Call for Undergraduate Papers: GENDER & CHILDHOOD (Proposal Deadline 10/15/14)


“Fun with Dick and Jane: Gender and Childhood”

A Gender Studies Conference at the University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana
December 4-6, 2014

In recent years, there has been great interest in questions of gender and childhood, ranging from issues around boys wearing princess costumes to school; to Disney princess culture; to parents refusing to announce a baby’s biological sex; to pre-teen children coming out as gay, lesbian, and queer; to toy companies marketing toys by gender; to gender-related bullying, and more.

Students are invited to submit proposals to participate in this conference. Students will be expected to present a fifteen-minute talk and filed questions about their paper.

Proposals should consist of a 200 word abstract of the paper, a list of three keywords, and a brief biographical statement listing your title, the name of your college or university, your year, and the origin of the paper (i.e the course you wrote it for and your teacher).

Please indicate any technology needs, such as powerpoint or DVD.

Proposals are due by October 15, 2014. Send proposals to Pamela Wojcik, Director of Gender Studies, The University of Notre Dame, by email, with the subject line “Gender and Childhood” at

How are children gendered? How do we account for transgender children? How have ideas about girls and boys changed historically? How are children hailed as gendered consumers? How do schools inculcate ideas about gender? How do children’s books promote ideas about gender? How do changing ideas about parenting relate to children’s gendering?

This conference seeks to explore issues of gender and childhood through multiple lenses and from a wide range of disciplines. We welcome papers on gender and childhood in media, literature, history, anthropology, biology, architecture, philosophy, art history, education, and more. We are especially open to interdisciplinary approaches.

Topics might include:

Representations of children in film, children’s books, adult books, TV shows, paintings, photography. etc.;
Childhood spectatorship and fandoms;
Gendered childhood spaces;
Gendered toys and games;
Ideologies of childhood sexuality;
Parenting books and gender;
Children and gay parents;
Sports and gender;
Children’s fashion;
Reality TV and children’s gender;
Children’s fiction and gender;
Transgender children;
Children’s own media and internet practices;
Gender and bullying