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CFP: 5th International Conference on Adoption and Culture

The 5th International Conference on Adoption and Culture
Adoption: Crossing Boundaries
March 27 – 30, 2014
Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Call for Proposals – Due August 1st – Single Papers Welcome

ASAC’s biennial conferences feature stories and histories of adoption as explored by writers, artists, and scholars across the disciplines,especially the humanities. Adoptions and the lives of adoptees always involve crossing boundaries, whether the boundaries of families, the boundaries of races, the boundaries of nations, the boundaries of aboriginal peoples and others, the boundaries of communities, the boundaries of law, or all of these borders. This conference takes up these themes and threads, and also encourages other kinds of boundary-crossing—boundaries between disciplines; between adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, and social workers; boundaries between creative writers, scholars, and activists. And we extend our topic across other boundaries by considering similar issues with regard to foster care and assisted reproduction.

The conference includes academic work from a wide range of scholarly disciplines and areas—literature, film and popular culture and performance studies, cultural studies, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, religion, political science, law, women’s and gender studies— as well as film, creative writing, graphic art, music, drama, or productions in other media. We encourage interdisciplinary panels, presentations, and productions.

We invite proposals for papers and panels that:

* Analyze literary, cinematic, dramatic, musical, visual, dance, popular culture, or performance art representations of boundary crossing in adoption, foster care, or other nonstandard means of family formation or child care, and boundary crossing in narratives of the lives of adoptees, adoptive parents, and/or birthparents

*Study boundary-crossing in adoption and other reproductive, family and caring structures in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological, legal, religious, political, gendered, LGBTQ, and/or psychological perspectives.

*Promote dialogue between people positioned differently with regard to adoption because of their life experience, profession, and/or discipline.

We expect that most papers will run about 20 minutes and that panel proposals should allow some time for discussion (assuming that panels will be about an hour and fifteen minutes ).

We also invite creative presentations (writing, film, drama, graphic arts, other media, etc.) on border crossing in relation to adoption.

Writing samples should ordinarily be less than 10 pgs. Please send 200-word proposals for papers or samples of creative work, a cv or resume along with your proposal, and links if you are working in visual or multimedia, to Give your proposal, cv, and/or writing sample a title that includes your last name.

Proposal deadline August 1, 2013

Conference program planning committee includes:

Eric Walker, Department of English, Florida State University, co-chair

Marianne Novy, University of Pittsburgh, co-chair

Karen Balcom, McMaster University

Emily Hipchen, University of West Georgia

Margaret Homans, Yale University

CFP – “A World of Babies” going into a second, revised edition, seeking new chapter submissions

Dear Colleagues,

In 2000, Cambridge University Press published a collection of essays that we edited, A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. We have recently been contacted by the publisher, who has invited us to produce a new, substantially revised edition because the book has sold extremely well. In fact, he tells us it’s one of the press’s longstanding best sellers, and it continues to be taught regularly.

For the new edition, we plan to update the book by replacing a few of the current chapters with some new ones focusing on some of the following places and/or topics not represented in the original book:


• contemporary/urban Europe

• contemporary/urban Asia (especially China, Japan, or India)

• contemporary Middle East (especially Israel or Palestine) or North Africa

• contemporary African-American communities in the US

• contemporary Latino/a communities in the US

• contemporary/urban Latin America (e.g., Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Havana, Port-au-Prince, Ciudad Juárez)

• contemporary/urban sub-Saharan Africa other than francophone West Africa

Topics: Raising children . . .

· in diasporic and/or refugee contexts

· in the midst of conflict or war

· in the context of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, or other politically and emotionally challenging circumstances

· in the context of urban poverty

· by single mothers

We have a special interest in the period encompassing pregnancy, childbirth, and the first two years of life, but some of the original chapters also include information about middle childhood. In this new edition, we might also consider briefly extending discussions into the adolescent years, where relevant.

If you are interested in contributing to this new edition, please send us a short note indicating:

the focus of a chapter you would be interested in writing for the collection;

your willingness to write a chapter that would closely follow the unusual format of the book’s existing chapters. Please keep in mind that all new chapters will follow the style of the first edition: each chapter is written as an imagined “childcare manual” authored by a fictive child-rearing expert who is a member of the particular society. In the first edition, our ethnographically imagined indigenous experts include: mothers, a grandmother, a diviner, and a minister. Although the format is fictional, the scholarly base for each chapter is fully supported with well-documented ethnography. We lay out the intellectual rationale for this unusual format in the introduction to the first edition of the book and will further develop that in a new introduction to the second edition.

the nature and extent of your field research on childhood in your ethnographic region, including which language(s) you conducted your research in;

a list of, and links to, some of your publications (books and/or articles) on related topics that would give us a clearer idea of what you might discuss.

If you’re unfamiliar with the book, the publisher’s page for the book is here: <> .

You can also browse through selected chunks of it online at: <> .

We are hoping to complete this revised, second edition by the end of next summer (2014).

We look forward to seeing your brief proposal!

All best,

Alma Gottlieb

Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fall 2013: Visiting Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University

Spring 2014: Visiting Scholar in Anthropology, Brown University


Judy DeLoache

William Kenan Professor Emerita of Psychology, University of Virginia