VIRTUAL COLLOQUIUM | 22 Jan 2021 | Exploring Childism across Disciplines (Childism Institute, Rutgers University)


The Childism Institute at Rutgers University Camden invites you to attend its first online colloquium, “Exploring Childism Across Disciplines,” on Friday January 22, 2021, from 8:00 to 10:00 am US Philadelphia time. Seven internationally renowned speakers will address the question of childism’s possibilities and limitations across diverse research disciplines.  

Information on the colloquium is below. There is no registration. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. We hope you’ll mark your calendar for this exciting event!

Exploring Childism Across Disciplines
Transnational Childism Colloquium
Friday, January 22, 2021, 8:00-10:00 am US Philadelphia time
Hosted by the Childism Institute at Rutgers University

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 5014 8940
Passcode: 208569
Note: The colloquium will not be recorded


This is the first meeting of the Transnational Childism Colloquium (TCC), hosted by the Childism Institute at Rutgers University Camden. See the Concept Note below for information about childism and the TCC series as a whole.

This first colloquium, “Exploring Childism Across Disciplines,” seeks to investigate the possibilities and limits of the lens of childism across diverse research disciplines. A range of scholars who either employ childism or take related approaches will test the concept critically from their own particular research and disciplinary perspectives.

Each presenter has up to 10 minutes to answer the following three questions: Are there aspects of your research field that could already be described as “childist” (in the childhood studies sense described in the concept note)? What, if anything, could the concept of childism further contribute to your field? What might be this concept’s limitations, flaws, or needs for revision?

PROGRAM (all times in US Philadelphia time)

8:00-8:10          Introduction to the Childism Institute and Transnational Childism Colloquium
8:10-8:20          The Concept of Childism – John Wall, Rutgers University
8:20-8:50          Panel 1: Childism and Politics – Hanne Warming, Roskilde University (moderator)
                                    Jeanette Sundhall, University of Gothenburg
                                    Kirsi Pauliina Kallio, University of Tampere
                                    Rachel Rosen, University College London
8:50-9:05          Open Discussion – Jonathan Josefsson (moderator)
9:05-9:10          Break
9:10-9:40          Panel 2: Childism and Culture – Anna Sparrman, Linköping University (moderator)
                                    Ann Phoenix, University College London
                                    Marek Tesar, University of Auckland
                                    Teresa Davis, University of Sydney
9:40-9:55          Open Discussion – Tanu Biswas, University of Bayreuth (moderator)
9:55-10:00        Conclusion and Wrap-Up


Childism is the effort to challenge children’s historical marginalization by transforming scholarly, social, and political structures and norms. Like feminism but for children, it has emerged in the last decade or so to describe how children’s lived experiences can challenge and change historically engrained adultism in many walks of life. The concept of childism as explored here (as opposed to concepts in literary studies and psychoanalysis) grows out of the childhood studies movement, but it is also distinct. The difference is that childism takes children’s agency and experiences and uses these as critical lenses for thinking differently about larger societies. As such, childism is an interdisciplinary tool for reimagining politics, human rights, literature, history, climate change, families, gender, race, research methods, and more. It stands alongside similar critical perspectives like feminism, antiracism, ableism, environmentalism, posthumanism, and the like in aiming for systemic change in research and societies.

The Transnational Childism Colloquium (TCC) is a regular opportunity to develop, explore, and reflect critically on childism. It is hosted by the Childism Institute at Rutgers University in the United States, often in collaboration with other organizations. The TCC meets online three times per academic year, in order, respectively: 1. to explore the concept of childism itself, including how it can be theorized, critiqued, and developed; 2. to consider how childism can be related to other critical movements such as feminism and antiracism, including both what it can learn from them and what it can contribute; and 3. to examine how childism might impact social practice, whether in policy, professions, research methods, or larger society and culture. The TCC is open to anyone interested in the topic, regardless of nationality, profession, status, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, age, or any other such factor.