Child and Youth Agency in Science Fiction & Fantasy

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Ingrid E. Castro, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, USA & Jessica Clark, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, UK

We are seeking chapter submissions for an edited volume that interrogates representations of children and youth’s agency in science fiction and fantasy.  Our collection will explore child and youth agency in the context of “beyond the known.”  Often, children’s agency is viewed as imaginary, given the heightened structures foisted upon them by adults/parents, peers/friends, and institutions/organizations in the real world.  Insomuch as science fiction and fantasy represent liminal spaces with unbounded potential, our book may unearth that child and youth agency is accepted as more real in the unreal, more possible in the impossible.  

While the topic of children’s agency has received some attention in sociology, psychology, and childhood studies, this book aims to contribute to such discussions by considering the rarely interrogated domain of representations of children’s agency in science fiction and fantasy. We are particularly interested in chapters that use film and television as points of analysis, but other popular cultural forms are also very welcome.  Due to the high preliminary interest shown by authors already accepted for this volume, we are not accepting any chapter proposals for analysis of literature/children’s and YA books, nor any proposed work involving dystopian youth.

Representations of children’s agency in science fiction and fantasy can be analyzed from a variety of grounding points.  For example, chapters might consider the intersection of agency and:

Friendships/Dating

Family/Intergenerational Relations

Pets/Animals/Nature

Age/Time

Material Culture: Permanent/Impermanent

Gender/Race/Ethnicity/Class

Bodies/Sexuality/Disability

Religion/Spirituality

Education/Work

Innocence/Knowledge

Space/Place/Location

Genre/Era

(This list is by no means exhaustive and we are happy to consider any work which places representation of children’s agency at its center).

We hope to include chapters by authors from a variety of disciplines and viewpoints, reflecting the contemporary study of and with children and childhood.  Please submit a 500-word chapter abstract and a biography of no more than 250 words by February 15th to:

representationsofagency@gmail.com  

All proposed abstracts will be given full consideration, and submission implies a commitment to publish in this volume if your work is selected for inclusion.  If selected, completed chapters will be due by April 30th.  All questions regarding this volume should be directed to:

representationsofagency@gmail.com

We look forward to receiving an exciting array of abstracts and to working with selected authors on this important project, aiming to offer imaginative ways of conceptualizing how agency for children and youth is uniquely represented across fantasy and science fiction.