Cologne Summer School: Virtual Children’s Media in a Global Perspective

Cologne Summer School
Virtual Children’s Media in a Global Perspective | Globale virtuelle Kindermedienwelten
3 – 16 September 2018 in Köln
Universität zu Köln | ALEKI | Seminarräume 12 und 13

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Gabriele von Glasenapp, Dr. Felix Giesa, Dr. Andre Kagelmann

Research perspective
As literary channels of communication are increasingly digitalised and virtualised, the study of children’s and young adult literatue should be recalibrated towards a more encompassing concept of children’s and young adult culture and media studies. So far, however, this has been limited to isolated endeavours often limited in scope, lacking a more systematic approach. Further complications arise from the fact that many relevant products on the German market are translated from other languages.

While this “transnational flow” has well been recognised, its processual logics have yet to be charted in detail. Both aspects – a transnational flow and a transmedia expansion of narrative worlds – fundamentally alter the experiential worlds of children and young adults, including new practices of appropriation and consumption such as booktubes, online collections of solutions for computer games, or the integration of narrative computer games and social media. Existing academic work based on comparative transmedia and/or transnational paradigms provides first steps towards a more fundamental shift of perspective, paving the way for children’s and young adult culture and media studies.

These approaches form the bedrock of our summer school. Tracing the transdimensional quality of changing mediascapes, we propose a research design which combines perspectives from traditional philology, studies in children’s and young adult fiction and transmedia narratology as well as transnational and visual culture studies. The summer school thus aims to foster a deeper understanding of globalised virtual media worlds as targeted at children and young adults, and simultaneously, to sharpen the theoretical profile of studies in children’s and young adult literature research in an age of transnational media convergence. In this vein, it will bring together accomplished experts, excellent junior researchers and students.

We intend to synthesise and present our results in a basic handbook, to be published in both digital open access and print-on-demand mode. Compiled by means of a collaborative book sprint, six longer essays based on the keynotes will be complemented by around twenty shorter articles.

Confirmed keynote speakers so far include Benjamin Beil (Games Studies, UzK) and Prof.Dr. Michael Staiger (Visual Children’s and Young Adult Media, UzK). In addition, we are planning a full-day workshop with a transmedia artist.

Call for Applications
We invite applications from graduate and PhD students as well as excellent BA students doing (or planning) transmedia or transnational work on children’s and young adult media. While the general focus is within the humanities, the summer school aspires to a cover as broad a range of topics as possible, including aspects which have previously been neglected. We are thus not including a predefined list of possible topics.

Applicants are expected to provide proof of their academic excellence, and will have to submit a letter of motivation (one page), a CV and a detailed proposal (three pages) outlining their ongoing or planned project as relevant to the summer school. In accordance with the general profile of Cologne Summer Schools, there should be an equal number of national and international students. Participation is limited to twenty places. Conference languages will be English and German.

We might be able to cover travel expenses, contingent on funding. While accommodation will be organised privately by the participants, we will try to arrange couch-surfing options with Cologne students.

Please submit your application (Transcript of Records, Letter of Motivation, Curriculum Vitae and project proposal) by 30 April, 2018: Imke Pitro-Riedel ( Successful applicants will by notified by the end of May.

The conference fee is 150,00€ (100,00 € for students of the University of Cologne).

Call for Chapters – Kids, Inc. to Andi Mack: The Disney Channel’s Tween Programming

Call for Chapter Proposals

“Kids, Inc. to Andi Mack: The Disney Channel’s Tween Programming” is a proposed interdisciplinary, multi-contributer volume examining the nature, history, and legacy of The Disney Channel’s programming for tweens from 1984 to present.

While The Walt Disney Company and its media texts (particularly its films) have been the subject of countless books and journal articles, little if any attention has been paid specifically to the Disney Channel, and particularly to its shows aimed at the tween market. When focus has been turned to the relationship between tweens and Disney, it has been almost exclusively production and distribution-based: how Disney markets to tweens, what tweens want to consume, and so on. This volume aims to build a picture of the “Disney Tween Universe” that is constructed on the Disney channel by examining, deconstructing, and interpreting the shows themselves.

