CFP: Global Studies of Childhood

Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives on Childhood, Youth and Adolescence:
troubling the global/local nexus

Special Issue of Global Studies of Childhood

Guest Editors:
DAVID W. KUPFERMAN, University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu SOPHIA RODRIGUEZ, College of Charleston
MAREK TESAR, University of Auckland

Childhood, youth and adolescence are contested notions. What do we mean by these terms and how do we employ them? How do/did we come to know these categories? Who or what invented them? The concern of this special issue is with the ontological and epistemological knowledges in play with regard to the categories of childhood, youth and adolescence, what they do and how they perform, what they represent and how these categories and brackets are perceived by all actors, both those that are inside and those who are out-side of them. This special issue calls for a re-thinking of these concepts. The disciplines of philosophy and sociology are elevated in this call for papers, with the expectation that these perspectives will allow authors to theorize these concerns in unexpected, innovative and cutting edge ways, in relation to the complicated globalized contexts of local experiences and lives. 

There is growing pressure to both managerialise, and potentially marginalise, childhood, youth and adolescence in order to demarcate, govern and protect these sometimes ‘sacred’ notions. This special issue aims to rupture established settings, binaries, categories, terms and brackets, in a challenge of the boundaries of these established notions. Philosophy and sociology present disciplinary possibilities for theorizing and rupturing categories of child/childhood, youth and adolescence at ontological, epistemological and ethical dimensions. The terms child, childhood, youth and adolescence are expected to be not only contested and challenged but undone and un- worked, de-developed and de-demarcated, and importantly reified and

reimagined in this special issue through the interaction of philosophical and sociological disciplinary knowledge(s). This special issue is interested in what knowledge emerges as scholars theorize the notions of child, childhood, youth and adolescence from philosophical and/or sociological foundations.

A vast and rapidly growing body of literature in childhood studies and bourgeoning histories of childhood with a concern for children’s voice and experience is emerging. Much of the work in childhood studies re-defines the child and childhood including references to the founders of the field (Prout, Jenks, James, Christensen, Montgomery), the Stoics, Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, etc., and to the more recent re-thinking  of child and childhood (Matthews, Baker, Stables etc.). Even those that have been rejected (Mead, Piaget, Spock) –how can their notions be-rethought and re-theorized in the context of a global/local nexus? How might philosophical considerations be made anew given the linguistic and spatial turn? How might we include, play with, disrupt or contest disciplinary knowledge from anthropology, human or critical geography as we rethink notions of subjectivity, identity, and agency beyond the discursive and in relation to the categories of childhood, youth and adolescence?

The guest editors invite a range of papers primarily dealing with philosophical concepts and theories of childhood, youth and adolescence, which theorize and rethink  these concepts in the historical and contemporary global/local praxis. Possible foci might include:

  • Who/what invented childhood | youth | adolescence;
  • Philosophical and sociological theories that impact upon our understanding of this field;
  • How the intersections between childhood, youth and adolescence are exercised and experienced;
  • Merging connections and contradictions, synergies and tensions of relationships between childhood, youth and adolescence through philosophical and sociological lenses;
  • Spatial analyses of childhood, youth and/or adolescence;
  • Disciplinary problematisations of classical, analytical, critical and postmodern philosophies of childhood, youth and adolescence;
  • Ways of analysing and theorizing policies and of policing childhood, youth and adolescence;
  • Innovative methodologies of researching intersections of childhood, youth and adolescence;
  • Theorising and re-theorising the relationships of childhood, youth and adolescence within and in relation to the local and global challenge;
  • The complex context of globalisation and globalised relationships within local practices of childhood, youth and adolescence;
  • Problematising local contexts and cultural practices that shape notions of childhood, youth and adolescence;
  • Conceptualising the future of childhood, youth and adolescence in the global/local context;
  • Producing alternative spaces and networks in which to consider the sovereignty of child, youth and adolescent subjectivities.

The guest editors welcome a broad range of abstracts from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives, with a preference for theoretical, philosophical and sociological analyses of the complexities of childhood, youth and adolescence. Expressions of interest: please submit your abstract of 500-800 words (including key references), and a short bio of each author to the guest editors by 31 March, 2015. Acceptance of abstracts and invitations to submit full papers will be sent by 30 May, 2015.

Deadline for full papers: full papers of no more than 6000 words (including references), are due by 31 August, 2015.

The special issue is expected to be published in the first half of 2016. Any questions should be directed to the guest editors: