Partnership Between Equity for Children and the Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University

A partnership strengthens between Equity for Children and the Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University

Screen shot 2012-09-23 at 12_34_35 AMThe Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University is a multidisciplinary department which puts the issues, concepts and debates that surround the study of children and childhoods at the center of its research and teaching missions. Through this multidisciplinary approach, the Department aims both to theorize and historicize the figure of the child and to situate the study of children and childhoods within contemporary cultural and global contexts. Work in the Department is multidisciplinary in scope and purpose and utilizes both humanistic and social science perspectives on children and their representations. In 2013 the Department will have the first PhD graduates in Childhood Studies in the USA.

The department grew out of the Center for Children and Childhood Studies at Rutgers. As the Department has developed, offering undergraduate and graduate programs, Dr. Watters is working to give the Center a distinctive international focus as the Research Center on Global Childhoods. The Center will be a meeting point for international partnerships aimed at deepening our understanding of the position of children around the globe. It will engage in interdisciplinary research that engages children as partners in the research process and is aimed at enhancing their well-being and participation. The Research Center on Global Childhoods will be a meeting point for scholarship across the globe and will include a visiting fellows program whereby scholars from across the globe will spend time developing and consolidating their research programs at Rutgers. Equity for Children and The New School will be core partners in the Center.

The Rutgers Department of Childhood Studies is hosting a conference on Children and Migration, to be held on the Rutgers-Camden campus November 19-21, 2013. This conference will explore themes such as the history of children’s migration, the global migration of children, and the experiences of migrant children in various contexts. This is an interdisciplinary conference, and proposals are invited for papers in all disciplines, including (but not limited to) psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, public health, and law.

Proposals for papers should be submitted by June 30, 2013.

This conference represents an opportunity to advance and celebrate work in a growing and globally relevant area of study.

The conference will be followed by a specialist policy oriented workshop on undocumented children to be co-hosted by Equity for Children and the Research Center on Global Childhoods in New York on November 22, 2013.

As department chair and Center director Dr. Watters has had a very busy year, not only within the US, but in working internationally in developing partnerships across the globe. Central to these partnerships is one developed with Equity for Children. The partnership has developed opportunities for creative synergies between cutting edge research and policy and practice based initiatives with a range of key agencies. In 2012 the Department of Childhood Studies hosted Professor Jo Boyden, Director of Young Lives at Oxford University who gave the departments first formal annual childhood studies lecture. Dr. Boyden’s visit to Rutgers was also an opportunity for sharing a round table organized by Equity for Children on the theme of Equity and Action to Enhance Child Well-Being with colleagues from UNICEF, the World Bank and The New School.

The collaborative links developed between Rutgers and Brazilian academic institutions are also generating opportunities for research partnerships. In October 2012 Dr. Watters visited Brasilia and had a series of meetings with senior colleagues at the Catholic University of Brasilia and the University of Brasilia on developing international links. This was followed by a successful research bid to support collaborative links for faculty and students with the Catholic University of Brasilia. This work will continue to develop in 2013 and 2014. Dr. Watters has continued to develop his role as international advisor to the Nordic Research Group on Refugee Children. In November 2012 he give a lecture at the Swedish Cultural Museum in Gothenburg on the plight of asylum seeking children in Europe with Paul Hunt the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. His 2012 and 13 publications include contributions to the International Handbook of Migration Studies (Routledge), the Handbook of Child Well-Being (Springer), Mental Health and Human Rights (Oxford) as well as further translated publications in Norwegian and Portuguese. He has acted as external reviewer for a range of publications including a forthcoming book from the Young Lives project. Dr. Watters has been developing the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care published by Emerald. This will include a special edition in 2012 focusing issues of migration in Brazil including child migration.

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