Call for Papers and Yarns


At critical crossroads in Nordic Childhood Studies: 40th Anniversary Conference of the Nordic journal Barn – Trondheim, Norway, August 16–17, 2023

On the occasion of the Nordic journal Barn’s 40th anniversary, we invite our fellow scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and others interested in lives of children and youth to join us in taking stock of our field and charting the course for the future of Nordic Childhood Studies.

The last years have brought calamitous changes and challenges in the lives, actions, and aspirations of young people in the Nordic region. Climate change has caused widespread climate anxiety and the Fridays for Future movement, initiated by Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg, made children take to the streets, demanding a sustainable future. Soon after, the same squares were filled with young people of both ethnic minority and majority backgrounds for fierce Black Lives Matter protests. They voiced solidarity with victims of racist police brutality in the US as well as articulated painful testimonies of racial injustice and social exclusion in Nordic social welfare states.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent young people off the streets and home from kindergartens and schools. Social distancing, homeschooling, parental job loss, economic difficulties, and family tensions put a strain on our everyday lives, and we are yet to comprehend the consequences it has had on newborns, toddlers, children, and youth. When everyday life finally started normalizing, the geopolitical situations of Nordic countries was turned upside-down with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The insecurity felt among young people is now fueled by the most strained geopolitical situation since the Cold War, an unfathomable humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, and the biggest refugee crises on European soil since the WWII. The invasion has led to devasting impacts on family households in the Nordic region, some being pushed into poverty by steep energy bills and surging food price inflation.

Bearing in mind the gravity of the challenges faced by children and youth today, we find it more crucial than ever to join forces in thinking creatively in how to conduct ethical and theoretical sound research in ways that will benefit children, youth, and families, and achieve research impacts beyond academia, including policy changes and human rights improvements. The Nordic countries’ shared historical, economic, cultural, and political structures begs for transnational and intersectoral collaboration and communication. At our anniversary conference, we will create a vibrant Nordic platform that promotes cross-cutting discussions and research on children and youth in times of extreme uncertainty, exploring what Nordic Childhood Studies can be in the years to come, further developing, expanding, and crystallizing the field in terms of theory, methods, and ethics. In so doing, we seek to strengthen a common academic identity for Nordic scholars.

The 2-day program consists of key talks, yarns, paper discussions, and a launch of our special issue, “Under the radar – Children and childhoods missing from Nordic Childhood Studies”. We will revisit our common history and scholarly traditions; discuss and develop research that communicates across national borders, and across thematic, theoretical, and methodological distinctions; and initiate new collaborations with communities and institutions in which children grow up and that impact their lives.

We want to create a positive and collegial atmosphere with ample opportunities for people to talk and socialize. We welcome the involvement of PhD students and post docs, and will run a PhD course (see separate call) from August 15–19 connected to the anniversary conference to facilitate social networking and provide a supportive and informal atmosphere of discussion and exchange of ideas.

The anniversary conference serves as the main source of papers for our forthcoming special issue: “At Critical Crossroads in Nordic Childhood Studies: Contemporary Contemplations.”

See for full call and key themes.
See for more about the journal Barn.
Conference e-mail:

Anniversary Conference format

We invite scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and others interested in lives of children and youth to submit abstracts for papers or yarns.

Paper Discussion Sessions

The paper discussion sessions take place in smaller groups. Here, the participants will have in-depth, engaged, and constructive discussions on submitted papers. Each paper session lasts 2 hours and encompasses four paper presentations (30 minutes each). Papers are distributed in advance, and we encourage participants to read papers before the session, enabling the session to focus on issues raised by the papers. Papers may be conceptual, methodological, ethical, or empirical, but must be connected to one of the themes and have a well-defined scope and structure. To submit a paper, please send an abstract (max. 200 words) by 15th February 2023 to (opens 15th January).

For accepted abstracts, the deadline for full papers (approx. 3000–4000 words) is 1st June 2023, to

Yarn Sessions (workshops)

In the yarn sessions, we wish to create collective, bottom-up and curiosity-driven discussions. Inspired by Aboriginal communication forms and knowledge systems, the sessions aim to generate open, inclusive ways of evolving new perspectives and knowledge. A yarn may be initiated by one or more participants (for instance a research group) by suggesting topics that are uncertain or unsolved, or perhaps filled with tensions or dilemmas. We encourage the practice field to initiate yarns connected to topics they wish that researchers would explore further. Initiators might include governmental, non-governmental, and/or child and youth organizations, and we would warmly welcome young people to participate. Each yarn will consist of max. 20 people, take place in a relaxed ambience in a round table, and be designed to break down regional, sectorial, generational, and disciplinary barriers, generating authentic conversations and new insights into research and practice. We will encourage participants to develop yarns into co-authored conceptual, ethical, methodological and/or reflexive papers for our forthcoming special issue connected to the anniversary conference.

To organize a yarn, please write an abstract (max. 400 words) with a theme (a dilemma, a case or perhaps a question) that will trigger people’s curiosity, ideas, and enthusiasm. Submit the yarn by 15th February 2023 to (opens 15th January).

Barn Anniversary Committee and Editorial Team Barn