Childhood Publics Reading Group

The Childhood Publics Reading Group was established in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019/20 as a space to bring together those working in the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies at Goldsmiths and beyond.

Since 2020 a small committed group of childhood studies researchers have been meeting on a semi-regular basis to read and think together, and occasionally visit relevant exhibitions in London. The reading group was initiated by Brenda Herbert and Zoe Walshe, both doctoral students in the department at the time. We went virtual with the pandemic which meant that a number of other like-minded researchers, colleagues, and friends from across Europe who were working on childhood were able to join, including Elina Moraitopoulou (Hamburg University) amongst others. Our Childhood Publics Reading Group (2020-2022) resulted in the seminar series Childhood Publics and the Child’s Gaze (2023) that was funded by the Sociological Review Foundation, the Graduate School and the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

In 2024, a new incarnation of the reading group, this time instigated by Maya Nguyen (SOAS) and co-organised with Melissa Nolas (Goldsmiths) and Kirrily Pells (UCL), is currently underway with a focus on global childhoods.

Below you will find a list of the various readings undertaken from 2020-to date in reverse order (most recent to oldest).

Global Childhoods

[Feb 2024] Cindi Katz (2004) Growing up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives. Minnesota University Press.

Exhibition visit [September 2022]

  1. Empty Cradles: Isreal’s Disappeared Children.

Playing Together Workshop [June 2022]

  1. Marina Di Napoli Pastore (2022) ‘Play, create, transform: a pluriverse of children and childhoods from southern Mozambique‘, Journal of the British Academy, 10(s2), pp. 111–132 
  2. Marlene Barra (2022) ‘Childhood at latitude zero: revealing Sao Tome and Principe children’s play culture‘,  Journal of the British Academy, 10(s2), pp. 83–109

Educational Commons [March 2022]

  1. Pechtelidis, Yiannis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis. (2020) ‘Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community‘, Democracy and Education, 28(1), pp. 1-11.
  2. Irina Velicu and Gustavo García-López (2018) ‘Thinking the Commons Through Ostrom and Butler: Boundedness and Vulnerability‘, Theory, Culture & Society, 35(6), pp. 55–73.

Work-in-progress with Mary Brenda Herbert [Feb 2022]

Work-in-progress with Elina Moraitopoulou [Jan 2022]

How do we write in a sensory way? [October 2021]

  1. Christina MacRae (2019) ‘The Red Blanket: A dance of animacy‘, Global Studies of Childhood, 12(4), pp. 348-358.
  2. [Short Film]: Lily Mae Kroese (2021) The Water Holds Me / The Water Binds Us. Drawn from research by Dr Charlotte Bates and Dr Kate Moles with the wild swimming community across the UK, this short film is based on the stories of women who dip, dive and swim in rivers, lakes and seas. Illustration by Lily Mae Kroese. 

Methods & Creative Activisms [June 2021]

  1. Renold, E. (2018) ‘“Feel what I feel”: making da(r)ta with teen girls for creative activisms on how sexual violence ​matters’, Journal of Gender Studies, 27(1), pp. 37–55. 
  2. [Workshop video]: Ash Watson, Zine making as method

Children and Archives [April 2021]

  1. Elizabeth Shepherd and colleagues (2020) ‘Towards a human‑centred participatory approach to child social care recordkeeping’, Archival Science (2020) 20:307–325.  
  2. Lemn Sissay (2019) My name is Why, London: Canongate Books. 

Children and Future-Making [Jan 2021]

  1. Spyros Spyrou (2020) ‘Children as future-makers’, Childhood, 27(1), pp. 3–7.
  2. Rebecca Coleman (2017) ‘A sensory sociology of the future: Affect, hope and inventive methodologies‘, The Sociological Review, 65(3), pp 525-543.

Postcolonial childhoods [Nov 2020]

  1. Afua Twum-Danso Imoh (2019) Terminating Childhood: Dissonance and Synergy between Global Children’s Rights Norms and Local Discourses About the Transition from Childhood to Adulthood in Ghana, Human Rights Quarterly, 41, (1), pp. 160-182.
  2. Afua Twum-Danso Imoh & Samuel Okyere (2020) Towards a More Holistic Understanding of Child Participation: Foregrounding the Experiences of Children in Ghana and Nigeria, Children and Youth Services Review, 112.  
  3. A film about Afua’s work in Ghana called “Growing up on the Gold Coast” 

Children and the Covid-19 pandemic [Oct 2020]

  1. Elsbeth Robson et al (2006) ‘Young Caregivers in the Context of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa‘, Population, Space, Place 12, pp. 93–111.
  2. Joan Tronto (1998) ‘An Ethic of Care‘, Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging, 22(3): Ethics and Aging: Bringing the Issues Home, pp. 15-20.

Childhood, culture and heritage [March 2020]

  1. Sophia Diamantopoulou and Dimitra Christidou (2018) ‘Children’s ‘eye views’ of an archaeological site: A multimodal social semiotic approach to children’s drawings‘, Museum & Society, 16(3), 334-351.
  2. Carey Jewitt & Sara Price (2019) ‘Family touch practices and learning experiences in the museum‘, The Senses and Society, 14:2, 221-235.

Visits to Play Well at Wellcome Collection and Steve McQueen’s YEAR 3 exhibition at Tate Britain.

Relationality & Research with Children [Feb 2020]

  1. Cairns, K. (2018) ‘Relational Foodwork: Young People and Food Insecurity,’ Children & Society 32, 174–184. 

Intersectionality & Childhood [Jan 2020]

  1. Gail Lewis (2009) ‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’, Studies in the Maternal, 1 (1).
  2. Janet Seow (2019) ‘Black Girls and Dolls Navigating Race, Class, and Gender in ToronotoGirlhood Studies, 12 (2), pp. 48-64. 
  3. Kristina Konstantoni & Akwugo Emejulu (2017) ‘When intersectionality met childhood studies: the dilemmas of a travelling concept‘, Children’s Geographies, 15:1, pp. 6-22.