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The children’s ’68: call for papers

Sophie Heywood

This call for papers invites proposals for contributions to a special issue of the online journal of children’s literature and culture Strenae ( entitled ‘The Children’s ’68’, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of May ‘68. This special issue is part of the work of the international research network The children’s ’68 (, led by Dr Sophie Heywood at the University of Tours InTRu Laboratory, and financed by the STUDIUM/Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship programme 2016/17.

The global upheaval caused by the protest movements around ‘68 revolutionised social structures, overturned cultural conventions, challenged political ideologies, and catalysed civil rights activism by women, gay people and ethnic minorities. Childhood historians stress the importance of this period in altering the authority structures that shaped children’s lives.

This special issue proposes to analyse ‘68 as a watershed moment in children’s culture and its related disciplines, following Marwick’s (1998) now canonical definition of ‘68 as the crystallisation of the cultural revolution of the ‘long sixties’ (c.1958-c.1974).

We invite contributors to think about the ways in which children’s culture was a site for artistic and intellectual experimentation, and how new ways of thinking about childhood emerged in this period. We encourage contributors to work across disciplinary boundaries and national borders, in order to open up new ways of understanding the ‘68 liberation movements and their legacies. With the fiftieth anniversary of ‘68 approaching, this special issue aims to ensure the children’s perspective is finally brought to the fore of scholarly debate.

Suggested topics include:

  • experimental ideas of children and childhood;

  • how cultural products promoted children’s rights around ‘68;

  • children’s counter-culture and anti-censorship;

  • feminism and children’s culture around ‘68

  • children’s participation in and access to culture around ‘68;

  • the immediate precursors leading to the children’s ‘68;

  • how the children’s ‘68 revisited avant-garde movements (eg. surrealism, pop art, Bauhaus, new realism);

  • the aesthetics of counter-culture for and by children;

  • the cross-fertilisations between counter-culture and children’s culture around ‘68.

We are particularly interested to receive proposals for articles relating to the former Eastern bloc countries, especially Czechoslovakia.

Proposals (500 words maximum), in English or French should be sent before 1 December 2016 to the journal Strenae:, along with a short biography and bibliography.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Children’s ’68 team, and the editorial board of the journal. Authors will be promptly notified of the acceptance or rejection of their proposal. Full articles (30,000 characters, including spaces, maximum) are to be submitted by 1 July 2017. Articles will be accepted in English or French.

Publication is scheduled for May 2018.

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