Call for Chapters
Gone is the Victorian innocence of childhood. We have entered the age of the monstrous child, the little horror.
Each historical period can be seen to have prioritised a different facet of the child, the Victorian era idolised the innocence of the pre-pubescent child, the twentieth century the disaffected teenager, whilst the early twenty-first sems to be that of the monstrous child. Whilst global organisations such as UNICEF and Save the Children promote the sanctity of childhood as a fundamental human right, popular culture and empirical, sociological data would intimate something else. Here children are not configured as the wealth of the family and the community, but are seen as an economic burden, a luxury or even a parasite. Far from being the repository of all society holds dear about itself, the child becomes something at once uncontrollable and monstrous, not to be loved and cherished but feared and expelled. Whether supernatural or just plain wicked, the child becomes a liminal being caught outside of normalised categorization; not mature, not socilaised, not under the rule of law and not conforming to adult nostagia over what they should be.
Is there a relationship between the declining birth rate in the West and the increasing representation of children as an alien other? However, as witchcraft accusations against children in Africa and representations in the Asian horror film genre show, this is not just a Western phenomenon. So just what are the underlying reasons, if any? This volume aims to assemble the evidence from history, psychology, sociology, literature and media studies to map the extent and meaning of this representational development.
Topics to include:
- Witch children, witchcraft accusations against children, children using witchcraft accusations
- Magical children: children with magical or superhuman powers, the wunderkind
- Werewolves and other shapeshifters: children as animals
- Fairies and changelings: the folklore of strange children
- Undead children: vampires, zombies and others
- Ghosts and demonic children: children possessed, children as demons
- Child crime and culpability: moral evil and legal responsibility
- Monstrous children through history: physical deformity and mental health issues
- Children as embodiments of other aspects of supernatural horror
- The monstrous as a new role model for children
- Children as adults and adults as children
- Society and children and public and private spaces
- Immigration, post-colonialism and foreign adoption
- War children and child soldiers
A brief bio and abstract of circa 300 words should be sent to -
For literature and media studies: Simon Bacon
For history and social sciences: Leo Ruickbie
Deadline for abstracts: 1st September 2013
There's no project page as yet, but you'll find these same details here.