ARCYP / Children’s Studies Program Symposium 2011
York University – Friday October 21, 2011, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

On Friday October 21, 2011, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m., the Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP) and the Children’s Studies Program at York University will co-present a symposium on new research in Children’s Material Cultures. The symposium is free and open to all faculty and students in the Children’s Studies Program as well as to other interested people from York and beyond. Presenters will include ARCYP Executive members and York Children’s Studies Program faculty and students.

The symposium will consist of two panels/roundtables and open discussion on new and emerging research on children’s material cultures, and will include time for refreshments and socializing and meeting with the presenters.


ARCYP Executive Members, ARCYP Members, and interested York Children’s Studies Faculty or students are invited to send a TITLE and ONE BRIEF PARAGRAPH describing their proposed 15-20-minute presentation to the symposium coordinator in an e-mail message to no later than Friday September 23 so that the event can be publicized appropriately.


For the purposes of this symposium, children’s material culture is understood to refer to those things that are central to the way meaningfulness and relationality are constituted, negotiated, and made anew within the diverse and globalized contexts of young people’s contemporary lives. This includes the practices through which children’s things – including toys, games, literatures and technologies – are used and consumed, and the way such things (and their associated practices) are situated in relation to particular contexts and to questions of political economy, gender, race and sexuality. While children and youth in the global North and South continue to be the site of an immense set of challenges, pressures, and risks – that have to do with the environment, war, health, politics, the economy, and the role of new technologies – that shape young people’s mobility, opportunity, and sense of the future, this symposium seeks new research that examines how and in what ways children’s things are implicated in and, in some instances, an antidote to the above risks. This includes work that addresses the amplified role of consumerism as a constituent feature of the children’s material cultures and work that examines how this culture operates in the spaces and places children call home.

Topics for the symposium may include but are not limited to the following:

  • research from various methodological traditions — including phenomenology, cultural studies, and ethnography — that addresses children’s use of games, toys, and technologies as a feature of play, work, or education
  • research that examines the changing nature of consumerism and consumer practices in children’s material culture
  • research that examines the role of things (toys, games, and technologies) in relation to children’s socialization

More generally, we are interested in:

  • materialist-feminist criticism and analyses of children’s literature and culture
  • materialist analyses of post-colonial children’s literature and culture
  • the political economy of children’s literature and culture

Stuart Poyntz, Symposium Coordinator

CFP – ARCYP / Children’s Studies Program Symposium 2011