Playing with Childhood in the Twenty First Century


*Current as of April 4, 2018

You have the option to navigate the conference via streams:

Stream A: Queer, Trans, and Gender Variant Childhood Studies
Stream B: Critical Race and Black Childhood Studies
Stream C: Global Childhood Studies



Most of the conference’s sessions take place in the historic Cathedral of Learning (4200 Fifth Avenue). Elevators in the Cathedral require you to input the floor to which you wish to travel on one of the tablets in lobby; the screen will direct you to the next available elevator to take you to your floor.

Humanities Center: 6th Floor, room 602.
Room 349: Third Floor
Room 352: Third Floor

Please note: C.J. Pascoe is unable to attend the conference this weekend. The Friday lunchtime keynote with Lauren Silver will take place in the ballroom of the Wyndham Hotel, across the street from the Cathedral, 100 Lytton Avenue.



Friday, April 6

8:30-12:00              Registration Available

Coffee, tea, and light breakfast available at 8:30 outside of the Humanities Center

9:00-10:30             Concurrent Sessions

Motive and Motion: Screening the Child’s Desire (Stream A)
Humanities Center

Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo (University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu)
Through the Black Mirror: Child Abuse in "Shut Up and Dance"

Rachel Dean-Ruzicka (Georgia Tech)
1980s Nostalgia, Gendered Friendship, and Fantastic Weirdness in Paper Girls and Stranger Things

Ryan Bunch (Rutgers University)
Fun Home and Broadway's Ghostly Queer Kids

Amanda Chapman (Glenville State)
Dollification and the Trap of Childhood in Pretty Little Liars

The Racialization of Resilience (Stream B)
Room 349

Stephanie Yvonne Akoumany (University of Maryland)
Playing the Game to Win: Black Early Adolescent Girls’ Resilience Strategies and Perceptions of Their Experiences While Growing Up In Baltimore City

Sara Goodkind (Pitt)
Redefining Resilience and Reframing Resistance: Engaging Black Girls in Participatory Research for Institutional Change

Tamar Malloy (Pitt)
Citizens of Tomorrow: Disciplinary Respectability and What it Teaches

Aisha White, Shannon Wanless, Amanda Cross, Cecily Davis, Medina Jackson, and Bianca West (P.R.I.D.E. Program, Pitt)
Positive Racial Identity Development: Buffering the Racialization of Young Black Children

Interrogating the Imperiled Child (Stream C)
Room 352

Maria Barbero (Florida International University)
Youth Migration in the Twenty-First Century: the Limits of State Practices and Boundaries in Argentina

Linda Sánchez Avendaño (University of Manchester)
“You Would Donate More for Children Holding Guns than for Children Holding Spades”: The Invisible Hierarchies of Child Relief

Rashmi Kumari (Rutgers University)
Whose "Voice"? Dilemmas of Representation in Ethnographic Work with Children in Conflict Zones

10:45-12:00            Meet the Author Sessions

Marianne Modica
 (University of Valley Forge) and Diane Marano (Rutgers University)
Race Among Friends: Exploring Race at a Suburban School & Juvenile Offenders and Guns: Voices Behind Gun Violence
Humanities Center

12:15-2:15                  Lunch (Wyndam Hotel Ballroom)

Lunchtime Keynote: Lauren Silver (Rutgers University)
“Transformative Childhood Studies: Remix in Justice, Inquiry, and Praxis”

2:30-4:00                  Concurrent Sessions

The Queerness of Innocence (Stream A)
Humanities Center

Jim Kincaid (Pitt)
The Modern Child and Erotic Evasion

Hannah Dyer (Brock University)
Queer Temporality in the Playroom: Jonathon Hobin's and Ebony G. Patterson's Aesthetics of Child Development

Alvin Primak (Pitt)
Youth Sexting and the First Amendment: Rhetoric and Child Pornography Doctrine in the Age of Translation

Black Girlhood Studies (Stream B)
Room 349

Amanda Awanjo (Pitt)
The Weight of Futurity: Revisiting Early Twentieth Century Black Motherhood and Black Girlhood in Zora Neale Hurston’s "Drenched in Light" and Georgia Douglas Johnson’s "Black Woman"

Stephanie Rambo (Louisiana State University)
Dimensions of Play and Counterhegemonic Praxis in The Bluest Eye and Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo

Ebony Perro (Clark Atlanta University)
Wrath as Rostrum: Reading Black Girl Rage as Resistance

The Digital Lives of Children (Stream A)
Room 352

Meredith Bak (Rutgers University)
Enlivening Play: Tech Toys and Children's Agency in the Metaleptic Imagination

Sophia Choukas-Bradley (Pitt)
Carryover of Social Media to Adolescent Girls' Offline Lives: Associations with Physical Appearance Concerns and Depressive Symptoms

Sean Nonnemacher (Pitt)
Linguistic Insurgency: Online Queer and Trans Youth Discourse

4:00-4:15                    Coffee Break

Coffee, tea, and water available outside of the Humanities Center

4:15-5:45                    Concurrent Sessions

Coming of Age? Literary and Filmic Growth into Race and Gender (Stream B)
Humanities Center

Marianne Novy (Pitt)
Half a World Away and the Traumatized and/or Transnationally Adopted Child in YA Literature

Maria Cecire (Bard)
“Being an X-Man”: Genres of Youth and Narratives of Overcoming in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Jonathan Devine (Pitt)
Prepubescent Fantasies: Transformation and Hybridity in Ma vie en rose and Rocky

Across the Generational Divides (Stream A)
Room 349

Emily Bent (Pace University)
The New Feminist Generation: Feminist Girls and the Politics of GirlPower

Brock Bahler (Pitt)
"The Child-Parent Relationship: A Phenomenology of the Child as Philosophical Sparring Partner

Chelsea Wentworth (High Point University)
A Good Breakfast: Decisions About Young Child Feeding in Urban Vanuatu

Queer Childhood in the Wake of Empire (Stream C)
Room 352

Natalie Kouri-Towe (Pit)
Killing Children, Honor Crimes, and Pinkwashing in the Making of War

Jacob Breslow (London School of Economics)
Playing, Flirting, Touching: The Queer Child's Desires and the Sexual Politics of Radicalization Discourses

Sree Dasgupta (Pitt)
Romanticism and the Colonial Child

Chandrava Chakravarty & Sneha Kar Chaudhuri (West Bengal State University)
Performing the New Indian Girlhood: Body, Sexuality and Resistance in Abha Dawesar's Babyji



Saturday, April 7

9:30-10:00                  Coffee and Registration
Coffee, tea, and light breakfast outside the Humanities Center

10:00-11:30                Concurrent Sessions

Teaching Sex, Teaching Gender (Stream A)
Humanities Center

Elizabeth Yarrow (University of Cambridge)
Gendered Bodies: Institutions, Sex Binarism, and the Experiences of Gender Diverse Youth in UK Schools and Health Services

Julie Beaulieu (Pitt)
Teaching Sex and the Politics of Age Appropriateness

Katrina Jacobs (Pitt)
"In Books, Boys Don't Have Eyelashes": Using Picture Book Read-Alouds to Surface and Reimagine Gender Representation and Identity

Sharon Colvin & Tom Akiva (Pitt)
“I’m Not a Grown Up But I am Growing Up”: The Path to Adulthood for Two Black, LGBT Emerging Adults

Mediating Intersectional Childhoods (Stream B)
Room 349

Christina Ong (Pitt)
Podcasting for Representation: On the Intersectional Identity Formation of Feminist Girlhood and Race

Emily Crosby (Pitt)
Adolescent Ageism: Antiblackness and the Bashing of Gabby Douglas

Quin Rich  (Emory University)
“No More than Shared Oppression”: Political Resonances Between Feminist Theory and Childhood Studies

Annie Sansonetti (New York University)
“We want something to hold us”: Transgender Art and its Children

States of Detention: Disability and Incarceration (Stream B)
Room 352

Peter Campbell (Pitt)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act, Satellite-Based Monitoring, and the Child-Subject of Law

Jessica Benham (Pitt)
Suffer the Little Children: The Ethics of Extended Childhood of Disabled Adults in Pennsylvania

Amanda Apgar (UCLA)
Inaccessible playgrounds? On Including Dis/ability in Figurations of Children and Childhood

11:45-12:45                Lunch            

Boxed lunches for conference presenters available for pickup outside the Humanities Center

Featuring a curated screening in the Humanities Center:
Fairy Fantastic!”: Queer Folk and Fairy Tales for Kids of All Ages
Hilary Harp (Arizona State University) and Suzie Silver (Carnegie Mellon University)


Harp and Silver will screen videos from their project “Fairy Fantastic!” a fairy and folk tale video series for gender nonconforming children, queer families, and their allies. “Fairy Fantastic!” adapts traditional folk and fairy tales, to feature the broadest possible range of gender expressions and kinship bonds. Harp and Silver will also preview their curated screening “Over the Rainbow: Queer and Experimental Shorts for Kids of All Ages” which presents eight international shorts. Discussion to follow.

1:00-2:30                    Meet The Author Sessions

Keynote Author: Rebekah Sheldon
 (Indiana University Bloomington)
The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catastrophe
Humanities Center

Tyler Bickford (Pitt)
Schooling New Media: Music, Language and Technology in Children’s Culture
Room 349

Erica Meiners (Northeastern Illinois University)
For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State
Room 352

2:45-4:15                    Concurrent Sessions

Caring for Trans* Children: A Roundtable (Stream A)
Humanities Center

A special session featuring scholars, advocates, and clinicians reflecting on how to think about what “care” that affirms and enfranchises trans and gender variant children looks like.

Julian Gill-Peterson (Pitt)
Gerald Montano (Pitt and UPMC)
Naomi Greenberg (Pittsburgh)
Jessica Vooris (UMD College Park)

The Racialization of Education (Stream B)
Room 349

Amanda Godley (Pitt)
The Gendering and Racializing of Academics and Athletics in a Diverse Urban High School

Lisa Puga (Rutgers University)
“Homeschooling is Our Protest”: A Snapshot of Urban Homeschooling Families of Color Navigating the Nexus of Marginality and Liberation

Thomas M. Hill, Jr. (Pitt)
Play Based Learning in a Native American Community

Tibeb Girls to the Recue!! (Stream C)
Room 352

A special session on the global superero(-ine) genre and its impact on girls, featuring Pitt faculty, graduate students, a graphical novelist, high school teachers, students, and almuni.

4:15-4:30                    Coffee Break
Coffee, tea, and water available outside of the Humanities Center

4:30-5:30                    Closing Discussion, with Keynotes: On Childhood as a Margin
Humanities Center

6:00                             Wine and Cheese Reception

You are invited to join us for a reception at the top of the Cathedral of Learning, in the historic Babcock Room. Take the elevators up to floor 36, where you will transfer to the separate elevator to the 40th floor (due to room capacity, for registered presenters only.)