Neos highlights—Children in Transition

Are you struggling with how to represent the perspectives of vulnerable youth in your research and in your classrooms? Preety Gadhoke and Barrett Brenton share their strategies in “Children in Transition: Visual Methods for Capturing Impressions of Food Landscapes, Family, and Life among Homeless Youth,” in the October 2015 issue of Neos (pp. 8-9):

Send your reactions to this or other features of Neos to for publication in our Letters to the Editor section of the next issue.

Lecture: Children without borders at Ryerson University

Children without borders: Child mobilities and transnational duties of care
A public lecture by Dr. Karen Wells

November 25, 6-7:30
Ryerson University (Toronto)
Kerr Hall East 323

Dr. Karen Wells is Assistant Dean Geography, Environment and Development Studies and Senior Lecturer in International Development and Childhood Studies at the University of London, Among many publications, Dr. Wells is the author of Childhood in a Global Perspective (2009).
This talk will be followed by a reception in the Early Childhood Studies graduate lounge, which is directly across from the Learning and Teaching Office, Kerr Hall West, Ryerson University (KHW373)

CFP: Children’s History Society Inaugural Conference

Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Contexts

16 and 17 June 2016
King’s College London

It is now over forty years since the bold declaration of psychohistorian Lloyd deMause that ‘The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken’. Stirred by such claims, scholars have subsequently tested the ‘nightmare thesis’ for both the pre-modern and modern eras, locating children’s agency in unexpected places and stressing the contingencies of context, gender, ethnicity, age, class, caste and sexuality. Narratives of historic and contemporary institutional abuse, however, together with insights concerning the legacies of forced child migration, children’s labours and other challenging aspects of childhood experience, suggest that sorrow rather than joy characterises much scholarship on children and childhood. Should this be so?

In another context, since 1993 the phenomenally successful Horrible Histories books, stage plays and television series have helped introduce countless thousands of children around the world to the past. As their titles indicate, Horrible Histories also examine difficult and sometimes grisly historical episodes. Progressive narratives are at work here too, reinforced by children’s museum exhibits emphasising an emergence from the ‘dark ages’ of childhood in the twentieth century.

‘Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Contexts’ is the launch conference marking the inauguration of the new UK-based Children’s History Society. Offering a forum for historical reflections from established and upcoming historians of children, childhood and youth, we also anticipate that this will be a platform for school-age scholars to reflect on the ways they respond to the history. This two-day conference invites paper proposals on the following themes:

  • Dealing with difficult history and heritage
  • Children’s histories and the longue durée
  • The ‘West and the rest’ in children’s history
  • Definitions of subjecthood and status
  • Pain and resilience
  • Archival approaches for retrieving children’s agency
  • The things of childhood
  • Play as protest, recreation and the ‘work’ of childhood
  • Children’s histories in museums, online and in the media
  • The histories of children’s places and places for children
  • Future trajectories for researching children’s histories

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a two-page CV, to both and by 1 December 2015. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in January. Panel submissions featuring three papers of 15-20 minutes apiece are also encouraged, particularly for panels showcasing in concert transnational and/or long chronological perspectives. Note that our definition of children is flexible, reflecting the multiple constructions through time of childhood as a social category.

The conference will be free to attend, courtesy of the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies and the Department of History, both at King’s College London. Further details will follow regarding accommodation options, conference-related activities and Society administration. If you would like to become involved in the running of the Children’s History Society, please email and to express your interest by the 1 December deadline.

You can follow the progress of the Children’s History Society on Twitter and Facebook: and


Warm regards,

Dr Simon Sleight (King’s College London) and Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich).

Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London // Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation, University of Greenwich

Book Launch

The Politics of Childhoods Real and Imagined: Practical application of critical realism and childhood studies by Priscilla Alderson

(Routledge, 246pp, Pb: 978-1-138-94889-1 | £26.99  eBook: 978-1-315-66938-0)

This new book relates critical realism to childhood studies in order to research transformative change over time. It summarises key themes across academic disciplines and policy areas, ranging from climate change and social justice between generations, to neoliberalism and reform of public services, to imagining social reform that benefits all age groups. Each chapter considers how children and young people are largely excluded from political and economic global debates, although they are one third of people in the world and are often especially affected by policies and events.

The book is written for everyone who is researching, studying or teaching about childhood, those who care for and work with children and young people, as well as those interested in critical realism.

All are welcome to the book launch: Tuesday 8 December 5.30-7.30

Institute of Education, University College London

New Book! Childhood and 19th-century American Theatre

212-6243-Product_LargeToMediumImageChildhood and Nineteenth-Century American Theatre:
The Work of the Marsh Troupe of Juvenile Actors

by Shauna Fey
Southern Illinois University Press 2015

Also available here:
Barnes and Noble