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Department of Childhood Studies
Rutgers University, Camden

The graduate students of the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, Camden invite submissions for papers and poster presentations for their first formal graduate student conference on April 9, 2010. Graduate students from all disciplines who are engaged in research relating to children and childhood are encouraged to submit proposals.

The field of childhood studies engages in both theoretical and empirical study of children and childhood within historical, contemporary, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural, state, national, and global contexts. Each combination of perspectives provides new insights into the lives of children and the families, cultures, and societies in which they are embedded. The interdisciplinary nature of the field is one of its greatest strengths and the core of its remarkable potential for scholarly advancement, but also leaves the field open for exploration and interrogation, and its borders difficult, if not impossible, to define.

The Exploring Childhood Studies conference proposes defining Childhood Studies by “doing” childhood studies; the conference will explore the field by offering explorations within it. We seek papers from all disciplines that keep childhood as a construct, children as a category, or the child as a real living human as their central focus, providing critical thought and insight while locating them in different contexts, fields, and ideologies.

In keeping with what we believe is the essential interdisciplinary nature of Childhood Studies, this conference seeks to be interdisciplinary itself. We seek proposals from all disciplines-education, literature, economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, political science, history, criminology, philosophy, medicine, religion, film studies, and cultural studies-as well as interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary scholarly work.

The range of open topics within this field is as broad as the contexts of the experiences of children and childhood: war, health, rights, gender, poverty, wealth, policy, ethics, popular culture, globalization, school, family, home, sexuality, community, and representations in all modes of fiction. The field of Childhood Studies itself is open to interrogation.

Selected papers will be grouped into panels that may be based around discipline, theme, or perspective, but will demonstrate the common grounding of the papers in their mutual exploration of children and childhood studies.

Paper presentations should be limited to 20 minutes in length. Please send 250-word abstract for paper or poster presentation (specify which) and cover letter with name, current level of graduate study, affiliated university, and email address to Include the words “conference abstract” in subject line, and include name on the cover letter only.

For further information about the Exploring Childhood Studies Conference, contact: Patrick Cox at or Anandini Dar at

Deadline for submission is October 31, 2009. Accepted presenters will receive email notification by January 10, 2010.

CFP – Exploring Childhood Studies Conference