Cultural Representation of Transnational Childhoods: European-Australian-American Perspectives
Symposium, Saturday, 13 May 2017, 9am – 6pm
Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław
Room 212, ul. Kuznicza 22
Dr Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, University of Wrocław
Dr Dorota Kołodziejczyk, University of Wrocław
Dr Katarzyna Kwapisz Williams, The Australian National University
It is assumed in Western culture that children have a natural need for a stable and safe domestic and familial environment (Holloway & Valentine 2000). Yet research reveals that the number of children whose everyday lives have been marked by mobility and the risks it entails is increasing substantially (Ní Laoire et al. 2010). Child-centered migration studies show that children often become actors in the immigration process as they negotiate identifications with places and cultures. Acknowledging and understanding children’s agency and their active participation in the mobility of their families, e.g. as language and cultural brokers, requires a transnational literacy (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011) and reliance on child-centered critical and pedagogical methodologies aimed at examining the influence of transnationalism on children’s lives (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011). While much attention has been given to these phenomena in sociological studies of childhood, children’s movement across geopolitical borders also needs to be analysed from a cultural perspective. This symposium will explore past and contemporary representations of transnational childhoods in literature, film and other media that foreground the mobile nature of children’s lives, encouraging reflection on children’s experience of mobility as an essential factor in their cognitive and emotional development.