Call for contributions: Histories of science and childhood

Researchers at all career levels are invited to send abstracts (c.200-300 words) for a first-stage expression of interest for the journal Osiris, an annual thematic journal that highlights research on significant themes in the history of science. We are looking to present a proposal for a thematic issue on the intersections between science and childhood across different historical periods and geographical locations. Throughout history, children have been employed as both subjects of intervention and objects of scientific knowledge and experimentation. They form an important part of the history of science – and yet they are often obscured from it. At the same time, science, technology, and medicine have been central to the constitution of the modern concepts of ‘childhood’ and ‘youth’, which have been different across time and space. This issue seeks to bring together the fields of the history of science and the history of childhood to understand how they intersect, and the historical role that science and childhood have played in issues like the dissemination of knowledge, the development of science, the establishment of states and their institutions, colonial power and resistance, and the creation of the modern selfhood.

Potential themes could include, but are not restricted to, the following list:

  • Childhood and technology
  • Children as technology/sites of experimentation
  • Children, childhood, and medicine/psychology/health/disease
  • Childhood, science, and empire/colonial modernity
  • Children and environment/climate change
  • Scientific and visual representations of childhood
  • Science, globalization, and childhoods
  • Childhood, science, gender, and race
  • Science, childhood, and agency

There is no restriction on historical period or location. Early career researchers are especially welcome to apply. Abstracts should be sent to Andrea Graus and Violeta Ruiz. The deadline for submission is the 10th of October 2022. Participants will be notified of the decision in the following days.

The EOI will be sent to the Osiris committee by the 15th of October. Successful EOIs will be invited to send a full proposal by the 15th of December, and the successful issue will be announced at the end of February 2023.