What type of people make up the Disney tween universe – who is considered important within that universe? Does it exhibit racial and gender diversity? What types of stories are being told? How has that universe shifted over time? What, if any, changes have been made in the way Disney presents to tweens? Most importantly, what has this meant and continues to mean for tween audiences over the past 30+ years?

Submissions are welcomed that contribute directly to media studies, women’s and ethnic studies, feminist studies, sociology, psychology, history or related fields. Chapters should be both historical and deconstructive/interpretive in nature.

Please note that only live-action fictional programming is being considered, not animated programming or game shows.

Recommended topics/programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Disney Channel development timeline/history (moving from premium to basic cable)
  • Early Disney Channel tween programming (Kids Incorporated, Good Morning Miss Bliss, etc.)
  • The “Timberlake Era” (All-New Mickey Mouse Club, Flash Forward, etc.)
  • Late 90s Era (The Famous Jett Jackson, So Weird, etc.)
  • The “Raven Era” (Even Stevens, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, etc.)
  • The “Miley Era” (Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc.)
  • Early 2000s Era (Good Luck Charlie, Jessie, Austin & Ally, etc.)
  • The “Revival” (Liv and Maddie, Girl Meets World, Bunk’d, etc.)
  • The “Zendeya Era” (K.C. Undercover, Stuck in the Middle, Bizaardvark, Andi Mack, etc.)

Topics could cover programs individually, or deal with an Era as a whole construct.

You are invited to submit a Word document with a brief bio of the author(s) (no more than 250 words, including titles and affiliations), the title of the proposed chapter, and an abstract (500-800 words). Proposals should be submitted via email attachment to Dr. Christopher Bell ( by May 1, 2018. Invited authors will need to submit full text by October 1, 2018. Final chapter length will be 5000-6000 words, and submitted chapters should not have been previously published, as the book will be peer reviewed.

CFP – Sociocultural Dimensions of Childhood

International Conference
Sociocultural Dimensions of Childhood
October 26-28, 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum

The researches in the field of childhood recently attracted the attention of a wide range of specialists in the sphere of history, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, literature, legal studies, etc., resulting in the creation of an innovative interdisciplinary research cooperation. With the advancement of scholarly achievements, topics like age and life cycle, gender and family, social development and culture, human rights and children at risk, policies and social practices, become a central focus of interest. Crossing the methodological limits, scientists explore the historical, political, social and cultural development of children in the structures and contexts characteristic of different historical periods and geographical areas.

Guided by the belief that the study on childhood is one of the most important problems of the present day, the organizers aim to initiate a scientific dialogue within the framework of an international conference on the subject and to outline new perspectives for the analysis of historical and contemporary pictures of childhood at local, national, global, and intercultural level. The expectation is that such forum will accommodate research cases which will allow scholars to highlight this field and create conditions for its conceptualization in the new political, social and scientific contexts of our time. While discussions remain open to other topics, the conference intends to give rise to debates in several main thematic fields:

  • Childhood and Adolescence in European History, Politics and Culture;
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Childhood. Theoretical and Methodological Aspects;
  • In the World of Children;
  • Children Within and Outside the Family: Parents, Relatives, Coevals, Friends;
  • Children and Migration. Socialization and Acculturation of Immigrant, Emigrant and Refugee Children;
  • Experiences and Memory of Childhood. War, Violence, Trauma;
  • Childhood and Folklore;
  • Children’s and Teenage Subculture: Past and Present;
  • Representation of Children and Childhood in European Cinema, Art, Music, Photography, and Literature;
  • Good Practices and Educational Policies in Raising and Upbringing of Children;
  • Disadvantaged Children and Children at Risk;
  • Children and the Museum.

In a special panel dedicated to the role and functions of the museum for the education and upbringing of children, for the first time an ‘on-line’ dialogue with representatives of the museums in the country will be carried out; by means of interactive presentations the local and regional museums will present their ideas and accomplishments in the field of museum work.

