chechen boy ESRC
Photos: Chechen boy during the battle for Grozny, Mikhail Evstafiev, GFDL

Childhood and violence: international and comparative perspectives

The Economic and Social Research Council is funding a series of six seminars over two years exploring the impact of violence on children's lives. The series is led by Birkbeck College in collaboration with the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Open University and the University of St Andrews. It grapples with questions, such as: What is the relationship between violence and powerlessness? Do children experience more violence than adults and if they do is this because they are less powerful? How does violence enter into children's lives and how can they protect themselves from violence?

Childhood is widely thought of as a space in which children are nurtured and loved by significant others and governed by institutions acting in the child's best interests. However, the international and comparative focus of this series of seminars considers whether or not violence is exceptional in childhood.

Click here for information about the background and rationale for these seminars.

Read all the latest about the seminars on the blog.

For more information contact: Dr Karen Wells
To facilitate discussion among young people, Birkbeck has set up a
Facebook group on childhood and violence.

The seminars

Seminar 1: Violence and the making of the subject
Friday 12 March 2010, 9.30am - 5.30pm, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
This seminar explores the role of violence in shaping the subjectivity of the young person.

Seminar 2: Violence and liminality: violent transitions from childhood to adulthood in a global context
Friday 18 June 2010, 9.30am - 5pm, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Moving from the beginning of childhood to the end of childhood, this seminar focuses on the role of violence in the transition to adulthood.

Seminar 3: Aesthetics, ethics, politics: representations of violence against children
Friday 5 November 2010, 9.30am - 5pm, Sandra Burslem Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Campus
An exploration of the different ways in which non-governmental organisations, the media and anti-war campaigns represent childhood suffering in the context of violence.

Seminar 4: Violence and the circulation of children
Monday 21 March 2011, 9.30am - 5pm, Dyers Brae Lecture Theatre (Room 16) and seminar room (room 17), Greenside Please, University of St Andrews, Scotland
A focus on how violence, particularly war, forces children to circulate between households and institutions both nationally and internationally.

Seminar 5: Children affected by war, with a focus on "child soldiers"
Thursday 30 June 2011, 10am - 5pm, Rooms B04 and B20, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
This seminar continues to focus on the impact of war on children and childhood, looking specifically at child soldiers.

Seminar 6: The ethics of researching violence and childhood
Thursday 13 October 2011, 10am - 5.30pm, Room 320, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
This session considers issues such as visual ethics, research methods and the implications for policy and practice in child protection and other areas.


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