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12-13 March 2011
Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin

The history of juvenile delinquency has too often been written from an exclusively national perspective with little in the way of comparative or transnational studies. Particularly lacking are comparisons between the construction and understanding of juvenile delinquency in the cultural fields of East and West. How have attempts to define and problematise child and youth behaviours differed between Eastern and Western cultures? Have children and childhood been imagined differently in East and West? How have cultural constructions of the young affected the ways in which the behaviour of children and young people has been classified and understood in different societies? Is ‘juvenile delinquency’ a peculiarly western idea?

This two-day conference seeks to bring together scholars at all levels working in a variety of fields including history, sociology, literary studies, geography, anthropology and ethnography, to discuss these and related questions. It is hoped that such discussions will lead to a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which concepts of childhood, youth and delinquency have been shaped by particular cultural contexts.

Although we welcome papers based on the specific research areas of speakers, we ask that participants choose topics which are broad enough to function as the basis of comparison with other papers. It is hoped that an edited volume containing selected papers will be published after the conference. Potential topics for papers include but are not limited to:

  • Definitions of juvenile delinquency
  • Cross-cultural constructions of children, childhood and youth
  • Delinquency as a Western/Eastern construct
  • Generational relations
  • Educational systems
  • Governmental and legal responses
  • Young people and revolution
  • Young people and war
  • Gender and delinquency
  • Class and delinquency
  • Race and delinquency
  • Sexuality and delinquency
  • Portrayals of delinquency in art or in the media

Abstract Deadline: 15 October 2010

We welcome proposals for both panels and individual papers. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Please ensure that a title, your name, affiliation and email address are included with your abstract. Please send abstracts and a short bio to:

CFP – Juvenile Delinquency in the 19th and 20th Centuries: East-West Comparisons