Venue: University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, CanadaDate: Thursday, May 5 – Saturday, May 7, 2011

This multidisciplinary conference will engage scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of academic disciplines (including the sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, policy studies, and education) in a consideration of the state of child studies, which has changed significantly in recent decades. Disciplines long dedicated to the study of the child, and childhood, have been recently revitalized and are engaged with the central problematic of what the child and childhood represent, including how these categories relate to others such as infant and youth. Figured in the plural, childhoods pose a significant crossroads for theoretical and empirical work on the nature of being human and development broadly construed. Various disciplines consider childhood as an experience, as a biological fact, as a social category, as an artistic and literary construct, as a category for historical and demographic analysis, as a category of personhood, and as a locus for human rights and policy interventions. Participating scholars will examine childhoods of the past, present, and future from around the world, and will present research results, policy approaches, and theoretical paradigms that are emergent in this re-engagement with the child and childhood. Bringing together divergent networks of expertise, this conference offers the opportunity for new research collaborations and the scholarly dissemination of innovative research.

Conference Format: three days of multidisciplinary panels with scholarly presentations on conference themes; poster sessions; several keynote events; practitioner sessions; and a film night.

Conference Themes and Questions: definitions and boundaries of childhood: invented or discovered?; indigenous theories and experiences of childhood; the importance of gender; the impact of globalization; the impact of changing technologies on children and childhood, and on the study of children and childhood; concepts of adolescence; vulnerability and empowerment; and health, development, disability, and risk. Proposals for papers on additional themes will also be considered.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Patrizia Albanese (Co-director of the Centre for Children, Youth and Families, Ryerson University)
  • Dr. Mona Gleason (Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia)
  • Dr. Allison James (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences, University of Sheffield)
  • Dr. Perry Nodelman (Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of Winnipeg)
  • Dr. Mavis Reimer (Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood and Director of the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures, University of Winnipeg)
  • Dr. Richard Tremblay (Director, Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment, University of Montreal)

Submission Guidelines: For presentations, and for posters, please submit a 300 to 500 word proposal/abstract by October 1, 2010 on the conference website: Proposals for organized panels that are multidisciplinary are also welcome. Please note that presentations should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. We would especially like to encourage graduate students to contribute posters on their current research and will offer a prize for best student poster.

For more information and to submit abstracts, please see the conference website For general inquiries, please contact

CFP – Childhoods Conference: Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood