CFP ‘Children’s Labour and Schooling: Ideologies, Histories, Everyday Lives’ workshop, Delhi, Dec 13-14, 2013

Call for Papers

Children’s Labour and Schooling: Ideologies, Histories, Everyday Lives
December 13-14, 2013
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, India

The proposed workshop is an effort to bring together a range of scholars to
explore the interface of childrens work and schooling from the nineteenth
century onwards. Quite unlike earlier local, and less publicized attempts to
end children’s labour through schooling in India, the Right to Education Act
(2009) is being viewed as a historic opportunity to finally realize this
crucial milestone. Current discussions on this Right are dominated by
concerns relating to school access and quality. Though important, these
discussions leave little room to explore the complex intersections between
child labor and schooling in colonial and postcolonial India: intersections
that draw attention to issues not necessarily exhausted by ensuring school
access for laboring children. This complicated past of less than ideal
resolutions produced by a modern apparatus of schooling/training set in
place by the colonial and postcolonial state, points to the need to open-up
and rethink the binary framing of labor vs school which tends to limit
contemporary discussions.

Of central consideration is how the categories child, labor and school have
been variously deployed in colonial and postcolonial India to reject,
instrumentally accommodate and /or defer schooling for child laborers, and
the continuing effects of these deployments in the present. Topics broadly
include:

*   the shifting production of parental preference around childrens futures;
*   missionary efforts that combined literary and technical education;
*   the emergence of secular notions of age, delinquency and labor
legislation in determining the child figure;
*   the specific histories of caste associations, occupational mobility and
shifting aspirations;
*   the pedagogic regulation of imagined futures through modern sites and
techniques of instruction like factory schools, industrial schools,
half-time schools, object-lessons etc.;
*   Nai Talims singular assertions around work and learning; national,
transnational and global anxieties around development and its foregrounding
the child;
*   India’s demographic dividend and new assertions around skills;
sites in contemporary India where children are engaged in labor, and combine
work with schooling;
*   linkages between childrens labor, migration, formal and informal
arrangements of apprenticeship and Indias growing informal economy.

The workshop also welcomes intellectually creative, non-disciplinary
reflections on the issue of Dalit and other marginalised communities
experience of schooling and work. Autobiographies, poetry and childrens
stories have emerged as significant genres to imaginatively explore the
complex, everyday circulation and experience of existing hierarchies between
those who work with their hands and those who work with their heads. These
writings compel social scientists to re-examine the ways in which we
currently employ concepts like labor, learning, mental, manual, and the
workshop welcomes these contributions.

Interested participants should send an abstract of not more than 400 words
to Sarada Balagopalan (saradab@csds.in) by October 15, 2013. Please specify
Childrens Work and Schooling Workshop under the subject heading.

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