Friday, August 17, 2012

Cool Conference CFP Alert: The Child's Room as Cultural Microcosm

©1963/2006 Maurice Sendak, page from Where the Wild Things Are
The following is a Call for Papers for a very interesting sounding conference taking place in Rouen, France, next April, on the children's room as "cultural microcosm." I've cut/paste key details below from the original, a copy of which you can find here.

Call for papers International conference
The child’s room as a cultural microcosm: Space, Consumption and Pedagogy 
National Museum of Education, Rouen, France, 8 – 10 April 2013
Organisers : National Museum of Education/CNDP, University of Paris 13 (EXPERICE), University of Poitiers (CEREGE) 
With the support of the ANR, research programme « Children’s possessions at home »

Summary : ‘The child’s room as a cultural microcosm’ aims at gathering knowledge on the subject of children’s domestic material culture and stimulating the development of research along three main axes. These axes were chosen to have a better understanding of the child’s room in its history as well as in the contemporary world, in its materiality as well as in its representations. The first axis will examine the child’s room from an architectural-spatial point of view, as well as a well-defined space within the house specifically intended for the child. It may be characterized by technical specificities (shape, volume, etc.) as well as cultural ones. The second axis will investigate the child’s room as a privileged place for his or her belongings. The idea will be to focus on children’s consumption and material culture, examining how objects actually belong to a child in a child’s room. Finally, the last axis comprehends the child’s room as an educational place that sits at the intersection of both pedagogical and recreational uses and, as such, of both adults’ and children’s points of view. The organisation of this room thus may contribute, in turn, to the education of taste, to an aesthetic education or to the education to consumption.

Key words : "child’s room, domestic space, material culture, children’s culture, children’s consumption, childhood objects, cultural representation of childhood, education"

More description:
"In the 19th century, the child’s room was conceptualised by french authors as a ‘place for hygiene and prudence’, a perimeter protected from the dangers of the house and from those of the street, a women’s ‘sanctuary’ (Fonssagrives 1871) as well as a ‘nest of souls’ (Hugo 1859) and an instrument for the education to social, moral and aesthetic values (Renonciat 1989, 2005). Today, the child’s room is a reality shared by boys and girls in the Western world : a place to rest and work, a place of either real or virtual games, a ‘refuge for intimacy’ (Ranum 1986), an open window on the world (be it discovered or fantasized), a learning center for autonomy, a developer of identity. As it was the case in the past, the contemporary child’s room turns out to be a complex reality which, although it has aroused researchers’ interest in various fields for over half a century, still remains an unexplored territory, especially in France.
The organisers of the conference ‘The child’s room as a cultural microcosm’ wish to study the state of knowledge on the subject and to stimulate the development of research along three main axes : these axes were chosen to provide a better understanding of the child’s room in its history and the contemporary world, through its materiality as well as through the representations which contribute to defining it as a material, social, aesthetic and cultural place."
Submission details: Paper proposals have to be related to one of three major themes or "axes" (described in detail in teh full CFP: architectural, material or educational). If not, you'll need clear justification of why not & why it fits. The three axes can be approached in various ways, for example:

  • representations of the child’s room (in literature, in films, in arts, etc.), 
  • historical, anthropological, sociological, psychological dimensions, 
  • as well as questions of gender, etc.

Proposals can be either in English or in French, and must be submitted by email to:

Deadline: 30 November 2012
Format: Word document. No more than one page (Times New Roman 12, single spaced). Must include including the following info:
  • Title of the paper 
  • Author (s)
  • Institution
  • Personal details : address, country of residence, phone number, e-mail address -
  • Abstract of approximately 400 to 500 words, summarizing the topic of the paper, methodology used, corpus/data analyzed and results.
Notification of acceptance : 1st February 2013 
Written papers must be completed by 30th April 2013, for publication of the proceedings.

Scientific/conference committee  (lots of great children's culture scholars listed here): Gilles Brougère (University of Paris Nord), David Buckingham (Loughborough University, GB) Dan Cook (Rutgers University, USA) Inès de la Ville (University of Poitiers) Yves Gaulupeau (National Museum of Education/CNDP) Michel Manson (University of Paris Nord) Roger Perrinjaquet (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris - La Villette) Michelle Perrot (University Paris 7- Denis Diderot) Annie Renonciat (ENS Lyon, National Museum of Education/CNDP) 

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