Call for Chapters - Radical Children's Film and Television

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Noel Brown (Liverpool Hope University)
contact email: 


Edited by Dr Noel Brown (Liverpool Hope University)

Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2023

I am seeking chapter proposals for possible inclusion in a forthcoming volume exploring radical children’s film and television. This edited collection is intended as an inaugural volume in the new ‘Children’s Film and Television’ book series, published by Edinburgh University Press.

On the surface, there might appear to be an incompatibility between children’s media and radical thought. If much of the import of children’s fiction lies in the inculcation of received ideologies about how societies and individuals comport themselves – ideologies that are naturalised and, therefore, largely invisible – then it follows that children's culture often aligns with such values. Certainly, ideas of radicalism in children's film and television are impossible to reconcile with influential claims that children's media merely reproduces conservative ideas of culture and society. But such perspectives fail to account for diverse and surprisingly prevalent traditions of children’s film and television that deliberately challenge political and aesthetic orthodoxies, often under a cloak of innocence.

In recent years, a good deal has been written on the topic of radical children’s literature. However, very little attention has been paid to radical children’s film and television. This volume aims to redress the balance. Rather than advancing binary definitions, the focus is on film and television that can be seen as radical in context of the social, political and aesthetic norms in which it is produced. It will also centre on ideas of radical potential – the ways that film and TV represent radical content or philosophies in whole or in part, and the potential uses of this content by individuals, communities of fandom, political groups, and creative practitioners.

The volume will be interdisciplinary in scope and the call is open to contributions from across a range of theoretical or methodological approaches. I am receptive to proposals that seek to examine shorts and features; individual episodes and entire series; punctuating moments of radicalism in otherwise apparently ‘conventional’ productions; live-action and animation of all types; and documentary (including educational films) as well as fiction. The scope is international and proposals may cover any historical period.

Possible themes and topics might include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Avant-garde aesthetics in children’s film and TV
  • Challenges to dominant ideologies across the political spectrum
  • Film and television for young audiences that deal with taboo issues usually considered off-limits for children
  • Film and television that engage children as active citizens empowered to change the world
  • Audiences (including fans) radicalising children’s film/TV, e.g. through queering, parodying, or adopting it for social, cultural or political subversion
  • Children/young people as producers of radical screen media

More information on the ‘Children’s Film and Television’ series can be found here: 

Please send proposals (including abstracts of 400-500 words, and a biography of 50–80 words), to Noel Brown at by Sunday 30 April 2023.