Cultural Representations of Transnational Childhoods: European-Australian-American perspectives Seminar 13 May 2017, University of Wroclaw

Institute of English Studies
University of Wrocław
ul. Kuźnicza 22
Room 212


Dr. Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak (University of Wroclaw)

Dr. Dorota Kołodziejczyk (University of Wroclaw)

Dr. Katarzyna Kwapisz Williams (Australian National University)



It is assumed in Western culture that children have a natural need for a stable and safe domestic and familial environment (Holloway and Valentine 2000). Yet research reveals that the number of children whose everyday lives have been marked by mobility and risks it entails is increasing substantially (Ní Laoire et al. 2010). Child-centered studies of migration in particular show that children often become actors in the immigration process as they negotiate their identifications with places and cultures. Acknowledging and understanding both children’s agency and their active participation in the mobility of their families, for example as language and cultural brokers, requires a transnational literacy (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011) and relying on child-centered critical and pedagogical methodologies aimed at examining the influence of transnationalism on children’s lives (Spivak 1992, Brydon 2003, Lee 2011). Therefore, while substantial attention has been given to these phenomena in sociological studies of childhood, children’s movement across geopolitical borders also needs to be analyzed from a cultural perspective. We invite papers exploring past and contemporary representations of transnational childhoods in literature, film and other media that foreground the mobile nature of children’s lives and thus encourage a reflection on children’s experiences of mobility as an essential factor in their cognitive and emotional development.




 9.00am                        Morning tea on arrival

 9.20am                        Welcome

9.30am – 11.00am       Session 1

Moderator: Marina Balina

  • Elizabeth Hale (University of New England), “Sea and the Antipodes in Children’s Literature”


  • Mateusz Świetlicki (University of Wrocław), “Children of the Revolution: Loss, Migration, and Maturation in Halyna Kyrpa’s My Dad Became a Star


  • Anna Bugajska (Tischner European University), “Transnational Childhoods in More Than This by Patrick Ness”


  • Discussion


10.00am – 11.20am     Coffee break  

11.20am – 12.50pm     Session 2

Moderator: Anna Cichoń

  • Joanna Wojdon (University of Wrocław), “A model identity of ethnic minority children in the Soviet Union”


  • Dorota Kołodziejczyk (University of Wrocław), “Tolerance or active multiculturalism? A comparative look at cultural inclusivity at schools.”


  • Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak & Mateusz Marecki (University of Wrocław), “Literary Education and Transnational Citizenship”


  • Discussion

1.00pm – 2.20pm         Lunch (Bazylia)

2.30pm – 4.00pm         Session 3

Moderator: Elizabeth Hale

  • Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak (University of Wrocław), “Relocations and Complex Trauma: Mobility, Gender, Class, and Race in Eva Hoffman’s Life Writing and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina


  • Katarzyna Kwapisz Williams (The Australian National University), “Growing out of migrancy: Suburban childhoods and transnational worlds in recent Australian life writing.”


  • Marina Balina (Illinois Wesleyan University), “Writing Her/His/Story, Writing Trauma: Re-visions of the Stalinist Past”


4.00pm – 4.20pm         Coffee break

4.20pm – 5.20pm         Session 4

Moderator: Katarzyna Kwapisz Williams

  • Anna Cichoń (University of Wrocław), “Ambivalence of Constructions of Colonial Childhood in Doris Lessing’s Memoirs”


  • Marta Mamet-Michalkiewicz (University of Silesia in Katowice), “Narratives of Home: Cultural Representations of Childhood in Umi Sinha’s Belonging


  • Discussion 

5.20pm – 5.45pm         Concluding remarks

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