American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 10-14, 2018

Everyday Urban Subjectivities of Children and Youth in an Era of Trump

The rise of right-wing populism in North America and Europe is reshaping the experience of children in a range of spaces, including children’s health services, juvenile justice systems, schools and public spaces. The global south is also experiencing changes, with consequences for child migrants, and refugees, among others, and reflective of a process of reciprocal interconnectivity between these two worlds. In many cases, despite formal commitment to children and youths’ human rights, governments fail to ensure access to basic services and to equality of opportunity.

Children and youth are both subject to discipline and also demonstrate competence and a degree of agency to reshape their experiences in public space (Kallio and Häkli, 2013). Wells (2017: 495) suggests that “children’s agency is becoming more and more constrained by the political and economic structures within which they live”. These events make us rethink how to place children and youth in local and global processes (Aitken, 2013) and within current geographical debates around everyday spaces and spatial discourses (Holloway and Valentine, 2000).

To this end, we seek papers that call into question how children and youth adapt to constraints (e.g. poverty, social exclusion, criminalization) and obstacles in urban public spaces. We are specifically interested in the creation, resistance and, socio-spatial dialectics of children and youth in their everyday struggles, and the ways in which these struggles may be connected in multiple places throughout the global north and south. We welcome papers regarding children and youth subjectivities and experiences with the aim of examining the interconnectedness of young people’s lives (Holloway and Valentine, 2000). We aim to investigate the multiple ways in which young people’s lives are structured by global and local processes, and young people’s roles as actors in such processes.

Papers may include but are not limited to:

  • Creation of safe spaces and discourses of solidarity
  • Criminalization of children/youth in public spaces
  • The role of law and rights in shaping ways in which children are governed in and through space
  • Living in precariousness and the strategies and tactics young people use in response to challenges
  • Construction of identities and perception of the otherness
  • Gendered subjectivities of children/youth in public spaces
  • Spatial discourses of everyday children subjectivities
  • Civic and social participation of children/youth in public spaces
  • Children’s geographies and current challenges in research
  • Critical methodologies with children and youth

Please submit abstracts (no more than 250 words) or inquiries of interest to Melisa Argañaraz ( and Dena Aufseeser ( by Friday, 20 October 2017. Accepted submissions will be contacted by Monday, 23 October 2017. Potential papers should also submit their abstracts directly to AAG by Wednesday 25 October 2017.

CFP – Everyday Urban Subjectivities of Children and Youth in an Era of Trump