The broad international and interdisciplinary academic dialogue within the conference will provide an opportunity for presentation of theses, exchange of thoughts and discussion on current issues of the European societies. This dialogue among established and highly qualified and motivated young and senior researchers will contribute to enhance knowledge transfer and scientific ideas. The hosting of the conference by the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum in Sofia – one of the leading Bulgarian research institutions, will support international cooperation in the field of humanities and social sciences. We hope to inspire and produce an interdisciplinary scientific discussion and a broad public debate on issues related to the rearing, upbringing and growing-up of the contemporary younger generation.

We encourage submissions by both established scholars and young scientists/advanced postgraduate students.

Please submit a proposal in English that contains your full name, e-mail address, institutional and disciplinary affiliation, the title of your paper and an abstract of not more than 300 words. The language of the conference is English.

Please send your proposals to the Secretary of the Organizing Committee Assist. Prof. Violeta Periklieva, PhD (

The deadline for the submission of proposals is March 31, 2018.

Participants will be informed about the acceptance/rejection of their proposals by April 15, 2018.

Further information on the programme, the terms of the conference, the paper requirements as well as the accommodation in Sofia will be sent by the end of June 2018.

The organizers intend to publish a collection of selected papers after the conference.

Note: There is no participation fee. Due to financial restrictions, we are strongly encouraging the future participants to search for potential financial support from their sending institutions as well as to take advantage of the programmes for inter-academic exchange. Participants are expected to cover their travel and accommodation expenses.

CFP – Special Issue of Social Sciences: Childhood and Society

Special Issue of Social Sciences: “Childhood and Society”
Guest Editor: Prof. Michael Wyness
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

The “social” turn in childhood studies in the late 20th century has challenged a powerful orthodoxy within the social science, moving our understanding of childhood away from narrowed schooled and developmental models towards more diverse and globalised conceptions. Moreover, the rights agenda, the international focus on the exploitation of children and the recurring concerns of global child poverty have generated a more globalised frame within which we can make sense of children’s lives. This is a multi-faceted often contradictory field of study. Issues of protection elide with a global agenda of entitlements. At the same time, political concerns for children’s wellbeing have to compete with conceptions of childhood and practices with children that highlight their social agency. The structure/agency antinomy is a recurring theme within the social studies of childhood.

A second and associated theme within the field is the shift from a modernist 20th century version of childhood towards a post-modern 21st conception of childhood. Research identifies important continuities between the two conceptions. There is also a developing body of work that explores more nuanced differences between the two: the subtle move from a dependent and “becoming” status towards an emphasis on social agency and legal and institutional independence. Arguably, now there is greater recognition children’s important and sometimes vital social and economic contributions.

A third cluster of ideas on the social nature of childhood is the heightened significance of generational relations. Generation has a greater theoretical importance now in studies of children and childhood. While it does not compete with grand narratives on social class and gender, analyses of social differentiation and inequality have been refined by work that explores the contemporary nature of relations between adults and children. At the same time, the contemporary importance of generational relations is also a reflection of greater adult fears and anxieties over children’s welfare. Social studies of childhood have responded to these claims through analyses of the ways that children in concert with adults refine as well as challenge generational relations.

In this Special Issue, we invite empirical and theoretical papers that engage with these contemporary research themes. Childhood is fundamentally a multi-disciplinary field of study. We welcome submissions from sociology, anthropology, politics, policy studies, criminology and technology. More specifically, these broad themes may be articulated through the following focal points and questions:

  • Continuity and change between 20th and 21st century conceptions of childhood
  • Contemporary conceptions of childhood innocence
  • Is there a global childhood?
  • Family structures and inter-generational relations: theoretical and empirical work on children’s changing social relations
  • Marginalised children: when does deviance become agency?
  • Generational relations and inequalities
  • Childhood and digital peer relations
  • Are children’s voices currently being heard?

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging into this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.