Call for Submissions to AREA #14: Kids

AREA Chicago is a community publication that supports Chicago-based social justice practices and struggles. AREA is a space that brings together Art, Research, Education and Activism to create relationships across the boundaries that segregate our city and our minds. Our next issue will be called “Kids!”.  In this issue, we want to explore how our society defines what it means to be a child, how kids participate in the world, and what it means to be growing up in Chicago. We want to see how children and adults come together to challenge “mainstream” understandings to build more just communities and relationships.

We welcome proposals from all age groups for our web and print publications. Our emphasis is on local practices that engage with the social, political and cultural dimensions of the topics we are exploring. Here are just a few examples of questions we are interested in:

- how do children participate in shaping a more socially-just world?
- how does the social geography of Chicago organize the inclusion or exclusion of different “child” categories? how are communities re-imagining spaces in the city?
- what are some of the possibilities and limitations of child/youth organizing in Chicago?
- who is defined as “good kids” , and who is defined as “bad kids” in debates around education, violence, the economy or immigration?
- “good parents” and “bad parents”, or how is “socially-acceptable” parenting imposed and challenged?
- how do race, class and gender inequalities shape unequal “child” worlds?
- what do we learn from struggles around the institutions of childhood: the school, the prison, the camp, the playground, the law?
-  what are the political, economic and emotional aspirations tied to family life, and how have people in Chicago been involved in re-imagining these along radical lines?
- what are some key issues around biological and social reproduction, around gender, sexuality and the policing of children’s bodies?
- what are issues faced by children in relation to the economy, technology, media?
- how are children engaged in and studied by research?
- what are the ways that children relate to employment, unemployment and work as practices and ideas?
- how are migration and transnational childhoods experienced in Chicago?
- how do artistic practices explore, reinforce, challenge dominant notions of  “child”?

Deadline for proposals: September 1. If accepted, first drafts will be due in mid October.
Please click here to submit your proposal.  Having trouble with the submission form? Email
Your proposal should be 200-300 words, outlining a clear idea and direction. Editors can help support turning your proposal into a final submission — our published texts are usually between 600-1,400 words, but we can try to accommodate other lengths or formats whenever possible. Do you have an idea that is not a text? You may propose an event, photographic images, drawings/graphics, or media work. Describe it, we will try to feature other formats in our online issue and also in events.

We want to also hear from organizations that develop social justice programs, as well as educational or creative projects with children and youth. We are especially interested in approaches to anti-oppression, anti-violence, child/youth empowerment and racial/economic justice approaches. Please support participants in these programs in submitting reflections on their experiences.

AREA will also invite contributions to special projects for Issue #14 – stay tuned!