In 2000, Cambridge University Press published a collection of essays that we edited, A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. We have recently been contacted by the publisher, who has invited us to produce a new, substantially revised edition because the book has sold extremely well. In fact, he tells us it’s one of the press’s longstanding best sellers, and it continues to be taught regularly.
For the new edition, we plan to update the book by replacing a few of the current chapters with some new ones focusing on some of the following places and/or topics not represented in the original book:
• contemporary/urban Europe
• contemporary/urban Asia (especially China, Japan, or India)
• contemporary Middle East (especially Israel or Palestine) or North Africa
• contemporary African-American communities in the US
• contemporary Latino/a communities in the US
• contemporary/urban Latin America (e.g., Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Havana, Port-au-Prince, Ciudad Juárez)
• contemporary/urban sub-Saharan Africa other than francophone West Africa
Topics: Raising children . . .
· in diasporic and/or refugee contexts
· in the midst of conflict or war
· in the context of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, or other politically and emotionally challenging circumstances
· in the context of urban poverty
· by single mothers
We have a special interest in the period encompassing pregnancy, childbirth, and the first two years of life, but some of the original chapters also include information about middle childhood. In this new edition, we might also consider briefly extending discussions into the adolescent years, where relevant.
If you are interested in contributing to this new edition, please send us a short note indicating:
the focus of a chapter you would be interested in writing for the collection;
your willingness to write a chapter that would closely follow the unusual format of the book’s existing chapters. Please keep in mind that all new chapters will follow the style of the first edition: each chapter is written as an imagined “childcare manual” authored by a fictive child-rearing expert who is a member of the particular society. In the first edition, our ethnographically imagined indigenous experts include: mothers, a grandmother, a diviner, and a minister. Although the format is fictional, the scholarly base for each chapter is fully supported with well-documented ethnography. We lay out the intellectual rationale for this unusual format in the introduction to the first edition of the book and will further develop that in a new introduction to the second edition.
the nature and extent of your field research on childhood in your ethnographic region, including which language(s) you conducted your research in;
a list of, and links to, some of your publications (books and/or articles) on related topics that would give us a clearer idea of what you might discuss.
If you’re unfamiliar with the book, the publisher’s page for the book is here: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/anthropology/social-and-cultural-anthropology/world-babies-imagined-childcare-guides-seven-societies <http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/anthropology/social-and-cultural-anthropology/world-babies-imagined-childcare-guides-seven-societies> .
You can also browse through selected chunks of it online at: http://books.google.com/books/about/A_World_of_Babies.html?id=srcGR6QvpdoC <http://books.google.com/books/about/A_World_of_Babies.html?id=srcGR6QvpdoC> .
We are hoping to complete this revised, second edition by the end of next summer (2014).
We look forward to seeing your brief proposal!
Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fall 2013: Visiting Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University
Spring 2014: Visiting Scholar in Anthropology, Brown University
William Kenan Professor Emerita of Psychology, University of Virginia