Children in American Television: A Changing Landscape

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Adrian Schober/Monash University, Debbie Olson/Missouri Valley College
contact email: 

Call for submissions to a collection that interrogates the child image in popular post-WWII American television programming.  This collection seeks to trace the American cultural landscape and its impact on the ways popular television (re) imagined childhood and children during each decade.  We invite submissions that examine either children’s programming or programs that prominently feature children. These submissions will explore how US television has been a significant conduit for the public consumption of changing ideas about children and childhood, and will connect relevant events, attitudes, or anxieties in American culture to an analysis of children or childhood in American television programs.  We have already assembled an impressive range of abstracts for essays.  But to ensure proper coverage for the different decades, we seek essays on programs from the 1950s to the 1970s.  Examples include Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Family Affair, The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch and Happy Days. We welcome submissions from a range of disciplines and theoretical perspectives, including television studies, cultural studies, childhood studies, feminism, sociology and social history.

Please submit a 500 word abstract, current contact information along with brief biography (or CV) as Word attachments to both Debbie Olson at and Adrian Schober at by 15 September 2016. The deadline for finished essays (which should not exceed 10,000 words, inclusive of references, using Chicago notes and bibliography style) is 31 January 2017.

Adrian Schober, who has PhD in English from Monash University, Australia, is the author of Possessed Child Narratives in Literature and Film: Contrary States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and co-editor (with Debbie Olson) of Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg (Lexington Books, 2016). He has published widely on the child figure and other topics in journals such as Literature/Film Quarterly, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Lion and the Unicorn and Senses of Cinema.  He is also a senior editor on the board of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children in Popular Culture and an advisory board member for Lexington’s Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series.

Debbie Olson has a PhD in English: Screen Studies from Oklahoma State University and is Assistant Professor of English at Missouri Valley College. She has edited or co-edited a number of collections on children and popular culture, including Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema (2012), Portrayals of Children in Contemporary Culture (2013),Children in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (2014) and Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg (2016).  She is the founder/editor-in-chief of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children in Popular Culture and Series Editor for Lexington’s Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series.