MESA 2016 CFP: Egyptian Childhood and Children

We are seeking papers that interrogate questions relating to the experience of childhoods and/or ​being a child in Egypt in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Specific topics are flexible, but could include colonialism, nationalism, socialism, child protection, children’s rights, revolution, modernity, education, or globalization.

Please send abstracts to: and by January 25.

Seminar Series: Children as Agents of Social Change

School of Social Work, Care and Community
Seminar Series: ‘Children as Agents of Social Change’

Wednesday 10 February 2016
4-5.30pm Brook Building room 142A

‘Being heard and influencing decisions in Lancashire: the long and windy road’.
Perspectives from the local authority, the voluntary sector and from young people.

Kate Baggaley from Barnardo’s Participation Service, Hannah Peake from Lancashire County Council and young people from Lancashire’s participation groups including LINX, POWAR and CSI

Kate Baggaley from Barnardo’s Participation Service, Hannah Peake from Lancashire County Council and young people from Lancashire’s participation groups including LINX, POWAR and CSI want to take the opportunity to share our journey with you. This will include our own personal journeys in terms of participation and will focus, crucially, on the young people’s experiences. We will highlight our highs (and lows) and we will also take the opportunity to share our organisational journeys and the impact participation has had in Lancashire and beyond. This is effectively a verbal version of our annual report and will be a very personal, practical, experienced based session and we hope it will give you an insight into participation for all those involved. We will finish with our plans for the year ahead.

Hannah Peake got enticed into participation as a young person and has been working in this field ever since and she currently works as Strategy Lead for Participation in Lancashire. Lancashire commissions a participation service from Barnardo’s. Kate Baggaley manages this service after previously working in a young carers’ service and her team facilitate the children in care council, LINX and POWAR, the special educational needs and disability council. The young people from LINX, POWAR and CSI (Childrens Service Investigation team) are all fantastic, enthusiastic and committed to experiencing new things and to making a difference in Lancashire and beyond.

This seminar is part of our new series for 2015-16, ‘Children as Agents of Social Change’. For further details see

Our seminars are free, including refreshments. Please reserve your place via Eventbrite This assists us with ordering refreshments and notifying last-minute changes.

Re-publication of Adventure in Play (1957)

unnamed-2Common Threads Publications is pleased to announce the launch of their ‘Playwork Classics’ series – unavailable and neglected historical texts written by the adventure playground pioneers and those involved in the development of playwork profession.

The first Playwork Classic, John Barron May’s Adventure in Play, is now available. Originally published in 1957, Adventure in Play is a report on one of the first experimental adventure playgrounds in the UK. Adventure in Play provides an engaging and sometimes challenging account of how the radical new concept of ‘adventure playground’ was first put into practice. In doing so it raises important questions about the development of today’s adventure playgrounds and the modern-day playwork profession which grew out of them.

Adventure in Play is essential reading for childhood historians, playwork students, sociology scholars and anybody interested in the development of play services for children from a historical perspective.

More information can be found here . To be kept up-to-date about forthcoming titles in the Playwork Classics series, please email us at

Seminar at UCL- Childhood and the Postcolonial: An Ethnographic Exploration

Sarada Balagopalan (Rutgers University)

Discussant: Kirrily Pells (UCL Institute of Education)

Monday, 18th January 2016, 12.30-14.00
Room 736, UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way, London
A lunchtime seminar hosted by the Childhood and Gender Stream, Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education 

Normative constructions of ‘childhood’ often tend to rehash well-known debates on modernity – a majority of childhoods in the global South are usually found to be ‘lacking’/lagging and all solutions/transformations are a re-enactment of shifts that have already taken place in children’s lives in the modern west.  In contrast to this reading, Balagopalan’s book Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: Children, Labour and Schooling in Postcolonial India employed a ‘postcolonial’ lens to critically rethink the ‘difference’ that laboring children signify.  In this talk, she will draw upon her ethnography with street children in Kolkata, India, to discuss two separate, though interconnected, ways in which a postcolonial lens opens up our current understandings of marginal children’s lives.  The first is by locating these contemporary lives within a longer history of colonial modernity and postcolonial development, and thereby re-reading the ‘child’ as a critical and productive site in the working out of a different modernity.  The second is through using postcolonial theory to critically discuss the circulation of liberal categories – like rights, protection, agency – which are increasingly deployed around these categories of children.  By focusing on the postcolony as a conceptual, rather than a descriptive, lens through which to read the lives of children, Balagopalan hopes to discuss the potential in theorizing childhoods ethnographically. 

Sarada Balagopalan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, USA. Her book Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: Children, Labour and Schooling in Postcolonial India was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.

Kirrily Pells is a Lecturer in Childhood at UCL Institute of Education. Her research focuses on the social study of childhoods globally especially in relation to poverty, rights and violence.

