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Children and Childhoods Conference 2019

17 Jul 2019 10:00AM

The University of Suffolk has hosted its biennial two-day Children and Childhoods Conference.

Once again, delegates travelled to the conference at the University’s Waterfront Building from over 12 countries including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Norway and India.

The event marked 25 years of the Early Childhood Studies degree and a range of topics were discussed from Special Educational Needs and Disability, Sexuality, Shared Memories and Dialogue and Rights and Participation.

Professor Heather Montgomery, a Reader in the Anthropology of Childhood at the Open University, delivered the keynote address on the first day of the conference.

Professor Montgomery examines how children and adolescents have been portrayed and analysed in ethnographic monographs over the last 150 years. She also researches on the history of childhood and is the co-author of Childhood and Violence in the Western Tradition.  She said “The University of Suffolk has one of the most dynamic, forward-looking childhood studies programmes and I think that is really reflected in the delegates that have come to the conference. The University has a good reputation with some cutting-edge work and it attracts a very diverse and dynamic group of people. What is really lovely to see, is the number of students from Suffolk and also a group from the University of East London. There is a mix of delegates- researchers, academics and students.”

Professor Tom Cockburn will deliver the keynote address on day two of the conference, 17 July. He is currently Professor of Social Sciences and Head of Department at the Department of Social Sciences at Edge Hill University. Over the past 20 years, he has undertaken research into children and young people with various charities and government organisations. He has published on a wide variety of issues concerning children and young people, including citizenship, rights, drug use, sports participation and far right political action.

Professor Cockburn said, “I am really looking forward to the conference at the University. It is an opportunity to engage with contemporary researchers from across the world that work across disciplines and combine theoretical and empirical work. The diversity of the lives of children in the UK and elsewhere require a number of different approaches to shine light on some complex issues.”

“My keynote will discuss how sociologists have explored children’s citizenship and how this contrasts with political theories that tends to view children as passive recipients of rights and responsibilities. The talk looks at the opportunities that recent relational theories may have on citizenship studies. It also reflects upon some of the questions that remain in the context of global nationalisms, neo-liberal austerity agendas and increasing movements of people, including children, across borders.”

For more information about the conference, please visit


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