CFP: “In Relation: Children, Youth, and Belonging”

Society for the History of Children and Youth
Eighth Biennial Conference: “In Relation: Children, Youth, and Belonging”

June 24-26, 2015
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2014

The Program Committee invites proposals for panels, papers, roundtables or workshops that explore histories of children and youth from any place and in any era. We will, however, give particular attention to proposals with a strong historical emphasis and that bear on the theme of this year’s conference. Relationships are foundational to human lives and to children’s experience of the world. They might involve coercion and suffering, or agency and liberation. Domestic relationships with parents, caregivers, siblings, relatives, and pets shape young people’s sense of self, their experiences and their place in the world. Wider relationship circles, including those with peers and adult professionals such as teachers, doctors, police, and social workers, likewise affect young people’s position in the world in diverse ways. The complex effects of large-scale events and phenomena including colonization, imperialism, war, industrialization, urbanization, and disease epidemics, among others, have both direct and indirect effects on young peoples’ relationships that vary across time and cultural context. Virtual relationships facilitated by letter writing and, more recently, digital technology, provide young people with a distinctive window onto international connections and cross-cultural influences. Relations of power, often uneven and always nuanced by gender, race, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability, flow through all relationships that young people forge and encounter. Historical research that explores the varied meanings attached to the range of relationships young people experience usefully expands our understanding of both the past and present.

Foci for papers and sessions, for example, might explore:

  • theorizing relationality as a key concept in the history of children and youth, characterizing intimate as well as global relations
  • Indigeneity and relations shaped by colonization and imperialism, as well as Indigenous agency and resilience
  • the impact of large and small scale social change on young people’s relationships
  • relationships shaped by race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and (dis)ability
  • the challenge of historicising emotional aspects of relationships within families, communities and nations
  • intergenerational relations in the nature and flow of young people’s lives
  • the spatiality of relationships in homes, schools, institutions and other places
  • the role of travel, mobility, and migration in forging and maintaining relationships for young people
  • the fashioning and living out of childhood and youth as a dialogic or relational process.
  • Children, youth, and adult professionals

We strongly encourage, and will give priority to, submissions of complete panel sessions that incorporate international representation and global perspectives. Individual papers will also be considered. We also welcome proposals for non-traditional and experimental panel sessions that extend historical research in unusual directions (eg. research-in-progress workshops, methods and theory workshops, material culture explorations, etc.)

For more information, go to the conference website: