NEOS is the flagship publication of the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association. All articles within this bi-annual, refereed publication are open access. The current issue can be downloaded in its entirety in PDF format.
Table of Contents
Rich Pasts, Future Horizons: A New Decade in the Anthropology of Children & Youth
Advisory Board Update
CFP for Next Issue: Health & Well-Being in Uncertain Times: Centering Children & Youth
Looking Back to Move Forward: Bridging Anthropology and Childhood Studies
Holistic Pedagogical Approaches and Youth Empowerment
Collaborations Across Global North-South: Considering Opportunities and Challenges
Ethnography and Migrant Children: Perspectives and Challenges
Broadening our Ethical Horizons: Children and Youth Beyond ‘Vulnerability’
Conducting “Deaf-friendly” Research with Children
“A low-key cowgirl who gets good grades”: Learning to be a Good Christian Girl in an American Evangelical Bible Study Group
Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG)
NEOS Editorial Board
NEOS Author Biographies
Rich Pasts, Future Horizons: A New Decade in the Anthropology of Children & Youth
Happy Spring! We are thrilled you opened the first 2020 issue of NEOS, the flagship publication of the Anthropology of Children & Youth Interest Group (ACYIG), American Anthropological Association (AAA). In this issue, we unveil the new look for NEOS and reflect on anthropological past, present, and future contributions to child and youth studies.
NEOS Survey Results. In fall of 2019, we released an international survey to anthropological and interdisciplinary scholars, practitioners, and students working in child/youth studies. This survey was intended to support the NEOS Editorial Board and ACYIG Board in re-envisioning both the publication and larger interest group offerings in meaningful and sustainable ways. We sincerely appreciate everyone who disseminated and completed the survey. With your support, we received a total of n = 76 surveys! Respondents hailed from 15 countries, represented all sub-fields of anthropology, and held a strong primary employment origin (80%) in academia, followed by practitioner fields (11%), and other combinations or sectors (9%). Rich data emerged from survey findings. Here, we highlight select results that were central in orienting NEOS towards new horizons as a central space for rigorous, peer-reviewed, and timely scholarship in child and youth studies.
A focus on scholarship and impact: When asked about what ACYIG activities interest you the most, respondents indicated a focus on scholarly resources on children and youth, followed by the NEOS publication, and ACYIG blog posts on children/youth research and current events. When asked about what qualities were most important when choosing publications to read and/or submit work to, respondents ranked readership/impact as the number one quality, followed closely by the necessity for a peer-reviewed process, ease in dissemination of publication contents, fast publication timelines, and open access status.
Trends in digital scholarship and forward-thinking content: One of the key decisions to make as an Editorial Board was around moving NEOS to an online publication format to reflect digital dissemination and readership trends. Overwhelmingly, survey participants were in support of this change, with 73% indicating enthusiasm, 24% indicating no preference, and only a small portion (3%) holding some reservation. Coupled with this decision around publication format was an editorial eye toward content and structure. Here, the results of the survey demonstrated a strong preference for thematic issues based on current trends/events and anthropological sub-fields or specialized interests.
Uplifting your words: Qualitative results provided depth to quantitative findings, illustrating the importance of further cultivating the ACYIG community, extending the impact of NEOS scholarship, ensuring rigorous publication processes, and fostering opportunities to highlight scholars in our field. As one participant said, “I’ve been a member since the interest group began. I’ve always been excited about the group and grateful for a home for children/youth studies . . .” and another echoed. “It is essential [to] have a community that shares a sense of the importance of children within cultural contexts.”
A New Look for NEOS. Collectively, the results of the survey allowed our Editorial Board to re-imagine a new NEOS format. We made the following editorial decisions to best serve our readers and authors:
NEOS is now online: Yes, we moved to an online publication format! A one-click issue link alongside digital Tables of Content frame your entry into each NEOS issue. Each published piece within an issue also comes with its unique link, social media interfaces, and downloadable PDF format. Found an article of interest to your research lab? Share it on Facebook or Twitter with just one click! Love the whole issue and can’t wait to assign it as a special reading for your class this semester? Great! Share the whole issue link with your students or upload the PDF to your Learning Management System. In developing this new online version of NEOS, we paid special attention to the concerns voiced by some survey respondents who worried that taking NEOS online could jeopardize the downloadable and open-access nature of NEOS. We believe these changes not only maintain, but strengthen, both of these essential and long-standing characteristics of NEOS. Finally, note that as we work toward our next issue, we are exploring new website templates. Look out for a new aesthetics for NEOS coming soon!
Thematic issues have arrived: To elevate the impact of NEOS scholarship and cultivate expertise within child/youth anthropological communities, we are moving away from the generalized version of NEOS and into thematic issues. Each thematic issue will focus on cutting-edge topics of our time as well as specialty approaches to child/youth studies. We anticipate thematic issues will foster deepened trans- and inter-disciplinary dialogue as well as increase the contribution of anthropologists to the lives of children and youth. The CFP for each upcoming issue will be announced in the current issue of NEOS to support authors in preparing their work for submission.
Centering research and scholarship: The new structure of NEOS centers research and scholarship through two primary means: commentaries and original research articles. Original research articles undergo a rigorous double-blind peer-review process, and editorials are peer-reviewed by the Editorial Board. We have moved member news/announcements, teaching resources, and updates from the field to the ACYIG blog and social media platforms. This new structure will allow for real-time dissemination of member news while consolidating the mission of NEOS as a top-quality, leading publication for anthropological scholarship and research in child/youth studies.
In This Issue. We unveil the re-imagined NEOS publication through our first issue of the decade, entitled “Rich Pasts, Future Horizons: A New Decade in the Anthropology of Children & Youth.” In this issue, we weave a story that honors the past, grounds us in the present, and looks towards the future of anthropological scholarship on children and youth. The opening invited commentary by founding member of ACYIG, Dr. Kristen Cheney, serves as an organizing framework for the issue. In this piece, Dr. Cheney discusses the bridge between anthropology and childhood studies as both central to the foundations of ACYIG and as a critical juncture for the future of anthropology if we are to develop a field that consistently recognizes young people as agents of socio-cultural transformation. In their invited commentary, ACYIG graduate student representatives, Rashmi Kumari and Smruthie Bala Kannan, implore us to continue bridge-building not only between and across disciplines but also geographies, particularly exploring some of the challenges of south/north transnational collaborations. Finally, in his closing commentary, Dr. David Fazzino draws from experiences with empowering youth education programs. He advocates for systematic solutions in praxis and pedagogy to youth marginalization, solutions that afford young people “the opportunity to reveal and root out marginalities and become their own guiding lights.”
Together, these editorials create a picture of “Rich Pasts, Future Horizons” that the original research articles then scaffold around. Drawing from research in varied contexts ranging from the American Rocky Mountains to Bangalore, India, the authors raise a number of provocative methodological, theoretical, and ethical questions for us to consider. Vijitha Rajan reflects on the unique methodological challenges of conducting field research with migrant children, while Christos Panagiotopoulos and Jennifer McGuire pose questions about the ethics of child/youth research designs. Finally, Anastasia Badder and Rebecca Davis look at how Midwestern high schoolers negotiate lessons on “good Christian girlhood,” joining others in calling for more research that explores how children learn, challenge, and negotiate religious subjectivity.
Closing Thoughts. We hope this issue will critically reveal how pasts, presents, and futures are created not by individuals, but through collective action and community care. As we continue this dialogue on the future of the Anthropology of children and youth, we would be remiss not to acknowledge the current global health crisis we all find ourselves navigating. To this end, we look forward to receiving your contributions for the October 2020 issue, “Health & Well-Being in Uncertain Times: Centering Children & Youth,” where we leverage NEOS as a space for these emergent conversations and engagement.
Many thanks for your shared reverence for past contributions and for co-generating with us new directions in child and youth studies. Stay well.
All the best,
Courtney L. Everson, PhD (Colorado State University)
Maria V. Barbero, PhD (Rollins College)
CFP for October 2020 Issue: Health & Well-Being in Uncertain Times: Centering Children & Youth