information about the project can be found here: http://kidsdiymedia.com 


These RAships will ideally run for the duration of the 2015-2016 academic year (September 2015 to May 2016), with initial contracts covering a three-month trial period (e.g. September 15 to December 15, 2015) with possibility of renewal.  Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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Fall 2015 RA Position
RESEARCH ASSISTANT/EVENT ORGANIZER 
KIDS’ DIY MEDIA PARTNERSHIP


Professor Sara Grimes, Faculty of Information, has one  (1) Workshop and Events Research Assistant (RA) position available for a qualified University of Toronto PhD-level graduate student.

The RA will assist with events and activities relating to Year 2 of the Kids’ DIY Media Partnership, a three-year, SSHRC-funded project aimed at bringing together academics, industry stakeholders and policymakers to discuss and analyze emerging issues associated with children’s online media making and sharing. This position is focused specifically on assisting Professor Grimes and her partners with the development and coordination of a daylong workshop, as well as events and presentations associated with the 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival. The ideal candidate possesses strong research skills, excellent written communication skills, previous experience with event planning, and is able to work independently, as well as in a team.

General responsibilities will include:

- Coordinating and communicating with project partners
- Organizing, designing, preparing and managing a transdisciplinary workshop, as well as the project’s 2016 TIFF events and contributions
- Facilitating and coordinating other RAs during the workshop(s) and associated events
- Assisting with analysis of the workshop results and feedback
- Preparing written reports and debriefs on the events and their results.

Other or more specific tasks can be prioritized according to the successful applicant’s interests and strengths.

To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at sara[dot]grimes[at]utoronto[dot]ca by 4pm, Friday August 14, 2015. More information about the project can be found here: http://kidsdiymedia.com

This RAship will ideally run for the duration of the 2015-2016 academic year (September 2015 to May 2016), with an initial contract covering a three-month trial period (e.g. September 15 to December 15, 2015) with possibility of renewal.  Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

****************************
Fall 2015 RA PositionS
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
PLAYING AT MAKING PROJECT

Professor Sara Grimes, Faculty of Information, has a number of Research Assistant (RA) positions available for qualified students, at both the Master’s and PhD levels. Qualified applicants must have full-time student status for the duration of the RAship (or be within six months of completion/graduation), and be available to complete a majority of their duties in person at the  University of Toronto St. George campus. Preference will be given to University of Toronto students, but qualified students from other recognized post-secondary Canadian institutions may also be considered. Similarly, preference will be given to graduate-level students, but undergraduates are also welcome to apply if other criteria and qualifications are met.

The RAs will assist with research and activities relating to Year 2 of the Playing at Making project, a two-year, SSHRC-funded study of the opportunities and challenges for inclusive play presented by popular child-friendly game design titles. The ideal candidates for these RA positions possess strong skills and/of formal training in common forms of social science research (quantitative and/or qualitative), excellent written communication skills, and are able to work independently as well as in a team. Firsthand research experience with children, or other relevant experience working with children, as well as formal training and/or previous experience with survey distribution and data analysis, are considered to be particularly valuable assets for these positions.

General responsibilities of Master’s level RAships may include:
- Assisting in survey distribution and data analysis
- Assisting in content analysis
- Assisting in the writing and dissemination of research reports
- Assisting in community outreach
- Assisting in the creation, management and facilitation of focus group “game jams” involving children aged 6 to 12 years and their parents (and subsequent focus group data analysis)
- Some literature review

The PhD level RAships may include additional responsibilities, such as:
- Assisting in the design and coordination of qualitative and quantitative data analysis
- Assisting in the writing of academic papers based on project results, including conference presentations and journal submissions
- Assisting in the supervision and coordination of Master’s  and undergraduate level RAs
- Assisting in comparative policy analysis of the terms of use and privacy policies of relevant child-friendly game design titles, within broader Canadian and US communication and information policy contexts.

Other or more specific tasks can be prioritized according to successful applicants’ interests and strengths. The specific responsibilities and nature of the work associated with these positions will vary depending on the experience and academic level of the students who are ultimately selected to fill them. Salaries are similarly pre-set and scaled based on the level of the student’s current academic program (e.g. undergraduate, Master’s, PhD).

