Fifty Primers of Children’s History

We’ve been asking some children’s historians about the publications that have inspired them, and here are some of the responses we’ve received so far.

Fifty Primers of Children’s History

Fifty Primers of Children’s History

If you have any more suggestions, please let us know! Contact us


Conference update!

Did you submit an abstract for our ‘Children and Youth on the Move’ conference? Our organisers Dr Simon Sleight and Dr Mary Clare Martin should be in contact in the coming days, so check your inbox!

For both speakers and attendees, information about the schedule, registration, and accommodation will be available soon. Watch this space…


Conference update: Children and Youth on the Move


The organisers were delighted to receive more than 175 abstracts for the 2018 of the Children’s History Society conference! We will soon be looking through and getting back to you all. In the meantime, the picture is the current image for Children and Youth on the Move conference. It is a linocut called ‘Children’s hoops’ from 1936. You can find out about the artist Ethel Spowers here.


A look at our 2016 conference


It’s one month to go! November 1 is the deadline for abstracts for the Children’s History Society conference Children and Youth on the Move,  University of Greenwich, London, 21-23 June 2018. If you’re considering submitting an abstract, take a look at our 2016 conference ‘Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Context’ at King’s College London, 16-19 June 2016.

With the call for papers asking why ‘sorrow rather than joy characterises much scholarship on children and childhood,’ over one hundred researchers gathered to discuss the challenges of childhood across the world, from Africa, and Japan and China, to Mexico and North America, and closer to home in Europe. You can still take a look  exciting range of titles and abstracts can  paper titles and abstracts online.

‘History is usually adults adults adults.’ This comment came from young researchers from London schools, who challenged this trend with their excellent presentations on the history of child migrants. You can listen to their presentations, along with a selection of other papers from the conference, on Soundcloud.


Discussion also took place on Twitter, with at least thirty conference delegates joining an online list to connect online before the conference, and keeping those unable to attend up to speed using the hashtag #histchild2016. You can check out this Storify of the conference summed up in 100 tweets, or this blog on one graduate student’s experiences.

Abstracts and panel proposals have already begun to arrive for Children and Youth on the Move next June – but there’s still time! The call for papers is still live, until 1 November 2017, and if you’d like to find fellow panellists, this blog will explain how Twitter might be able to help. If you have a quick question, you can easily get an answer on our Twitter feed.

And finally… if you want to help out, we are looking for volunteers!



Thinking of organising a panel? Children and Youth on the Move, 21-23 June, University of Greenwich

Are you thinking of organising a panel for our conference? Children and Youth on the Move is the second biennial conference of The Children’s History Society, which will take place from 21 to 23 June 2018, at the University of Greenwich, London (UK).

We invite panel contributions – especially panels with a long chronological scope, and/or geographical diversity.

If you are thinking of putting together a panel, and want to find others working on a similar theme, the Children’s History Society’s Twitter feed is happy to help!

Tweet your idea @histchild, and we can retweet it to our followers to help you connect with other researchers with similar interests.

Volunteers wanted! Children and Youth on the Move, 21-23 June, University of Greenwich

Would you like to join the Children’s History Society conference organising committee? Would you like to volunteer to help out during the conference itself?

Our conference will be hosted between 21 and 23 June 2018 in the spectacular riverside campus of the University of Greenwich, a world heritage site. We are looking for volunteers based in and around London – please email and to express your interest!

Call for Papers: Children and Youth on the Move


Call for Papers: Children and Youth on the Move

University of Greenwich, London, 21-23 June 2018

In 2015, a shocking photograph of Alan Kurdi – one of the many Syrian child refugees drowned whilst crossing the Mediterranean – seared public and political consciousness around the world. Outside London’s Liverpool Street Station, as well as at transport hubs in Berlin, Gdańsk, Hamburg and Rotterdam, commuters collected newspapers detailing the toddler’s terrible fate from stands located near bronze statues of children hauling suitcases and clutching teddy bears, public memorials recalling the years of the kindertransport and an earlier phase of traumatic displacement. Such global uprooting composes a tough and longstanding feature of the experience of childhood and youth. From the Dust Bowl to the Great Trek; from slave ship voyages to the passages of child convict transportees; from border journeys from Afghanistan to Pakistan, or South to North America; from the more contemporary era backwards in time to the great migrations of the pre-modern world: trails of youthful footprints criss-cross the globe.

Albeit deeply significant, however, the practice and concept of youthful movement encompasses more than transnational journeying and displacement. The related concept of mobility – described by geographers as a ‘hallmark of modern times’ (Uteng and Creswell, 2008) – requires interrogation for all historical settings and eras. Children and Youth on the Move, the second biennial conference of The Children’s History Society, seeks to expand understandings of young people’s historical movements in all their forms. In addition to considerations of movements across borders or thresholds, we welcome assessments of movements big and small, individual and collective, localised and global, permanent and temporary, desired and feared, acted out by and acted upon. We will reflect on movement in relation to individual development (intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical), as well as associated cross-cultural implications. Offering a forum for historical reflections from established and upcoming historians of children, childhood and youth, we also anticipate that our conference will again offer a platform for school-age scholars to reflect on the ways they respond to history.

We invite panel contributions (especially long chronological and/or geographically diverse in collective scope) as well as individual papers on topics related to the conference theme. These might include:

  • Forced and voluntary migrations and removals
  • Kinetic abilities and impairments
  • Young people’s independent mobilities
  • Skills in movement and their social function: dance; running; gymnastics, and more
  • Sociability and popular culture
  • Altered emotional or spiritual states (‘being moved’)
  • Ritual movement in religious communities
  • Social mobility in history
  • Youthful holidays/vacations
  • Mobilisations of youthful discourse
  • Child evacuees, refugees and soldiers
  • Mobile young workers, and associated fears of idleness
  • Engagement with modes of transportation: animals; sail; rowing; bicycles, and more
  • Disease and its impact: quarantine; fleeing infection
  • Moving images of and/or by youth
  • Constructions of ‘natural’ youthful energy, and associated conflicts
  • Young people’s physical engagements with heritage sites and museums
  • Literary representations of movement including narrative arcs and bildungsroman
  • Correspondence and shared cultures
  • Movement, lifestyle and economic wellbeing: nomads; ‘moving house’; temporary accommodation; homelessness
  • Marching and demonstration
  • Transnational childhoods and ‘third culture kids’
  • Migration for education: boarding school and its rituals
  • Escapes and pursuit: slavery; prison and institutional breakouts
  • Welfare: settlement, resettlement and entitlement
  • Intellectual and cultural movements and their impact
  • Future trajectories for researching the histories of young people

For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a 2-page CV, to both and by 1 November 2017. Panel submissions featuring three papers of 15-20 minutes apiece are also encouraged, and should be submitted collectively by the panel organiser. Please state your contact email address on the abstract. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in January 2018.

Please note that our definitions of children and youth are flexible, reflecting the multiple constructions through time of these social categories. We expect the selection process to be competitive, and hence we will prioritise papers directly addressing the overall conference theme as well as one or more sub-themes.

We are delighted to announce that the conference will be hosted at the spectacular riverside campus of the University of Greenwich, a world heritage site. Further details will follow regarding accommodation options, travel arrangements and conference-related activities. If you are based in or around London and would like to join the conference organising committee, or volunteer during the conference itself, please email and to express your interest.


In the meantime, keep up to date with the activities of The Children’s History Society and developments within the field on Twitter and Facebook: and

Warm regards,

Co-Directors Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich), Dr Simon Sleight (King’s College London), and members of the conference organising committee