Conference October 2017

1968 and the boundaries of childhood

Bibliothèque Municipale de Tours

12th-14th October 2017

The project’s first conference focuses on experimental ideas of children and culture for children, children’s rights, participation and access to culture in the ’68 years. The aim is to generate dialogue between specialists from cognate fields within childhood studies (including children’s history and media, children’s culture, heritage and art education), historians of ’68, and contemporary practitioners involved in working with children and culture (publishers, artists, children’s librarians etc).

It will be held at the Bibliothèque Municipale de Tours, France, Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th October 2017. This will coincide with an exhibition of non-sexist and multiracial children’s books from the 1970s from France and the US, organised in collaboration with the artists Kim Dhillon and Andrea Francke of Invisible Spaces of Parenthood and the Children’s Section of the Bibliothèque Municipale de Tours. 

Day 1: Thursday 12th October

2pm-2.45pm coffee and registration

2.45pm ‘The Children’s ‘68’: Introduction to the project  

Theme 1: Children’s rights and children’s culture


  • Olle Widhe, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

‘Radical children’s literature and children’s rights in Sweden around ’68’

  • Lucy Pearson, Newcastle University, UK

‘The Right to Read: Children’s Rights and Children’s Publishing in Britain’

  • Mathew Thomson, University of Warwick, UK

‘Rights, Limits and the Landscape of the Child in ‘70s Britain’

Discussant: Helle Strandgaard Jensen


6:30-8pm Public lecture (in French)

Sophie Heywood & Cécile Boulaire: ‘Le ’68 des enfants’


 Day 2: Friday 13th October


  • CMER (Cellule Mutualisée Europe Recherche)

Presentation of funding opportunities in the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

Theme 2: New ideas of the family and gender


  • Nelly Chabrol-Gagne, University of Clermont-Ferrand, France

‘A militant aesthetic: a reading of Martine petite maman (1968), Histoire de Julie qui avait une ombre de garçon (1976), Salut poupée (1978), Mes années 70 (2008)’

  • Tour of exhibition and talk by artist Andrea Francke of ‘Invisible Spaces of Parenthood’, London UK

10.45am-11am Coffee

 Theme 3: Avant-gardes and aesthetic experimentation


  • Anna Antoniazzi, University of Genoa, Italy

‘Cultural revolution in Italian children’s literature’

  • Anita Wincencjusz-Patyna, Akademia Sztuk Pieknych im. Eugeniusza Gepperta, Wroclaw, Poland

‘Children’s book design and illustration in Poland, c. 1968’

Discussant: Cécile Boulaire

12.15pm-2pm Lunch

Theme 4: Utopias and transforming society


  • Loïc Boyer, Graphic designer and editor of Cligne Cligne magazine and series (Didier jeunesse), Orléans, France

‘Designing spaces for the child in France by the early ’70s: what CRÉE means’

  • Jonathan Bignell, University of Reading, UK

‘Children of the World on British television: the 1968 of 1971’

Discussant: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

3.30pm-3.45pm Coffee

Theme 5: Counter-culture, hippyism and anti-authoritarianism


  • Kim Reynolds, Newcastle University, UK

‘One, two, three what are we fighting for? The long view of antiwar writing for children’

  • Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, University of Tübingen, Germany

‘Political indoctrination and anti-authoritarian ideas: leftist picturebooks in Germany after 1968’

  • David Buckingham, Loughborough University/Kings College London, UK

‘Children of the revolution? The British hippie counter-culture and the idea of childhood’

  • Sophie Heywood, University of Reading, UK/ University of Tours, France

‘Explosive tales for children: Harlin Quist Books and the May ’68 of French children’s picturebooks’

Discussant: Lucy Pearson

Evening: Social Dinner

Day 3: Saturday 14th October

Theme 6: Defining ‘radical’ children’s culture c. 1968


  • Helle Strandgaard Jensen, University of Århus, Denmark

‘Scandinavian children’s television: an institutionalisation of ‘68’?’

  • Cécile Boulaire, University of Tours, France

Okapi, a ‘fantastinouï’ magazine for teenagers in the spirit of ‘68’

  • Birgitte Beck Pristed, University of Århus, Denmark

‘Revolution Elsewhere: Soviet Conformist and Non-Conformist Children’s Books of the 1960s and 1970s’

Discussant: Jonathan Bignell

11:15-11:30am Coffee

 11.30am-12.45pm Round Table: Breaking boundaries?

Alex Thorp, Education curator, Serpentine Gallery London, UK

Viviane Ezratty, Conservatrice générale et directrice de la médiathèque Françoise Sagan à Paris

Isabelle Nières-Chevrel, University of Rennes II


Daniel Gordon, Edge Hill University, UK: observations from a historian of ’68

Sophie Heywood: closing remarks

To register for this event: 


Private institutions 200 EUR
Public institutions 120 EUR
Students & PhD Scholars 60 EUR
Social dinner 60 EUR

Image reproduced with the kind permission of Etienne Delessert