CFP – Green Knowledge


Green Knowledge
Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge 2-4th September 2015

Plenary Speakers
Professor Ursula K. Heise (UCLA)
Richard Mabey
Professor Louise Westling (University of Oregon)

In The Diversity of Life, E. O. Wilson recalled the experience of recognising his profound ignorance about the object of his research in the forests of the Amazon:

“About the orchids of that places we knew very little. About flies and beetles almost nothing, fungi nothing, most kinds of organisms nothing. Five thousand kinds of bacteria might be found in a pinch of soil, and about them we knew absolutely nothing.”

Wilson’s pinch of Amazonian soil begs the question: how much do we know about the natural world and our relationship with it? Equally, what should we know and how can we know it?

To this end, we invite papers that consider our ways of knowing and unknowing the natural world. Topics to be covered may include (but need not be restricted to):

  • Ways of knowing: scientific, cultural, metaphysical, religious
  • Science and technology studies and ecocriticism
  • Human/cultural geographies and ecocriticism
  • Histories of the discourses of science and/or environmentalism
  • Emergent ideas in ecocriticism, ecofeminism, new materialism
  • The nature/culture boundary in literary and other discourses
  • Discourses of ecological crisis, including climate change, species extinction, and biodiversity loss
  • Nature Writing: old and new
  • Experimental literature, avant-garde ecopoetics, new directions
  • And to acknowledge our location, Cambridge ecology and natural historians (John Ray, Charles Darwin, Arthur Tansley, and others)

We also welcome papers on any topic addressing environmental themes in literature and other media.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words for 20-minute presentations to by 14 February 2015. Proposals for pre-formed panels and roundtables are welcomed.

Conference updates will be accessible via the ASLE-UKI website: We may seek to publish a selection of conference proceedings in our journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, published in association with Routledge.

CFP – Fragile Subjects: Childhood in Literature, Arts and Medicine

Call for papers
Fragile Subjects: Childhood in Literature, Arts and Medicine
International Conference
University of Turku, Finland
August 19-20, 2015

The conference addresses the idea and historicity of childhood; its changing meanings and notions in modernity and postmodernity. Of particular interest are child figures that emerge in literature, arts and medicine – yesterday and today.

Throughout the last two centuries, writers inspired by romantic emotionalism have praised the value of the imaginative and irrational. In this emotional vein, childhood has functioned as a powerful counterweight to the troubled adult world, particularly by means of the innocence ascribed to childhood.During the 19th century, children started attracting intense attention and curiosity. As the biblical sinful child gave way to the natural, virtuous and innocent child figure, children came to be regarded as defenseless and in need of protection. The rise of various child sciences in the nineteenth century, with their specific knowledge on children, in addition to child protection legislation, played a key role in transforming and shaping modern notions of Western childhood. It is thus commonly agreed upon that the modern ideal of childhood was codified in the 19th century, but what exactly does this mean? What differences and similarities, shifts and continuities or images and counter-images can be found when looking at nineteenth-century and contemporary notions of childhood?

Scientists and writers have been riddling the mystery of the child, and an increasing army of child professionals keep producing knowledge on children and childhood today. Children have become valuable and fragile subjects of the modern era, and childhood can be understood as an essential node of modernity. Childhood has also established itself as a part of our modern understandings of ourselves – our autobiographies. In postmodernity, childhood has not lost its fragile nature, but perhaps its freedom. After the Second World War, new psychological theories, safety consciousness, and anxiety about sexual danger have led to an emphasis on the safety of the home, limiting particularly children’s physical freedom, at least in some contexts. In the contemporary world, the child is seen as knowing rather than ignorant, yet children are under constant surveillance from the day they are born. Twentieth-century cultural, societal and medical obsession with children, tend to focus on problems (e.g. eating disorders, behavioral/mental problems, substance abuse, violence), reflecting discourses of protection and innocence but also control and moral panics. Nevertheless, the imaginative world of fiction and arts may offer an escape from social expectations in providing alternative representations of children and childhood.

This multidisciplinary conference invites scholars, who are interested in constructions of childhood in literature, arts and/or medicine, with particular focus on the “psy” disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy). We also warmly welcome contributions from the fields of visual culture and media studies. Papers may be historically oriented or look at contemporary settings. Hereby, the conference aims at tracing discourses and representations that construct particular norms and ideals of childhood, as well as counter-images of normative notions of childhood.

