CFP: Dream-Chasers: Children and Success in Asia

Call for Papers

Dream-Chasers: Children and Success in Asia 

This collection aims to explore how success is conceived for children across Asia. Economic development in the region is re-shaping the way success is understood for children. What does a “successful” child look like? How does childhood agency influence ideas about success? How is success for children represented in literature, cinema, and popular media? In what ways are these images grounded in the historical, political, cultural, theoretical, or philosophical contexts in which they are produced and consumed? While there have been numerous empirically-driven research into conceptualisations of success among young people, how success is defined for children in the texts they consume is an under-researched topic. We seek contributions that examine representations of success for children in Asia.

Possible areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How does literacy / education relate to ideas about success for children?
  • Morality and ethics
  • Religion
  • Gender and/or sexuality
  • Race, ethnicity, and/or cultural difference
  • Class
  • Marginality and/or minority status
  • Parental expectations vs children’s desires
  • Juvenile delinquency

Please submit a 300 word abstract, current contact information along with a two-page CV as Word attachments to Sue Chen and Sin Wen Lau to by 15 August 2020. Authors will be notified by 30 September 2020. The deadline for finished essays is 15 February 2021.

Dr Shih-Wen Sue Chen is Senior Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She received her PhD in Literature, Screen and Theatre Studies from the Australian National University. Her research focuses on British and Chinese children’s literature and culture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. She is the author of Children’s Literature and Transnational Knowledge in Modern China: Education, Religion, and Childhood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) and Representations of China in British Children’s Fiction, 1851-1911 (Routledge, 2013). Email:

Dr Sin Wen Lau is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Chinese Programme at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University. Her research interests include the anthropology of China, religion, gender, children and youth. She is the author of Overseas Chinese Christians in Contemporary China (Brill 2020) and co-edited Religion and Mobility in a Globalising Asia (Routledge, 2014). Her work has also been published in The Asian Studies Review, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, and in edited volumes. Email: