The last two years have seen some of the most powerful youth protest movements in decades. Greta Thunberg’s school strike calling for climate action inspired a global campaign among millions of school children.
In the United States, March for Our Lives saw hundreds of thousands of young people demonstrating against gun violence in one of the largest youth protests in US history. From possessed and prophetic children, to young people participating in industrial disputes and school strikes, to violent gangs imposing themselves on their peers, the young have endeavoured to convey their own feelings and views, while adults have tried to explain and interpret them. Young people speaking up and speaking out raises questions about how the youthful voice has been conceptualized in qualitative historical research and what is meant by children’s rights. ‘Speaking up and speaking out’ has not necessarily taken a verbal form and not all children and young people have been able either to speak up or speak out, given a variety of constraining forces. Conversely, collective action has taken many forms, from the Children’s Crusade (1212) to traditions of ‘misrule’ and role-reversal.
This third biennial conference of the Children’s History Society, in partnership with the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, consequently seeks to explore the challenges and possibilities of researching how children and young people have resisted, confronted or acceded in societies that have rarely valued their voices, in the face of adults who have tried to restrain them and enforce silence in different historical settings and eras.
Panel contributions are invited (especially long chronological and/or geographically diverse in collective scope) as well as individual papers on topics related to the conference them (see this link to download a full brief). For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a 2-page CV, to email@example.com by 1 November 2019.
The conference website is available via this link