To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at sara[dot]grimes[at]utoronto[dot]ca by 4pm, Friday August 14, 2015. More information about the project can be found here: http://playingatmaking.wordpress.com

These RAships will ideally run for the duration of the 2015-2016 academic year (September 2015 to May 2016), with initial contracts covering a three-month trial period (e.g. September 15 to December 15, 2015) with possibility of renewal. As these positions will involve interacting with children in focus group scenarios, a police background check will be mandatory upon hiring.
Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cool CFP Alert: Child and Teen Consumption 2016 Conference in Denmark (April 2016)


Copy+Pasted from the Exploring Childhood Studies mailing list:

Child and Teen Consumption 2016 Conference website is nowopen for submissions.
 You can submit your abstract at this address:http://www.en.cgs.aau.dk/research/conferences/ctc-2016/submission-abstracts/ The strict deadline for abstract submission is 1 September 2015.
 Submitted abstracts can be max 1000 words and must contain a brief abstract of 50-100 words.Submitted abstracts must present original work, and must explain the use of methods and theory and the contribution of the work. The conference language will be English. ** NEW** Call for papers special session  « Children’s and teenagers’ food practices in contexts of poverty and inequality » PhD workshop will take place on the 26 April 2016 so do encourage your PhD students to submit a paper. *Travel and accommodation information is already available on the CTC 2016 website so that you can plan your trip early.*  A copy of the two calls for papers are attached and you will find all the information you need on the CTC 2016 website: www.ctc2016.aau.dk

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Heads up: CBC Article for Parents on Kids and Coding

Just popping in for a quick link to a story by Erik Missio that I read on CBC News today. The article itself is kind of sappy-sweet and disturbingly uncritical (zero mention of access/digital divide issues, etc.) but it does also include a number of great points about the enormous value of teaching kids to code at a very young age. I personally LOVE that the fact that it's fun is included as a benefit...this is way too often overlooked in the standard, overly-instrumentalized narrative of why kids should engage with tech (or literature, or any activity) at a deeper level. And it does indeed provides some good tips about where and how to start, including links to Scratch and Raspberry Pi.

Here's an excerpt:
Four- and five-year-olds can learn the foundations of coding and computer commands before they can even write and spell words. Older kids can learn to code through classes, mentors and online tutorials (see below for learn-to-code resources for all ages).
Learning to code prepares kids for the world we live in today. There are tons of jobs and occupations that use code directly, like web designers, software developers and robotics engineers, and even more where knowing how to code is a huge asset—jobs in manufacturing, nanotechnology or information sciences. However, for most kid-coding advocates, reasons for learning to code run much deeper than career prep.
That last sentence is really key. Missio goes on to highlight how understanding code "helps explain the world." I'd add to that that of equal importance is that it empowers kids, enables them to start questioning and challenging the status quo, and to think more deeply and critically about of how the code (programs, etc.) they encounter in their leisure, at school, etc. affords and constraints particular activities, ways of being, types of use and users. 

Full article here: Why Kids Should Learn To Code (And How To Get Them Started)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

CFP: The Child in Popular Culture

Copy+Pasted from the original posting sent out to the childhoods-net mailing list earlier today:

CFP:  The Child in Popular Culture

Red Feather Journal (www.redfeatherjournal.org), an open-access, peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary journal, has expanded its scope to include the child in all aspects of popular culture.  Red Feather Journal seeks well-written, critical articles for the Spring 2015 issue (deadline April 25, 2015) on any aspect of the child in popular culture.  Some suggested topics include: children in film, television, the Internet; children in popular literature or art; the child in gaming, cosplay or cons; children dan social media; childhood geography or material culture; or any other aspect of the child in popular culture.  

Red Feather Journal welcomes international submissions.

Submissions to Red Feather Journal are accepted on a rolling basis. Red Feather Journal is published twice a year. Authors are welcome to submit articles in either MLA, APA, or Chicago citations systems. Red Feather Journal is indexed through EBSCO host and MLA bibliography.

