Call for Papers: Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture


Call for Papers: Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture

Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture is a one-day symposium convened by Dr Eleanor Byrne and Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley at Manchester Metropolitan University and funded by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Wednesday 19th February 2020

Call for Papers: Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture

Call for Papers: Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture

Call for Papers: Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University

Wednesday 19th February 2020

The Brexit vote in the UK exposed many national divides, one distinctive one was generational, with youth overwhelmingly voting to remain.  Despite the rise of populism, a febrile political discourse around Brexit and immigration in the UK, and a pervasive denigration of the UK’s relationship with European countries across the media, the voices of children and young people have emerged as dynamic and thoughtful interventions in current debates. Prominent youth leaders have emerged who have managed to mobilise transnational Europe-wide protests, networks and new movements. These protests and movements have garnered extreme and dichotomous media responses, which expose both a paradoxical concept of childhood and an uneasiness with a transnational youth culture and collaboration. Likewise, the climate crisis has both mobilized and challenged posterity ethics that position children and young people as objects of care. Extreme media responses towards the global impact of Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her school strikes, as well as other young people involved in protests across the globe such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa and Extinction Rebellion, suggest a sense of unease around children and young people who refuse to remain innocent about the darkness that threatens them. At same time, these are also hopeful youth voices in that they express transnational, cosmopolitan and global identities.

This one-day symposium will generate inter- and multi-disciplinary dialogue on these issues. We will explore how literature, culture and media for children and young people represents and mediates the global concerns of the present and how it might promote intercultural dialogue, amplify young people’s voices across Europe or otherwise create a space for transnational debates. We also invite papers and presentations that examine the representation and framing of Europe’s youth as they fight to gain political recognition. Furthermore, since British children’s culture has rarely reflected upon its transnational histories, we invite papers that interrogate this relationship. As well as academic presentations, we invite creative practitioners and writers to reflect on their work in these areas.

Papers and presentations may address the following themes or topics (although this list is not exhaustive):

·        Representations of Europe in YA and Children’s Literature and Culture

·        Retellings/ Revisiting war in Europe

·        European mythology and folktales in children’s and YA literature and culture

·        Young people and devolution: Scotland, Wales, N: Ireland

·        Migrant and/or Refugee experiences into or via Europe

·        Negotiating borders

·        Youth activism / Collective Action by young people

·        Europe in children and YA film and media

·        European Youth in the media

·        Memoirs, Autobiographies

·        European Youth and Extinction Rebellion

·        Young People and Europe on social media

·        Student Activism

·        Children in Calais

·        Discourses of citizenship and/or “Fundamental British Values” for children and young people

·        Young People, Children and the Climate Crisis in fiction

Send 300 word abstracts to

Confirmed Keynote: Professor Nando Sigona

Professor Nando Sigona is Chair of International Migration and Forced Displacement at the University of Birmingham, UK where he teaches sociology of migration, displacement and citizenship. He is currently Deputy Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity. Nando is also Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. His research interests include: statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; asylum in Europe and the Mediterranean region; and intra-EU mobility.

His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Antipode, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities, Citizenship Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is author or editor of books and journal’s special issues including Undocumented migration (Polity, 2019), Unravelling the EU's 'migration crisis (Policy Press, 2018), Romani politics in contemporary Europe: poverty, ethnic mobilisation and the neoliberal order (with Nidhi Trehan, Palgrave, 2009), Refugee Community Organisations and Dispersal: Networks, Resources and Social Capital (with David Griffiths and Roger Zetter, Policy Press, 2005), The Roma in the new EU: Polices, Frames and Everyday Experiences (with Peter Vermeersch, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2012), and Rifugio Europa? (Studi Emigrazione, 2006). He edited (with Fiddian Qasmiyeh, Loescher and Long) The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-author (with Bloch and Zetter) Sans Papiers. The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (Pluto Press, 2014). Nando is also Associate Editor of Migration Studies, published by Oxford University Press, and Editor in Chief of Bristol University Press book series 'Global migration and social change'.

Professor Nando Sigona's Euro Children project website is here: 

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