Spring 2024 Call for Papers

Theme: Building Blocks of Knowledge: Investigating Education, Learning and Knowing in Children and Youth

Education, learning, and knowing are a large part of child development and socialization processes, but the ways in which education, learning, and knowing are framed, developed, and practiced vary across places, people, and cultures. Child development and education researchers have focused extensively on how children learn and come to know things about the world, but these issues are discussed and categorized in different ways across these and other disciplines. In this issue, NEOS invites anthropological inquiries of experiences and engagement with childhood and education, learning, and knowing. We welcome broad interpretations of education not only as a process in which formal knowledge is transferred from an adult to a child but also as a process that moves in other directions and includes social, cultural, and emotional ways of knowing that can be transferred between peers and the environment.  

We invite submissions that focus on primary and original research around practices, policies, and performances of education as well as children’s and youth’s explorations of alternative ways of learning and knowing. Potential topics include: 

  • learning initiated by children and passed on to other adults and children, such as children teaching adults about social media, technology and contemporary culture; 
  • learning not directly outlined in curricula or child development programs and relating to areas of knowledge often ignored, such as pop culture, fashion, etc.; 
  • indigenous or non-Western perspectives and constructs of education and learning; 
  • informal knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation, including social knowledge of how to act, play, and talk; 
  • technological and social knowledge as well as digital activism; 
  • navigating school and academic spaces, invoking ideas stemming from “sociocultural capital” theory promoted by Bourdieu, Foucault’s ideas of power relations and institutional architectures, as well as critical race theories that focus on the navigation of the ‘hidden curriculum;’ 
  • other forms and practices of learning and education (through the arts, embodied learning). 
  • informal education and leadership skills; 
  • 21st-century skills, developing critical knowledge and imagination; 
  • religious knowledges and faith; 
  • learning between peers or siblings; 
  • learning from and with nature vis a vis plants and animals, and navigating the environment, including skills like swimming, hiking, survival, and crafting; 
  • learning and knowing surrounding self-care, including skills such as cooking, financial literacy, hygiene, etc.; 
  • other forms of learning (through the arts, embodied learning). 

We also invite authors to explore other topics that relate generally to education, learning, and knowing among children and youth, both within formal boundaries and outside of them. 

We invite short-form original research articles (1,200 words max, excluding references) that address the issue’s theme. NEOS also welcomes short pieces (1,200 words max, excluding references) on scholarship and applied research that uplifts racial, economic, and social justice and the dismantling of systemic oppression for a dedicated standing column on anti-racism and equity in child and youth studies. 

NEOS is an open-access publication of the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). We publish research on childhood and youth from scholars working across the four fields of anthropology, as well as from those interdisciplinary fields in conversation with anthropological theories and methods. Articles published in NEOS undergo a double-anonymous peer-review process. 

The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2024 (end of the day). Rolling submissions prior to February 14th are also welcome. While not required, authors are encouraged to submit a brief message about their intent to submit to the Co-Editors by January 31, 2024. The NEOS Editorial Team may be reached at acyig.editor@gmail.com. Visit our website for further information on NEOS, as well as submission guidelines and instructions. You may access the submission portal for the Spring 2024 issue here.