[URBANTH-L] CFP: Childhood & Migration: Interdisciplinary Conference (Philadelphia)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Thu Dec 6 10:23:19 EST 2007

From: Rachel Reynolds <rrr at drexel.edu>

Please note that our deadline for abstracts is December 15th, 2008.  


Childhood & Migration: Interdisciplinary Conference 2008
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Friday, June 20th, and Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Call for Participation 

Announcing our Keynote Speaker: Prof. Jacqueline Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, the Executive Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies.

Emerging Perspectives on Children in Migratory Circumstances

The Working Group on Childhood and Migration (see http://globalchild.rutgers.edu/) will hold its first conference in June of 2008 in Philadelphia, with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, Drexel University, and Rutgers University, Camden. At this inaugural conference, we welcome researchers and policy advocates from all disciplines and all areas of the world whose work focuses on the ways that increased migration affects children and the cultural, legal, educational, medical, and psychological perception of childhood. Please submit a 200 to 300 word abstract for an individual paper proposal in the body of an email to rrr at drexel.edu by December 15th.  Notification of acceptance will be by January 10th.  Conference website is available at: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~dtd28/GlobalChild/index1.htm

The way that world migration affects children's lives is complex and multi-faceted. Studies of children in migratory circumstances cross multiple areas of the world and multiple areas of concern for researchers, policy makers and direct service workers. Moreover, larger public concerns alter children's lives, concerns like immigration visa policies, media representations of child labor, and changing educational systems. Migratory families also undergo unique private concerns over problems like the quality of substitute care and communication with loved ones across long distances. Holistic or at least less partial glimpses of these children's lives therefore must cross-cut the disciplines of law, political science, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, education, economics, communication, humanities and the arts. And yet, within academe researchers tend to communicate only with those in the same discipline or in the same geographical region. Thus, the June 2008 conference will provide a venue to share data, methodologies, and theories regardless of discipline, with a focus directly on how children fare under conditions of migration. Additionally, we want to create cross-disciplinary synergy by bringing together junior and senior research-active faculty internationally committed to developing new research avenues on childhood and migration. 

To frame our approach to child-centered understanding of childhood and migration, we consider childhood to be centrally important to grasping the effect that increased (and increasingly visible) world migration has on social and household reproduction. As a result, the following questions are important in guiding researchers abstracts for the conference:

--Are children's development and maturation processes significantly affected by migration experiences, and if so, how deleterious or beneficial are they? Is a migration-associated childhood now something normative, and what does that kind of childhood look like? 

--How are children's rights and the notion of children as citizens affected by transnationalism, or by movement of parents and children in and out of various national legal systems? 

--What are the emotional consequences of family separation across migratory families, especially for children? 

--What are children's perspectives on migration, how are they to be elicited, how well can they be elicited and represented, and what can these perspectives tell us about socialization and processes of maturation in transnational families? 

--How is migration shaping any given culture group's notions of childhood, and how are cultural notions of childhood shaping migration? 

--What are general and specific manifestations of notions of childhood under global economic change? For example, how do remittances affect expectations for children's scholastic achievement? How do remittances which elevate families into higher classes affect children's social development? How are attitudes toward child labor changing with increased international migration? 

--How do media and policy makers represent children in migration and how do discourses about immigrant children and migrant parents affect their lives and experiences? 

--What can we do to generate better quantitative and qualitative data on the effects that migration has on children? What are the numbers of migrant children and how are they best defined as children in their own rights? 

The conference will run two days, June 20, and 21, at Drexel University in downtown Philadelphia. Philadelphia is accessible from Philadelphia International (PHL), Newark International (EWR) and Baltimore-Washington, D.C. (BWI) airports. Philadelphia is two hours from New York City and Washington D.C. by train. Limited funding for travel and/or accommodations in Philadelphia is available for graduate students and international scholars (please indicate your interest with your abstract submission). We anticipate publishing selected papers in a conference volume.

Conference includes buffet breakfasts, and a lunch and a dinner on one day. Conference pre-registration fees will be U.S. $30.00 for tenured and tenure-track professors and U.S. $20.00 for all others. For pre-registration rate, please register by February 1, 2007. Registration on site will be $40.00.

Contact Rachel Reynolds rrr at drexel.edu phone 215-895-0498, or Cati Coe ccoe at camden.rutgers.edu phone 856-225-6455, for more information.
Conference website is available at: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~dtd28/GlobalChild/index1.htm

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