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.]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Configuring the Child Player: New Article Out, Online First, in Science, Technology & Human Values Journal

I am super excited to announce that I have a new article appearing in an upcoming issue of Science, Technology & Human Values journal, entitled "Configuring the Child Player." In the meantime, the article has already been published on the journal's website through the publisher's "Online First" program. Subscription to the journal, publisher or database is required to access the article in full, but anyone can view the abstract here (which I've also reproduced in full below :).

I'm extremely pleased and honoured to have had one of my articles accepted in STHV - it's a journal that I regularly read and have enormous respect for, and it's widely considered to be THE journal for science & technology studies (STS) research and theoretical contributions, which is particularly important for this piece (which engages very directly with STS theories).

Scholars from various disciplines have explored the powerful symbolic function that children occupy within public discourses of technology, but less attention has been paid to the role this plays in the social shaping of the technologies themselves. Virtual worlds present a unique site for studying how ideas about children become embedded in the artifacts adults make for them. This article argues that children’s virtual worlds are fundamentally negotiated spaces in which broader aspirations and anxieties about children’s relationships with play, technology, consumer culture, and the public sphere resurface as “configurations” of an imagined, ideal child player. The article begins with a brief overview of the children's virtual worlds phenomenon, followed by a discussion of related research on children’s play and play technologies. Findings from a case study of six commercial, game-themed virtual worlds targeted specifically to children are then presented, with a focus on how these artifacts configure their child players in highly ideological and normative ways, wherein play is narrowly defined in accordance with a neoromantic, consumerist ethos. The article aims to uncover the hidden politics inscribed within a particular genre of children’s technology and to explore some of the implications for children’s digital play.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Game Curious? The Hand Eye Society + Toronto Reference Library Has Just the Program for You!

Mostly Cut+Paste from the original announcement: This September, the second run of GAME CURIOUS will take place at the Toronto Reference Library, featuring another lively mix of presentation, group discussion, socializing and of course PLAY! 

While the program is open to just about anyone, it is especially aimed at self-described non-gamers or people who want to learn more about the medium but aren't sure where to start. There will also be a 6-week game-making component for select participants following the main program. Here are the details:

Saturdays 1-3 PM
Sept 13 - Oct 18 2014 (6 weeks)
Toronto Reference Library
(Browsery, Main Floor)
789 Yonge St. (Bloor-Yonge subway station)
Recommended for ages 16+
FREE! Drop-ins welcome.
GAME CURIOUS is a 6-week program exploring the untapped art of video games, for people who don’t necessarily identify as “gamers”. It’s a no-pressure learning environment of discussion, discovery and play, with the opportunity to connect with local storytellers who love the medium. While the direction of the program will be participant-driven, games to be played and discussed will include everything from classics such as Mario and Zelda, to independent games about relationships, queer identity, political satire, work, life, and more. The program also aims to promote diversity within gaming culture by encouraging participants from a variety of backgrounds to engage with games in a way that is personally relevant to their own lives. All are welcome to apply, whether you’re an artist, an activist, a parent, or haven’t picked up a controller in years. It’s like a book club… with buttons
Creative Commons License
Gamine Expedition by Sara Grimes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.