Guest editor: Dr. Emily Ashton, University of Regina

Amidst the turmoil of these times, speculative fiction apportions “windows into alternative realities, even if it is just a glimpse, to challenge ever-present narratives of inevitability” (Benjamin, 2016, p.19). Speculative stories offer “necessary experiments” in developing “a decolonizing, anti-racist, and situated ethics in environmental and place-attuned early childhood studies” (Nxumalo & Cedillo 2019, p. 108). The speculative thus engenders imaginaries of not this, as in refusal of present systems and subjectivities; not yet, as in what might be to come; and what if, as in generative, situated pedagogical possibilities. On the other hand, much speculative fiction uncritically celebrates techno-fixes and solitary feats of heroism. This special issue is interested in thinking with the speculative in ways that interrupt tropes of human exceptionalism and instead re-position the child as inextricably entangled with a host of human and more-than-human existents. We want to see what emerges when the speculative is engaged ‘as a mode of inquiry’ to think-with challenges of contemporary childhoods (Kupferman &Gibbons, 2019). Contributors are invited to explore:

  • What possibilities emerge from speculative fabulations wherein child-figures “human – but not only” (de la Cadena, 2014, p. 256). How do child-figures of non-normative embodiment challenge early childhood discourses of developmentalism?
  • How do speculative child-figures variously sustain, call into question, and subvert arrangements of life and nonlife – particularly in ways that child-figures become-with earth others like the cyborg, virus, toxins, and geologic matter? How do child-figures engage in “geontological world-making” (Nxumalo, 2017, p. 563; see also Povinello, 2016)?
  • How can we embolden speculative imaginaries of child-climate futurities that respond to urgent problems of the present without being beholden to a “settler futurity” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p. 35)?
  • When is comes to work with children, how might the speculative inform our pedagogical imaginaries? What sort of experimentation might the speculative provoke? What pedagogical provocations are generated in texts of speculative fiction that story the interdependence and interconnectedness of the world?

Please see for the full CFP. More information and submission guidelines can be found at

The deadline for submissions is December 14, 2020.

Journal of Childhood Studies CFP: Speculative Worldings of Children, Childhoods, and Pedagogies