Play, Toys, War and Conflict conference, University of Greenwich, UK

“Play, Toys, War and Conflict”
Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation,
University of Greenwich
with the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past
May 16th 2014, 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Old Royal Naval College, SE10, 9LS, Queen Anne 075 and 080

This one-day conference relates the ongoing commemoration of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and any aspect of war and conflict, to the themes of the  Centre , and the associated “Multi-Cultural Toys” project. Themes include play and national and political identity, children’s competition over playthings, to war games, the psychological value or otherwise of enacting conflicts, and play as a survival strategy in war time. Stereotypes of gender and race, sexuality and disability will be considered.

Draft Programme

9.30 a.m. Registration and coffee Queen Anne 075

10 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions

10.10 a.m. Dr Kathryn Gleadle (University of Oxford) “Playing at soldiers and doll volunteers: British loyalism and juvenile identities”

10.55.a.m. Dr Adrian Seville (Independent) “Changing Attitudes to War – the Evidence of Printed Board Games from France”

11.30 a.m. tea and coffee

11.50 a.m. Dr Jeff Bowersox (University of Worcester) “War Games, Colonialism, and Progressive Pedagogy in Germany before the First World War”

12.30 p.m. . Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich) ,”War and Empire: Children’s materials and experiences, 1898-1919”

1p.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch

2 p.m. Alice Kirke (Institute of Education) “ Leisure, education and rural regeneration in the Young Farmers’ Club Movement, 1920-1940”

2.30 p.m. Anne Daniels (University of Virginia) “Why We Speak of War to You”: Coverage of World War II in Brazilian Children’s Periodicals

3.00 p.m. Panel: Toys, Play and Memory: Grimsby, Lebanon and Poland post-1945
Dr John Smith (University of Greenwich) Education and Play in Post-War Grimsby
Rania Hafez (University of Greenwich) Playing on the boundary: a childhood across cultures and borders
Dr Ewa Sidorenko (University of Greenwich) Play: Making Do without consumerism in Cold War Poland

4.15 p.m. tea and coffee

4.30 p.m.
Piotr Czosnyka, (Anglia Ruskin University) “A Toy Soldier in Britain 1945 to 1972: A Cultural History”, followed by:
Round Table discussion on toys, war, memory, and the future of play materials.

The conference will be followed by a networking event from 5.30 p.m. to which ALL are welcome.

To book a place at the conference, and/or networking event, or for any other queries, please e-mail