“Children and ‘Elusive’ Childhoods in Zimbabwe: Experiences, Policies and Social Practices”,   17-18 September 2020


The primary aim of this multi-disciplinary conference is to simultaneously reflect on the ‘invisible’ experiences of Zimbabwean children and to disentangle diverse policies that affect them. It also seeks to interrogate social practices and processes through which childhoods have been constructed, negotiated, and reconfigured in different political, cultural and socio-economic contexts. In the main, this conference’s key objective is to stimulate renewed academic and research interest on Zimbabwean children and childhoods. The conference will enable a cross-pollination of ideas and views on children and childhoods across disciplines. Therefore, we welcome academics, policy makers, lawyers, NGO representatives and child rights activists to share their views and work experiences during the conference. Papers can focus on, but are not necessarily limited to, the following themes:

  • Culture and contesting definitions of children and childhood
  • Ethics and research in childhood studies.
  • Family ruptures, elusive childhoods, and child headed households
  • Historiographies of children and childhoods
  • Children, heritage, identities, and ancestry.
  • Mining, Farming, domestic ‘work’, and ‘stolen’ childhoods.
  • Childhoods in war, conflict and violence
  • Children, ICTs and social media
  • Children, arts, music, language and literature
  • Children’s rights to health
  • Quality education, learning and socialisation of children
  • Laws and social policies
  • Children in conflict with the law
  • Memories of childhood
  • Poverty, hunger, vulnerability, and social protection
  • Trauma and childhoods
  • Children, exploitation, and commercial sex work
  • Gender based violence
  • Children and nation building
  • Religion, children and childhoods
  • Displacements, migration and the diaspora


Abstract and submission process

Abstracts of between 300 and 350 words should be submitted simultaneously to childhoodmsu@gmail.com  and sillarr@staff.msu.ac.zw . In addition, authors should send their full contact details (title, name, address, email-address, telephone and institutional affiliation). These should appear below the abstract.


Publication of papers

We envisage a publication, such as a special journal issue or an edited book, using selected conference papers.


Important dates

Due date for abstracts: 20 June 2020

Feedback on abstracts: 5 July 2020

Due date for full papers: 1 September 2020

Conference dates: 17 and 18 September 2020


Registration fees

The conference registration fee is ZWL$400. This fee will cover stationery and meals for the duration of the conference.


Travel and Accommodation

All presenters are responsible for their travel and accommodation. Information on ideal hotels and affordable lodges in the city of Gweru will be furnished to all conference participants.


Venue:            Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe


Was this post helpful?