Monday, August 18, 2014

CFP Alert: Society for the History of Children and Youth

Cut and paste from the Childhood Studies mailing list, the CFP for next year's Society for the History of Children and Youth Conference, which will be held in beautiful Vancouver, BC (in June, no less!). Note that the deadline for paper proposals is September 15, and panel proposals are due October 1.

CFP: Society for the History of Children and Youth SHCY Eighth Biennial Conference*Date*: June 24-26th, 2015*Location: *University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Description: “Relationality and the global circulation of children’s literature and culture” We invite papers for a prospective panel that explores the global circulation of children’s literature and concepts of childhood, particularly along paths determined by the processes of history and imperialization and colonization. The historical importance of children and children’s literature in the colonial context cannot be denied. Children are the future of the nation, and thus, what children read, and what is written for them, becomes an important part of the nation building process. And when artifacts of children’s culture travel across geographical spaces they create relationships between people, places, and ideas that shape children’s relationships with themselves and the world. The literature imported to and produced within the colonies has a direct influence on not only the subjectivity of the colonial child, but also, on the concept of childhood within the colonized nation. For instance, Enid Blyton, whose works are immensely popular in India and African countries, has provided images of play and companionship which have affected the worlds of hundreds of children living far away from the English culture and countryside described in her books. In turn, the presence of the colonies and images traveling back from the colonies affects the literature written for children, as well as the worlds and professions for which children are reared. Historical research into the circulation of children’s literature will expand our understanding of the wider network of relationships between geographical spaces as well as children’s relationships with the modern world. Possible topics include: --Circulation of children’s books within a colonial or imperial context--The role of children’s literature or culture in the colonization process--Colonial children’s texts that respond to children’s literature of the colonizing nation--The development of ideas about childhood within a global/colonial context--Depictions of colonization and/or globalization in children’s literature and culture--Relationality as a theme in colonial or imperial children’s texts 
If you’re interested in being a part of such a panel, please send a 250-word paper proposal by September 15 to Courtney Weikle-Mills ( and Sreemoyee Dasgupta ( A complete panel proposal will be submitted to SHCY for consideration on October 1.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Survey for Kids (& Parents) Who Make Things with Games

The survey for my Playing at Making project is now live and we need everyone's help in getting the word out and ensuring we receive a sufficient number of responses. I've included the ad above (we also have one aimed directly to kids), and Copy+Pasted the text from our project website below. 

Basically, we're looking to get the survey out to kids aged 12 years and under who create content in/using digital games, anything from a Minecraft server, to costumes in Stardoll, to mini-games in Scratch or LittleBigPlanet. Details below - any questions can be directed to me. 

Thank you all!


Do you have a CREATIVE child? Does your child like to BUILD THINGS? Do they like VIDEO GAMES? If so, we’d like to hear from you! We’re surveying children who like to play creative games (and their parents/guardians). From Minecraft to Little Big Planet and everything in between, we want to know more about what kids are creating and making while they play today’s popular video games. We want to know more about how kids make things with video games, and why video games are so important to kids’ creativity and play. And we need your help!
If you think that your child (or a child you know) might fall into this category, please let them know about our survey. The survey itself only takes about 20 minutes to complete, and all of the answers we collect will be kept anonymous. We’ll also be sharing our results with the public once the survey is done, so if you’re interested in finding out more about kids and game-making, be sure to keep an eye on this space in the coming months.
Please click here to take the survey, which includes a section for children and one for parents.
Additional Info and Next Steps:
While we’re encouraging everyone to complete the survey asap, it will remain open for most of Fall 2014. That said, if necessary, we will keep it running a bit longer to ensure that we’ve collected a large enough sample to do some rigorous analysis and draw compelling conclusions.
But the study itself will continue on after the survey (Stage 1) is complete. During Stage 2, we want to look at some game creations made by actual kids! Instructions on how to participate in Stage 2 are included at the end of the survey. But if your child has made something in a game that they’d like to share, and you’d like to find out more about this phase of our research, you can also email us via the Contact Page!
Also, be sure to send us an email if you and your kids would like to be invited to future Playing at Making workshops and learning events, or if you have any questions or concerns about the survey or any other aspect of the project.
Please note: This study is being conducted out of Faculty of Information’s Semaphore Lab at the University of Toronto. It has been reviewed by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Boards (REB).