Attendance is free. All welcome, no need to book. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. For further information about the seminar, contact

New Book – Doing Anthropology in China with Kids

9788776941703Edited by Candice Cornet and Tami Blumenfield

University of Hawaii Press

While many anthropologists and other scholars relocate with their families in some way or another during fieldwork periods, this detail is often missing from their writings even though undoubtedly children can have had a major impact on their work. Recognizing that researcher-parents have many choices regarding their children’s presence during fieldwork, this volume explores the many issues of conducting fieldwork with children, generally, and with children in China, specifically. Contributors include well-established scholars who have undertaken fieldwork in China for decades as well as more junior researchers. The book presents the voices of mothers and of fathers, with two particularly innovative pieces that are written by parent–child pairs. The collection as a whole offers a wide range of experiences that question and reflect on methodological issues related to fieldwork, including objectivity, cultural relativism, relationships in the field and positionality. The chapters also recount how accompanied fieldwork can offer unexpected ethnographic insights. An appendix alerts future fieldworking parents to particular pitfalls of accompanied fieldwork and suggests ways to avoid these.

*PhD in Progress* ICT, Education, and Mongolian Pastoralist Youth

Editor’s Note: We begin 2016 with a report on research-in-progress from Kim Chi Tran, a PhD Candidate who recently completed her data collection. Here, she discusses her research design and methods. Make sure to click the links to see her video compilations. The ACYIG Blog welcomes contributions from students! Email Bonnie Richard for more information.

Unpacking the influences of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) on the educational experiences of youth from Mongolian pastoralist families

Kim Chi Tran
International Institute of Social Studies – Erasmus University of Rotterdam (The Hague, Netherlands)

This research explores how youth from Mongolian pastoralist families experience the influences of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) as they travel between different localities that construct their educational landscape. Continue reading *PhD in Progress* ICT, Education, and Mongolian Pastoralist Youth

CFP – Activism on the edge of age

Call for papers

Workshop organised by the ERC Connectors Study & hosted the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QQ

June 2 & 3, 2016

The workshop brings together researchers and activists concerned with the lived experiences of activism across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on earlier and later life experiences. We are interested in the spaces, places and times – historical and contemporary – where activism and age intersect in everyday lives and social imaginaries.

Activism and youth remain closely intertwined in everyday life and research.  Activist demographics suggest that ‘youth’ and ‘young adulthood’ is a prime time for participation in social movements, and the link between youth and social, cultural and political change has long held a fascination for academic researchers and the public at large. But what happens on the edges of age? Does an interest in public life, issues of common concern and collective action only emerge during ‘youth’ and dissipate after ‘young adulthood’? What metaphors link narratives of ‘growing up’ with social change stories (e.g. independence), and is breaking away always a renewal? Where do ‘younger children’ and ‘older adults’ fit in with discourses and practices of social and political change? And why is it that the vocabulary used to describe activism is replete with kinship terms (sisterhood, brotherhood, family resemblances)?

The workshop is organised around these and related questions and aims to explore the spaces and vocabularies created by putting activism in conversation with the edges of age, biography, the lifespan, and the relationships in which activists and activist imaginaries are embedded in everyday life. We are open to the scope and type of activity or politics being investigated, preferring instead a phenomenological definition of activism that foregrounds people’s relationships of concern and the individual and collective social action arising from those concerns.

We encourage applications from across the social sciences, arts and humanities, and activists who are interested to engage in a conceptual and reflective space. The workshop is free to attend but spaces are limited. Priority will be given to contributions that: address either or both edges of the lifespan; are original, creative and playful in rethinking activism and age; are cross-culturally sensitive either empirically or theoretically; and take a long-view of activism and age be that through longitudinal, historical or generational research or traditions of storytelling.

Contributions can be original research reports, case studies, theoretical articles, review articles, reflective pieces, or commentaries. Please submit a long abstract of 1000 words, together with a two-page CV, to by February 19, 2016. Please use the email subject line: ‘Activism on the edge of age’. There will be a small number of bursaries available to enable those without their own funding to participate in the workshop. If you would like to be considered for a bursary please make a case for it in your application.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome in early March. Successful applicants will be asked to write a short paper (4000 words) developing their contribution and to submit these papers ahead of the workshop meeting in June (paper deadline: May 20, 2016) so that all attending get a chance to read papers in advance. We are in the process of scoping opportunities for a special issue (or other suitable output format) and, following peer review, a selection of papers from the workshop will be considered for publication.


  • Abstract submission: February 19, 2016
  • Response: early March, 2016
  •  Paper submission: May 20, 2016
  • Workshop: June 2 & 3, 2016

The workshop is organised and funded by the ERC Connectors Study & hosted by CIRCY under its Childhood Publics theme. For more information about either please contact Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas:


“Tiny Katerina” is a short film by Ivan Golovnev, filmmaker and ethnographer, from the Urals, Russia ( The film, recommended by David Lancy, shows vividly the learning through participation model that is so prominent in studies of children’s learning where schooling exerts minimal influence. This webpage provides an overview of the film and the filmmaker: Ivan, who can be contacted at, has agreed to make the film available to the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group. The video can be viewed through Vimeo by using the password TINY:

Berlinale Talents is a six-day creative platform for emerging filmmakers. It consists of the Summit programme, Project Labs, Studio programmes and workshops.