Troubling Childhood -- SCMS 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Scahill / George Mason University
contact email: 
ascahill@gmu.edu

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This panel will explore those figurations of child that do not fit within the normative geography of child representation--what Jacqueline Rose refers to as the "impossibility" of childhood.

The transgressive child challenges deeply-held convictions about the naturalness of childhood, particularly as childlike bodies are defined as "vulnerable," "dependent," "innocent," and simultaneously asexual/heterosexual. Indeed, childhood is frequently haunted by the spectre of of its own failure, and this panel examines those troubling children who, by their transgression, trouble the boundaries of childhood.

Though definitions of "childhood" are diffuse, potential panelists should understand the focus to be pre-adolescent, and not synonymous with teenage or high school-age subjects. Proposals are welcome from all areas of media culture, all historical periods, all cultural contexts, and all methodological approaches. Special consideration will be given to those proposals that engage with Childhood Studies and cultural studies interrogations of childhood.

Possible topics:

• Child sexuality on screen
• The savage child
• Girl culture/Boy culture
• The child as trickster
• The opaque or unknowable child
• The queer child
• The too-perfect child
• Pedophilia and/or incest
• The violent/criminal child
• The child as alien/ghost/possessed
• Perverse fantasy and play
• Delinquency and danger
• The corrupted child
• Childhood as a site of trauma
• The child as gateway to the "beyond"

The 2011 SCMS Conference will be held in New Orleans, March 10-13th at the historic Ritz Carlton Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter.

Please submit 300 word abstract, 5 item bibliography, and author's bio to ascahill@gmu.edu. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, August 11th. All submissions will receive a response by August 18th.

cfp categories: 
childrens_literature
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
popular_culture