School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Centre for Childhood Cultures

Formed in 2016 and based at Queen Mary University of London, the Centre for Childhood Cultures fosters ground-breaking research on children’s everyday lives and experiences, with a special focus on creativity, forms of literacy, and the links between different aspects of childhood culture.

Director

Professor Kiera Vaclavik, Professor of Children’s Literature and Childhood Culture, Queen Mary University of London.

Steering Group

Dr Rachel Bryant Davies, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London.

Abigail Fine (Postgraduate Representative), PhD student in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Lucie Glasheen (Early Career Representative).

Dr Kathleen McCarthy, Lecturer in Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Alastair Owens, Professor of Historical Geography and Head of School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Margaret Reynolds, Professor of English, Queen Mary University of London.

St Margaret’s House Representative.

Dr Hedi Viterbo, Lecturer in Law, Queen Mary University of London.

Affiliated Researchers

TBC.

Contact us:

For information about the Centre for Childhood Cultures please contact Professor Kiera Vaclavik k.e.vaclavik@qmul.ac.uk

To be added to the Children’s Literature Children’s Lives mailing list please contact childlitchildlives@gmail.com

 

Activities

Rethinking Childhood Studies Today

The Centre for Childhood Cultures, along with the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, is supporting the 2020 Early-Career workshop series Rethinking Childhood Studies Today. This series will be dedicated to the subject of ‘Childhood Studies’, broadly conceived. Through this thematic lens, this series will bring into focus issues relating to children and childhood, ranging across geography, anthropology, sociology, education, politics, law, children’s literature and modern languages. These issues will be contextualised within, and examined in light of, wider societal, methodological, and theoretical challenges.

There will be three seminars, ‘The Child’s Voice and the Child as Consumer in History’ (guest speaker Professor Siân Pooley, University of Oxford), ‘How to think about Children: Kinship-Model Approaches to Agency’ (guest speaker Professor Marah Gubar, MIT) and ‘Putting “Children First”? Tentative Explorations of Alternative Imaginaries’ (panel with Dr Rachel Rosen, UCL and Dr Hedi Viterbo, QMUL) with a final invite only workshop. Full details listed under Events.

Children’s Literature Children’s Lives

The Centre for Childhood Cultures hosts the research seminar series Children’s Literature Children’s Lives. Seminars are given by academics and practitioners and recent events have included Children Behind Bars (railings and reformatories), Children’s Literature and Environmental Citizenship and architecture in children’s picture books. For more information and our upcoming events please visit the Children’s Literature Children’s Lives website or join our mailing list: childlitchildlives@gmail.com

Centre for Childhood Cultures Postgraduate Discussion Group

The Centre for Childhood Cultures holds a Postgraduate and Early-Career Discussion Group which meets monthly to discuss examples of childhood culture and organises research trips. To find out more about the group’s activities please read our blog.

Events

Rethinking Childhood Studies Today

Please note: due to the Covid-19 outbreak all events are indefinitely postponed. You can still book via the Eventbrite links below (the dates show as 'postponed') to keep updated/ register interest.

Co-sponsored by the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Science and the Queen Mary Centre for Childhood Cultures the research seminar series Rethinking Childhood Studies Today, is dedicated to the subject of ‘Childhood Studies’, broadly conceived. Through this thematic lens, this series will bring into focus issues relating to children and childhood, ranging across geography, anthropology, sociology, education, politics, law, children’s literature and modern languages. These issues will be contextualised within, and examined in light of, wider societal, methodological, and theoretical challenges.

All events are free but please book via Eventbrite.

 

Work in Progress Seminar: The Child’s Voice and the Child as Consumer in History

Speaker: Prof Siân Pooley (History, Oxford)

Respondent: Prof Alastair Owens (Geography, Queen Mary)

Book via Eventbrite: rethinking-childhood-pooley.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Research conversation: How to think about Children: Kinship-Model Approaches to Agency

Speaker: Prof Marah Gubar (Literature, MIT) in conversation with Prof Kiera Vaclavik and Dr Rachel Bryant Davies (Comparative Literature, Queen Mary)

Book via Eventbrite: rethinking-childhood-gubar.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Panel discussion: Putting 'Children First'? Tentative Explorations of Alternative Imaginaries

Panel discussants: Prof Rachel Rosen (Education, University College London), Dr Hedi Viterbo (Law, Queen Mary), Dr Rachel Humphris (Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary)

Book via Eventbrite: https://rethinking-childhood-panel.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Sessions held in 2020

 Brave New Worlds: YA Creative Writing Workshop and launch of YA novel Folked Up

Charlotte Byrne (in conversation with Abigail Fine).

Tuesday 3rd March, 5:30 – 8pm. St Margaret’s House.

The Centre for Childhood Cultures launched Charlotte Byrne’s debut novel Folked Up.

Charlotte led a 60-minute creative writing workshop followed by a reading from the novel and Q&A. Full details on the Children’s Literature Children’s Lives website.

 

 

Attendees at Creative Writing Workshop and Folked Up book launch, 2020. ©Yellow Ladybird Photography.

All images ©Yellow Ladybird Photography.

Sessions held in 2019

Annual Lecture

“Dare Boldly”: Children's Literature and Environmental Citizenship’

Prof Karen Kilcup, Elizabeth Rosenthal Excellence Professor of English, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, and Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

13 June 2019.