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The Australian National University

Childhoods in South Asia: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Date: 18-19 July 2013
Location: Hedley Bull Theatres 1 & 2,
The Australian National University


This is a free event.

Please register for catering purposes. You can register for either one day or two days.


Childhoods in South Asia: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives provides an interdisciplinary platform for scholars and NGO representatives who work in the areas of childhood and education in South Asia. In response to adult speculation and debates around political, social and economic development, we invite critical interrogation of changing conceptions of childhood. While there is increasing theoretical and development interest in children in South Asia, children’s experiences and perspectives are still underrepresented in political, social and economic debate. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to foreground children’s experiences in light of changing conceptual discourses of childhood in historical and contemporary South Asia. While acknowledging the ways children are situated within structures of power, the conference will focus on South Asian children’s stories and agency.

We will explore children’s interactions with institutions of modernity, social constructs and social structures—including age, gender, family, class, community and caste—that often marginalise children in multiple ways. We aim for a convergence of innovative ideas around childhood, recognising that this category is contested and raises important dilemmas for interdisciplinary studies. 

The conference offers a forum within these two days to identify and develop convergences, conflicts, and aspects that may have been overlooked by one discipline, but explored in another. Our inclusion of historical and contemporary scholarly perspectives aims to contextualise and historicise issues. A significant objective of the conference will be to highlight the methodological implications of research into the perspectives and experiences of children.

Two weeks of South Asia events
From the 15th of July 2013 to the 24th of July there will be a number of free events focusing on South Asia at ANU.  Click here for more information.


  • The South Asia Research Institute (SARI), ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University
  • The Australia-India Council, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • The Research School of Humanities and the Arts, The Australian National University
  • The Gender Institute, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
  • School of Archaeology and Anthrology, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

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