The conference consists of key note lectures and parallel sessions. We invite papers and presentations (30 minutes, including discussion) that discuss the following or related questions:

  • How has modern childhood been constructed in different cultural and scientific discourses? What are the changes and continuities?
  • What kind of child figures can be found in fiction, visual culture, media, and life narratives?
  • How are intersections of gender, class, race, and ethnicity played out in constructions of childhood?
  • Fears and threats, joys and pleasures connected to contemporary or past childhoods?
  • How should we understand the role of the child sciences?
  • In what ways has the mind of the child gained attention in both medicine, particularly the “psy” disciplines, and in arts?
  • What is the role of childhood in constructions of adulthood?

The language of the conference is English. Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words) using the web form by November 30, 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by February 15, 2015.

Registration and the payment of conference fee 70 EUR by April 30, 2015. After April 30, the conference fee is 100 EUR.

The conference is organized by the Academy of Finland interdisciplinary research project, entitled Fragile Subjects: Childhood in Finnish Literature and Medicine, 1850s-2000s (

CFP – Constructing Childhoods and Texts for Children

Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature
2015 Conference

Theme: Constructing childhoods and texts for children
Date: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 April 2015
Venue: dlr LexIcon, Haigh Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Call for Papers

In Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), John Locke articulated a perceived link between his construction of childhood and texts for children by advocating the use of pleasant, easy reading material in the moral and social formation of the child. In the centuries that followed, approaches to childhood have varied and multiplied, and children’s literature has both reflected and resisted those changes. Proposals are invited on the overall theme and associated topics in the context of both Irish and international literature for children, and also in relation to print and other media. Papers in both the Irish language and English language will be most welcome. Cuirfear fáilte roimh chainteanna as Gaeilge agus as Béarla.

Possible topics include but are not confined to:

  • Theoretical approaches to childhood and their influence on children’s literature;
  • Children’s literature in the classroom;
  • Translation of texts for children;
  • Adaptations and retellings of adult texts for children;
  • Image and the visual in texts for children;
  • Childhood in film and drama for children;
  • Constructing childhood through new media;
  • The history of publishing for children.

Proposals of 300 words maximum should be sent to Anne Markey, ISSCL President.

Subject line should read “ISSCL Proposal” to arrive no later than Monday 15 December 2014.

For further information on the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature, see

Assistant Professor Position in Childhood Studies at Carleton University

Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (Child Studies Program) – Assistant Professor
Applications Closing Date: January 15, 2015

The Child Studies Program in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University invites applications for a tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, to commence on July 1, 2015.

The Child Studies Program at Carleton University, located in the nation’s capital, began in 1997. Child Studies is housed in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies and works collaboratively with the Institute’s other programs: Human Rights, and Sexuality Studies. Our unique program has quickly established itself as one of Canada’s premier undergraduate programs, and the successful candidate will be expected to contribute to its rapidly growing needs.

The position requires a Ph.D. in a related field in Social Sciences, Health, Education, Applied Sciences, or Humanities; demonstrated excellence in teaching; a track record of research and publication of relevance to child/youth well-being. Research interests and expertise must address children/youth at risk with a focus on ethics and/or policy. A demonstrated interdisciplinary and critical approach to child studies frameworks in both teaching and research is required.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop a program of research leading to significant peer-reviewed publications, contribute effectively to academic life in the Institute, and undertake community advocacy in regards to children and youth. Faculty members are expected to apply for external research funding.

Applications are due on January 15, 2015. Please submit the following information electronically to in one PDF file: 1) a letter of application; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) evidence of teaching effectiveness (such as teaching scores); and 4) samples of writing or published work. At the same time, candidates should arrange to have supporting letters from three referees sent to the department. All materials can be sent to the attention of: Patrizia Gentile, Director, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, Carleton University, 2201 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6.

Please indicate in your application if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton University is a dynamic and innovative research and teaching institution committed to developing solutions to real world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff, and researchers provide more than 27,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary, and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative work in science and technology, business, governance, public policy, and the arts.

Carleton University is strongly committed to fostering diversity within its community as a source of excellence, cultural enrichment, and social strength. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our University including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Those applicants that are selected for an interview will be contacted by the Chair of the Search Committee to discuss any accommodation requirements. Arrangements will be made to meet accommodation requests in a timely manner.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. All positions are subject to budgetary approval.