Children, Media and Communication Workshop (24–25 April 2023, Tampere University, Finland)

Children, Media and Communication: New Histories of Experience
Workshop 24–25 April 2023, Tampere University, Finland
CfP Deadline: 15 January 2023

Children’s experiences have interested scholars increasingly in various fields including the history of childhood during the 2000s (e.g. Olsen 2015; Vallgårda & Larsen 2021; Pooley & Taylor 2021; Malinen & Vahtikari 2021; Moruzi, Musgrove & Pascoe Leahy 2019; Kallio, Wood & Häkli 2020; Huttunen & Albrecht 2021). Within the history of childhood, the importance of studying how children communicate their experiences, either independently of adults or in relation to them, has also been emphasised (e.g. Tisdall 2021; Malinen & Vahtikari 2021). This workshop looks to bring together discussions that centre children and young people’s encounters with media and communication practices as a route to developing conceptual and methodological approaches to doing the history of children and youth’s experience. Building on recent scholarship on child-produced media that explores the agency of children as cultural producers and facilitators of social networks (Sloan 2017; Gleadle & Rodgers 2022; Christensen & Johansen 2022; Sparrman 2002), we seek to extend conversations about what children’s creation and inhabitation of media sites meant to them and to society in different historical contexts. How did the use of different media shape children’s experiences (embodied, imagined, or interpreted)? Through what modes and frameworks did children communicate themselves to their immediate surroundings or wider audiences? How were these communication practices embodied through and/or influenced by intersections of gender, age, class, race, and ableness?

The workshop conceives of media and communication broadly, including ‘old’ and ‘new’ media technologies and formal or informal media formats; across geographical and chronological contexts; and spanning cultural, political and social importance. We are interested in approaches which explore the forms through which children have expressed themselves to their immediate environment, ranging from drawing or writing fictive stories to mass media pages consisting of child-produced content. As well as a central interest in child-produced media, we look to trace the processes through which children and young people have adopted and appropriated existing and new media landscapes and technologies, such as letter-writing and mobile phones, as part of their lived experience; political, economic and affective cultures; and communication worlds. We also welcome discussions of how adult-produced content, including children’s literature or broadcasting content aimed at children, have framed the experiences of children in different historical contexts.

We welcome papers from early-career and established scholars. Themes for papers could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Children’s access (and limits to) media technologies
  • Children’s rights and the media
  • Children’s practices of making media
  • Child-specific ways of communicating experience
  • Media and children and young people’s political cultures, activism and citizenship
  • Children as producers and consumers of media
  • Children’s embodied use of media technologies
  • Media-production and use and children’s relationships with peers
  • Adult-produced media and children’s experiences
  • Adult concerns of children’s use of media

Those interested in presenting a paper at the workshop are invited to submit a title, abstract of 200 words and contact details to Dr. Eve Colpus (, Dr. Antti Malinen ( and Dr. Heidi Kurvinen ( by 23 January 2023. Accepted contributors will be notified by 1 February 2023.

Please submit any enquiries to Dr. Heidi Kurvinen (

The workshop will take place at Tampere University, Finland. It consists of sessions of individual papers and a keynote talk delivered by Dr. Stephanie Olsen. An informal networking event and a dinner will take place on the first evening (24 April).

The workshop is organised in collaboration with the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences (HEX) in Tampere University and the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS).



Christensen, N. & Johansen, S. L., Managing Media. Listening to Young Girls as Producers of Texts and Media in the Nineteenth Century and Today: Ida Thiele’s Letters and Naja Münster’s YouTube Channel. Barn 40:3 (2022), 85–100.

Gleadle, K. & Rodgers B., “A library of our own compositions”: the Minervian library and children’s social authorship in Victorian Orkney. Journal of Victorian Culture 27:3 (2022), 477–492.

Huttunen, J. & Albrecht, E., The framing of environmental citizenship and youth participation in the Fridays for Future Movement in Finland. Fennia 199:1 (2021), 46–60.

Kallio, K. P., Wood, B. W. & Häkli, J., Lived citizenship. Citizenship Studies 24:6 (2020), 713–729.

Malinen, A. & Vahtikari, T., Feeling the Nation through Exploring the City: Urban Pedagogy and Children’s Lived Experiences in Postwar Helsinki. In V. Kivimäki, S. Suodenjoki & T. Vahtikari (eds.) Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800–2000. Palgrave Macmillan 2021, 319–347.

Moruzi, K., Musgrove, N. & Pascoe Leahy, C. (eds.), Children’s Voices from the Past: New Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan 2019.

Olsen, S., Introduction. In S. Olsen (eds.) Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan 2015, 1–11.

Pooley, S. & Taylor, J. (eds.), Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain. University of London Press 2021.

Sloan, C., “Periodicals of an objectionable character”: Peers and periodicals at Croydon Friends’ School, 1826–1875. Victorian Periodicals Review 50:4 (2017), 769–786.

Sparrman, A., Visuell kultur i barns vardagsliv: Bilder, medier och praktiker. Barn – forskning om barn og barndom i Norden 20:3 (2002).

Tisdall, L., “The school that I’d like”: Children and teenagers write about education in England and Wales, 1945–79. In S. Pooley & J. Taylor (eds.) Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain. University of London Press 2021, 197–219.

Vallgårda, K. & Larsen, K. R., Emotional Echoes: Young People, Divorce, and the Public Media, 1960–2000. Journal of Social History 55:1 (2021), 226–253.