CFP | Due 15 Jun 2023 | The Routledge Companion to Gender and Childhood

CFP: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Childhood 

Deadline for abstracts: June 15, 2023

Call for Contributions to The Routledge Companion to Gender and Childhood 

We are seeking chapter proposals for The Routledge Companion to Gender and Childhood. This volume will explore children’s gender identities, expressions, and embodiments across historical, geographical, and cultural contexts. It will consider this multiplicity of gendered childhoods alongside the intense preoccupation with children’s genders across a range of medical, political, legal, educational, and cultural spheres that span the globe. 

While 21st century political actions taking place in the global North regarding LGBTQIA+ youth’s rights, health, and safety make clear the urgency of this volume, The Routledge Companion to Gender and Childhood will be transnational and transhistorical in its scope. This volume takes the debates of the current moment as an invitation to explore and interrogate other times, places, and contexts in which children’s relationships to gender have been curated, controlled, and constrained, as well as shaped by the forces of colonialism, imperialism, sexism, and racism. 

We seek contributors from a range of humanistic, sociological, and scientific disciplines in order to consider how gender has operated as a site of preoccupation and surveillance for adults, institutions, and other children alike, as well as the effects of this scrutiny on youth, adults, and cultures at large. 

If you are interested in contributing, please submit a 300-500 word abstract for your proposed chapter and a short bio to Mary Zaborskis with the subject line “Routledge GC Chapter Proposal” by June 15, 2023. Decisions will be made by July 2023, and first chapter drafts of 4000-6000 words will be due January 1, 2024. 

Please see below for a non-exhaustive list of potential topics and ways to contribute to this volume:  

Theoretical Approaches to Children and Gender 

The chapters in this section will function as “state of the field” chapters and fall in the 2500-4000 word range. Authors from various disciplines will reflect on their field’s historical and present relationship to children and gender (Have children been pivotal to your field’s understanding of gender? How does your field conceptualize children’s relationship to gender? Have these conceptualizations shifted across time? Have there been key studies, cases, theoretical shifts, paradigms, etc that have emerged in your field that help us understand its approach to children and gender?), as well as future directions and implications for the field’s engagement with children and gender. Some potential fields of interest for this section include but are not limited to: 

  1. Medical 
  2. Legal 
  3. Scientific 
  4. Literary 
  5. Sociological 
  6. Linguistic 
  7. Historical 
  8. Critical Race 
  9. Disability 
  10. Cultural 
  11. Queer 
  12. Political 
  13. Girlhood Studies 
  14. Boyhood Studies 

Situating the Gendered Child in Histories 

This section will explore various historical cases and contexts involving children that reveal that gender itself is a historically contingent category that is not universal across time and place – in so doing, it will also examine how “child” and “childhood” are historically and culturally contingent categories. The section will consider the role of gender in shaping children’s lives, as well as children’s responses to gendered processes and expectations. Some potential topics might include: 

  1. Children, gender, and the history of medicine – children’s roles in knowledge formation in sexology and psychoanalysis; experiments in scientific and medical domains involving children; developmental psychology’s approach to children and gender
  2.  Children defying gendered expectations through cross-dressing, identifying as another gender, and refusing gendered roles in clinical and non-clinical settings
  3. Children’s experiences of gendered divisions of labor
  4. Historical origins of inequities across gendered lines that impact childhood (e.g., educational, sports, economics)
  5. Indigenous children’s role in the formation of gender as a settler-colonial concept
  6. Children of color’s role in the formation of childhood as category linked with whiteness and often white girlhood
  7. The focus on and management of immigrant youth’s genders to determine assimilatory capacities
  8. Historical cases that reveal the non-universality of gender and childhood as stable categories
  9. Tracing the roots and genealogies of contemporary issues and phenomena involving children and gender through exploring a historical case
  10. Gendered experiences in (post)colonial contexts
  11. Expressions and experiences of gender not informed by hegemonic binary logics

Policing Children and Gender 

The chapters in this section will explore instances and effects of restricting children along gendered lines in manners both obvious and subtle. Some topics that might populate this section include: 

  1. Children’s relationship to the art of drag, whether through watching or participating 
  2. The flexibility of the category of childhood in carceral institutions and legal domains (and the racial and class determinants of the malleability of the bounds of childhood) 
  3. The policing of gender in carceral spaces 
  4. Restricting trans children’s access to healthcare 
  5. Restricting disabled children’s ability to develop as gendered and sexual beings 
  6. The intersection of gender, race, and childhood in today’s school to prison pipeline 
  7. The curtailing of migrant children’s rights and freedoms at the border 
  8. Suppression of LGBTQIA+ youth’s rights and freedoms 
  9. Intersex youth activism 
  10. Children’s rights in the medical sphere along gendered lines 
  11. Trans children and sports 
  12. Responses to and restrictions imposed on non-binary youth 
  13. Processes of sex selection around the globe 
  14. Religious institutions’ and authorities’ relationship to and impact on children’s gendered experiences 
  15. How gender informs children’s access to educational spaces 
  16. Social policies that impact children’s relationship to gender 

Childhood, Gender, and Cultural Landscapes 

This section will explore how the production and circulation of media shapes and disrupts expectations and norms for gendered children. Possible topics chapters in this section might explore: 

  1. Media representations of LGBTQIA+ youth 
  2. Psychological and sociological approaches to how media impacts children’s understandings and expressions of gender 
  3. The banning of books and censoring of material children can access 
  4. The use of social media platforms to participate in and circulate discourse regarding gender identity and expression 
  5. Media outside of the 21st century that sheds light on how children’s genders were impacted in various contexts 
  6. The restriction of media along gendered lines in childhood 
  7. Media’s role in circulating and circumventing expectations for girlhood and boyhood 
  8. The intersection of media, material culture, and childhood gender