From our friends at the Archives and Records Association, the associations of archivists in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a call for paper for a special issue of their journal "Archives and Records":
Call for Proposals: Archives and Records Special Issue, 45-3 (October 2024): Children and Archives.
For this special issue we invite scholars to submit articles presenting new theoretical, methodological, historiographical, or empirical insights on the subject of children and archives. Approaching children as producing and re-producing the social and cultural worlds they live in transforms the relations between children and adults. We suggest this also changes how archives need to think about, consider and approach children. How are children included in archives? What records about, as well as produced by, children are preserved? Archives have historically standardized ways of collecting, preserving, and categorizing objects and records. Recent shifts towards participatory and inclusive approaches, which acknowledge systemic inequalities of power and representation in archives, have called for new practices. However, the position of children has yet to be considered in this context. Likewise, changes in notions of children and childhood in the early twenty-first century might be an indication to re-think how children and young people themselves are implicated in and can contribute to archival processes. This would underscore and trouble the political asymmetries between those who collect, preserve, and categorize (adults)and children.
'Children' is a very general category, as is 'archive'. For the purpose of this special issue, we acknowledge that both categories are heterogenous. We anticipate that the relations between children and archives are dynamically constituted, which is why it becomes important to specify how the concepts are defined and how they intersect. This is a timely moment to consider these relations. Traditionally children’s and young people’s intangible and tangible sources were collected and saved by parents, grandparents, and/or schoolteachers. Some – although always a minority - of these objects or stories were given to archival institutions. What is preserved in archives is often, as pointed out by Karen Sanchez- Eppler (2013), the extraordinary. Children’s everyday lives more generally can be hard to extract. Today, children and young people are increasingly surveilled and recorded as part of larger political, social and cultural processes – in health care, education and welfare - where they disappear amongst records and metadata designed to be depersonalized and aggregated. This data may be used to make decisions about their lives which does not account for children as individuals. Seeing children as individuals means taking account of the likelihood that they today are active recordkeeping agents, making their own archives using digital technologies and social media. Taking a more participatory approach to children - involving children in which records should be preserved and collected - has become more important, as well as inviting them to give their views on what archives are to them. We want to encourage bold and provocative ideas about the future of children and archives and invite contributions from both humanistic and social science disciplines as well as interdisciplinary fields.
We invite submissions from scholars and practitioners across the disciplinary spectrum and particularly welcome a child and youth perspective, and BIPOC and queer perspectives.
Articles should be no more than 8,000 words (including footnotes and references) and written in accordance with the style guide and reference guide Chicago endnotes and bibliography) provided by Archives and Records.
For an informal discussion about publishing in the special issue, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org