Interested contributors please submit the article, an abstract, and a brief biography (with full contact information) as attachments in Word to debbieo@okstate.edu 

Deadline for submissions for the Spring 2015 issue is April 25th, 2015.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Let's Kickstart Riftworld Chronicles!

While I've been insanely busy these past five months caring for and getting to know my amazing new baby, my partner has had the additional pleasure (and challenge) of creating a new web series, The Riftworld Chronicles. Based on his short film, The Portal, they shot the first season in December and are now hard at work on post-production. Since this is a sci-fi/fantasy/comedy, there are visual effects a plenty to add in at this stage, among various other expensive things they'd love to do...and so they've launched a Kickstarter Campaign to try to make this new show wow and awe (and hopefully get picked up for a second season, or even as a network series).

While not STRICTLY children's media and games related (which is otherwise the primary theme of this here blog), the series plans include all kinds of awesome, future transmedia intertextuality ventures and tie-ins; including comics and digital content, and perhaps even a game or two along the way. It's also a project that's - obviously - very near and dear to my heart.

And yes - it DOES star Tahmoh Penikett (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica) and Erin Karpluk (of Being Erica), who just so happen to be two of my favourite actors.

Anyhow, if you like wizards, cross-dimensional travel, witty nerd humour and strong female protagonists, please check out the campaign and consider pitching in. Most importantly, if you like what you see, be sure to spread the word far and wide. There are only a couple of weeks left before the Kickstarter deadline, and the series still needs a big push in interest if it's going to reach its goal.

Here's a link to the Riftworld Kickstarter Campaign page, now with new, even more awesome funding incentives. Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

CFP for next year's CCA conference is live, deadline Dec. 12

Cut + paste and abridged from the original, as posted to the CCA mailing list last week:

Call for Papers
Canadian Communication Association (CCA) Annual Conference 2015
June 3, 4, 5 2015.
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, Ontario

“Capital Ideas” is the theme of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) 2015 Congress within which the Canadian Communication Association (CCA) will hold its Annual Conference, June 3-5 at the University of Ottawa, Ontario (http://congress2015.ca). We are calling for proposals that explore, critique and extend this theme as well as for proposals on any other themes relevant to Communication Studies.
We invite scholars and professionals to submit proposals that develop the range and depth of scholarship in communication studies. Proposals may take the form of:

Deadline for Submission of Proposals

  • Single-paper presentations – Regular stream: December 12, 2014
  • Panels (maximum of 4 papers): December 12, 2014
  • Roundtables or Workshops: December 12, 2014
  • Single-paper presentations – Graduate Master’s Sessions (Optional for Master’s students only): December 12, 2014. NOTE: Deadline for Submission of Completed Papers (Graduate Master's Sessions ONLY): May 1, 2015

In order to facilitate discussion and debate about the changing university and the realities of precarious employment at universities in general (part-time, Contract Academic Staff, adjunct, limited term, etc.) and in Communication Studies in particular, we encourage submission of proposals for panels, individual papers, or roundtables on this topic.

Submission Details
In order to present a paper at the conference, you must be a member of the Canadian Communication Association. Membership dues must be paid by March 2nd 2015 in order to be included in the final program. If you are not already a member and wish to join the CCA, please visit the Membership section of the CCA website (http://www.acc-cca.ca/onlineapplication/)

Proposals can be submitted online at https://www.openconf.org/CCA2015 or http://www.acc-cca.ca

[...]

Important Deadlines
Submission of proposals: December 12, 2014

Beaverbrook Media@McGill Student Paper Prize:  April 1, 2015
Nominated papers should be sent electronically (.pdf format) to Prof. Penelope Ironstone, CCA President (pironstone@wlu.ca). Title page must indicate paper’s title, the author’s name, contact info, university affiliation, and degree status.

Gertrude J. Robinson Book Prize: March 2, 2015
Nominations should be sent electronically to Prof. Penelope Ironstone, CCA President (pironstone@wlu.ca), and must indicate the book’s title, author, publisher, date of publication and author’s complete affiliation and contact information.

[NOTE from SMG: Additional, detailed info and submission guidelines can be found in the original CFP, and on the conference website(s) listed above.]