Playing with Childhood

Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century

April 6-7, 2018
University of Pittsburgh


This two-day conference hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, the Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies Program, and the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh will explore how to conceptualize, theorize, and approach research on children and childhood in the rapidly changing context of the twenty-first century. Affirming a conceptual and methodological “play” across fields, a mode of intellectual curiosity and unsettling of boundaries, we invite participants to reimagine the place of the child and childhood in their home discipline, and to reimagine their home discipline through the figure of the child and childhood. There will also be several meet the author book panels featuring scholars with recent monographs on children and childhood.


Invited Keynotes


CJ Pascoe

CJ Pascoe, author of Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School, is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon. Pascoe's current research focuses on masculinity, youth, homophobia, sexuality and new media.

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Lauren Silver

Lauren J. Silver, author of System Kids: Adolescent Mothers and the Politics of Regulation, is Associate Professor of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University. Silver is a critical ethnographer whose work lies at the intersection of the sociology and anthropology of youth, feminist methodologies, and analyses of urban systems.  

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Rebekah Sheldon

Rebekah Sheldon, author of The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catastrophe, is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University - Bloomington. Sheldon works on contemporary American literature and culture, with particular emphasis on speculative and science fiction. She also teaches, researches, and writes about queer theory, childhood studies, speculative philosophy, and feminist new materialism.

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Getting Here

The conference will take place in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. This 42-story Gothic structure is located in Oakland between Forbes Avenue and Fifth Avenue and is the centerpiece of Pitt's campus.