CFP – (De)constructing childhoods in daily life relationships in MENA countries

49th Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
 November 21-24, 2015 Denver, Colorado

(De)constructing childhoods in daily life relationships in Middle East and North African countries

Childhood does not occur in a vacuum. Although largely viewed as a period of life isolated from the trials and tribulations of the adult world, childhoods of the modern and contemporary eras are deeply entrenched in complex and ongoing historically important phenomenon, such as colonization, war, and globalization. 

The panel wants to explore “types” of childhoods and experiences of children that are created through children’s relationships with large-scale social, cultural, and/or political forces in Middle East and North African countries. We are interested in understanding how these “types” of childhoods and experiences of children are integrated, deconstructed or rejected in daily life relationships with social actors (teachers, parents, caregivers, etc.) in local institutions (school, family, social services etc.). Children make their social reality and construct their own identity through participation in the social environment (Pufall and Unsworth 2004). We encourage proposals that seek to identify types and experiences of children’s agency and voice. 

We welcome proposals that employ relevant sociological, anthropological and/or historical approaches and explore such questions as: How do children interact and create daily life relationships with institutions? What are the emotional implications on children of such relationships? What intergenerational and/or social relations facilitate children’s negotiations with large-scale events? Can routinized “types” of childhoods result from spaces through which occupation, revolution, or urbanization flow? We are looking for proposals with a focused statement of topic, clear goals and methodology, well-organized research data, specified sources, and coherent conclusions.

Interested participants should send a 300-400 word abstract and brief bio to Heidi Morrison  ( and Chiara Diana ( by January 31, 2015