CfP—Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century, University of Pittsburgh, April 6-7, 2018

Download pdf announcement.

The past decade has witnessed an array of new forms of public and global interest in marginalized children, whether the incredible rise in the visibility of lesbian, gay, and transgender children, the international migrations of refugee children from Latin America and the Syrian conflict, or the over-incarceration and detention in the United States of undocumented and African American children. In a moment when the marginality of childhood and the child’s function as a signal of futurity are being refigured by these global and historical events, this conference seeks papers that reach across the many disciplines that study children to produce new ways of thinking that make sense of and respond to the complexity of their lives.

This two-day conference hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, the Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies Program, and the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh will explore how to conceptualize, theorize, and approach research on children and childhood in the rapidly changing context of the twenty-first century. Affirming a conceptual and methodological “play” across fields, a mode of intellectual curiosity and unsettling of boundaries, we invite participants to reimagine the place of the child and childhood in their home discipline, and to reimagine their home discipline through the figure of the child and childhood. There will also be several meet the author book panels featuring scholars with recent monographs on children and childhood. Continue reading CfP—Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century, University of Pittsburgh, April 6-7, 2018

Threatening Parents?: What DHS Policies Remind Us About Unaccompanied Youth

by Michele Statz and Lauren Heidbrink
(Originally posted on July 20: reposted here with permission from Youth Circulations)

Migrant youth in the U.S. encounter competing media and institutional discourses that cast them as delinquents, ideal victims, or economic actors (See Heidbrink 2014Statz 2016). Youth Circulations is largely devoted to the politics of these impossible representations.

What is often less considered is how the parents of young people are implicated in such narrations. In many ways, this is a more subtle though surely consequential process, with family members pathologized as neglectful, violent, poor, or otherwise deficient for presumably “sending” or being complicit in youths’ migration journeys. As our work reveals, these discourses are prevalent in legal accounts, popular portrayals, and migration studies scholarship. By implicitly dismissing the ongoing transnational connectedness of “unaccompanied” youth, they contort and fracture valued intimate relationships over time.
Continue reading Threatening Parents?: What DHS Policies Remind Us About Unaccompanied Youth

Visualizing Immigrant Youth in Phoenix

Kristin Koptiuch
Arizona State University-West
(Originally posted on July 8: reposted here with permission from Youth Circulations)

Though largely unrecognized by official planning instruments and unacknowledged by the public in anti-immigrant Arizona, immigrants are transforming metropolitan Phoenix. Visualizing Immigrant Phoenix, a student-faculty research collaborative I direct at Arizona State University, explores these transformations by engaging its audience through vibrant visualization of immigrants’ imprint upon the Phoenix urban environment. This project occurs at a time when immigrants are increasingly demonized, criminalized, and denied due process. Our work responds by according due importance to migrants’ creative and deliberate impacts on everyday urbanism in transnationalizing cities.

Continue reading Visualizing Immigrant Youth in Phoenix

NEW BOOK RELEASE: ‘Spirit Children’ by Aaron Denham

Image from University of Wisconsin Press

Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana

In parts of West Africa, some babies and toddlers are considered spirit children—nonhumans sent from the forest to cause misfortune and destroy the family. These are usually deformed or ailing infants, the very young whose births coincide with tragic events, or children who display unusual abilities. In some of these cases, families seek a solution in infanticide. Many others do not.

Continue reading NEW BOOK RELEASE: ‘Spirit Children’ by Aaron Denham

New Book Release: ‘The Good Child’ by Jing Xu

Image from Stanford University Press

The Good Child: Moral Development in a Chinese Preschool
(Recently published by Stanford University Press)

Chinese academic traditions take zuo ren—self-fulfillment in terms of moral cultivation—as the ultimate goal of education. To many in contemporary China, however, the nation seems gripped by moral decay, the result of rapid and profound social change over the course of the twentieth century. Placing Chinese children, alternately seen as China’s greatest hope and derided as self-centered “little emperors,” at the center of her analysis, Jing Xu investigates the effects of these transformations on the moral development of the nation’s youngest generation.

Continue reading New Book Release: ‘The Good Child’ by Jing Xu

From Undocumented to DACAmented: Can Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing?

re-posted from youthcirculations.com

June 15 marks the 5-year anniversary of the DACA program. For the first time, a recent study analyzes DACA’s impacts on recipients’ psychological wellbeing. The results are clear: DACA can make you feel better, though it may not resolve concerns about deportation.

by Caitlin Patler and Whitney Laster Pirtle

Original art by Liliana Alonso and Andres “Rhips” Rivera.

Undocumented immigrant youth in the United States face a host of challenges that impact their psychological wellbeing. Many experience hopelessness, shame and self-blame, anxiety, fear of deportation, and concern about blocked social mobility. One recent study found that undocumented youth experience a loss of “ontological security,” or the inability to count on the stability of the future. Another study led by immigrant youth at the UCLA Dream Resource Center found that undocumented youth struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, and emotional distress related to their status. There have even been reports of suicide among undocumented young people who felt they could not overcome the barriers imposed by their status.

Continue reading From Undocumented to DACAmented: Can Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing?

New Book Release: ‘Children as Caregivers’ by Jean Hunleth

In Zambia, due to the rise of tuberculosis and the closely connected HIV epidemic, a large number of children have experienced the illness or death of at least one parent. Children as Caregivers examines how well intentioned practitioners fail to realize that children take on active caregiving roles when their guardians become seriously ill and demonstrates why understanding children’s care is crucial for global health policy.

Using ethnographic methods, and listening to the voices of the young as well as adults, Jean Hunleth makes the caregiving work of children visible. She shows how children actively seek to “get closer” to ill guardians by providing good care. Both children and ill adults define good care as attentiveness of the young to adults’ physical needs, the ability to carry out treatment and medication programs in the home, and above all, the need to maintain physical closeness and proximity. Children understand that losing their guardians will not only be emotionally devastating, but that such loss is likely to set them adrift in Zambian society, where education and advancement depend on maintaining familial, reciprocal relationships. View a gallery of images from the book.

Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia (Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies, March 2017) is now available for purchase online through multiple retailers, including Rutgers and Eurospan. An online art gallery of the children’s drawings is also available through Flickr, and helps illustrate the children’s caregiving throughout the book.

NEOS February 2017 issue now available!

The February 2017 issue of Neos is now available for your reading pleasure at http://acyig.americananthro.org/neos/current-issue/.

Some highlights:

  • Childhood and the Anthropology of Violent Radicalization (Marisa O. Ensor (Georgetown U))
  • Adolescence and Global Mental Health: Perceptions of Emotional Wellbeing in Tijuana, Mexico (Olga L. Olivas Hernandez (U of California – San Diego), Sol D’Urso (UCSD), and Janis H. Jenkins (UCSD))
  • Childhood and Digital Civics: How Fieldwork with Youth Highlights the Need to Rethink Civic Education in Canada (Megan Cotnam-Kappel (U of Ottawa))
  • NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENTS Let us know what you think! Share your reactions in a Letter to the Editor at [email protected].
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