CFP – Girls’ Economies: Work & Play Cultures (edited volume)

Call for Papers
Girls’ Economies: Work & Play Cultures

Edited by Miriam Forman-Brunell and Diana Anselmo-Sequeira
foreword by Dr. Eileen Boris

We know more about the history of grownups’ labor than we do about girls’ work, especially in informal domains. We know more about adult women workers than about girlhood employment and work-themed amusements. We know more about girls’ consumption practices than about their production patterns. We know more about childhood and play than we do about how play informs girls’ work skills, sensibilities, and identities as workers. We know more about businessmen and women than about moneymaking girls.
Girls’ Economies: Work & Play Cultures brings into sharp focus the significance of girls’ distinctive labor practices that often overlap with leisured endeavors. By crossing the boundaries between work and play, the margins between girlhood and female adolescence, and the demarcations among various economies, the original essays in this collection traverse the scholarly borders separating the history of labor, play, and business history, women’s history and the history of childhood and adolescence.

This anthology sets out to provide historical, international, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the socio-cultural and economic nature of work in girls’ lived realities and in representations. To that end, we seek previously unpublished essays that examine girls’ often invisible economies (e.g., informal, formal, domestic, household, underground (black economy), plantation, sexual, and sharing economies, etc.) by investigating the distinctive nature of girls’ work patterns that often complicate the lines between manual, domestic, unremunerated play practices, and monetary rewards (e.g., handicrafts; household toys); manifest unique “work cultures” (e.g., DIY participatory cultures) and; employ specific forms of labor, such as the “emotional labor” of Girl Scouts and the “reproductive labor” of girls’ household chores that help to sustain households and enables other family members to engage in paid, productive labor.

Some of the questions we seek to address include: What jobs do girls do? Which are designated as “girls’ jobs?” How are girls’ work identities formed? What is the nature of girls’ work? In what ways do girls shape their work experiences? What are girls’ work culture practices? What do girls’ conceive of as work and what does work mean to them? What constitutes the “work” girls do and how does it differ from boys’ labor?  What is the economic value or social “worth” or girls’ productive activities and how is it measured? What cultural work do girls perform and how is it valued? How is girls’ work rewarded (“good girl”) or remunerated (allowance)? What does work “cost” girls? How have the intersection of gender, race, class, age, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and other social markers influenced the work girls do? What is expected of working girls? How are girls socialized, acculturated, and educated to work? How is girls’ work imagined in popular culture? How do grownups feel about girls working? How has girls’ work changed and how has it stayed the same? How does girls’ work in one country or region compare to that elsewhere?

Suggested Subjects:

lemonade stands and other forms of girl entrepreneurship (e.g., drug dealing mules; e-businesses) · toys ·  modeling · sex workers · volunteerism (e.g., Candy Stripers) ·  migrant workers · slaves; street vendors · scavenging ·  stealing · indentured servants ·  sowing circles ·  girls’ handcrafts · service workers · domestic service ·  babysitters and nannies ·  mother’s helpers ·  sweatshop workers ·  industrial homeworkers ·  camp counselors · factory workers ·  digital productions · field (agricultural) workers · sewers · spinners ·  actors (movie; theatre) · non-traditional labor · representations of girls at work or about work in cultural texts (written, visual, and objects—such as stories, songs) etc.

Please send 300-word abstracts to and danselmo@uci.edy by February 15, 2015. Full essays (8,000 words) will be due July 1, 2015. This anthology will be edited by Drs. Miriam Forman-Brunell and Diana Anselmo-Sequeira, include a foreword by Dr. Eileen Boris, and published by a leading academic press.

About the Editors:

Miriam Forman-Brunell is Professor of History and Women’s & Gender studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is the author of Made to Play House: The Commercialization of American Girlhood (1993; 1998) and Babysitter: An American History(2009). Forman-Brunell is editor of Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia (2001) and co-editor of: The Girls’ History & Culture Readers (2011; 2011); Princess Cultures: Mediating Girls’ Identities and Imaginations (2015) and Dolls’ Studies: The Meanings of Girls’ Toys and Play (2015). She is currently researching and writing Girls in America: A History of Girlhoods.

Diana Anselmo-Sequeira earned her doctorate in Visual Studies at the University of California-Irvine. She is the recipient of a Fulbright/FLAD Ph.D. grant and a FCT/European Union fellowship. Her dissertation, Gasps of Violet Ink: Female Adolescence, Authorship, and Movie Fandom in the US during the 1910s, explores the fan practices of the first generation of American girls to grow up with the movies. Her work has appeared in the journals Spectator (2013), Luso-Brazilian Review (2013), and Cinema Journal (forthcoming) as well as in pioneering anthologies: Transnational Horror Across Visual Media (2014), Princess Cultures (2015), and Dolls’ Studies (2015).