Evil Children: Children and Evil
Тези до: 28.10.2016
Дати: 07.04.17 — 09.04.17
Е-мейл Оргкомітету: firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea of the child as innocent, as pure, the ‘little angel’ in need of protection from the harsh realities of life and the corrupting influences of the world around us has come to dominate our thinking, language, values, social policies and educational philosophies in the past few decades. Children are seen as ‘little people’, ‘blank slates’, works in progress who are loved, nurtured and guided as they grow to become mature, rational and responsible adults.
Yet we are also aware of the mischievous ‘little monsters’, the ‘little devils’ who run exasperated parents ragged. The toddlers who chase pigeons; kick cats; pull the wings off flies and the legs off spiders. Children of whom we become afraid; who abuse other children; who assault each other, strangers, parents, the elderly. Children who ‘roam’ and ‘own’ the streets, individually or ‘in packs’; who are put ‘into care’; who commit crimes; who smoke, drink, and take drugs. Feral children. Children who rape. Children who torture. Children who kill. Children who are ‘possessed’: demonic children, evil children who do evil things.
This research stream will juggle with two competing approaches to children and evil. The first concerns itself with how (certain) children have been presented as evil and considers the nature of evil children as a social and cultural construct. The second approach considers the question of whether children can be evil and involves wrestling with the nature of evil, what we mean by free will and responsibility and, if responsibility exists, at what point does one assume responsibility for one’s acts? What is the special status of ‘childhood’ that makes it different?
The inaugural launch of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference will begin to examine, explore and undermine issues surrounding the general idea of the child as innocent and explore all aspects of evil children and the relationship between children and evil. It will probe the dichotomies and ambiguities of our understanding and constructs of children, childhood, the passage through childhood to adulthood and the relationship with personal and social values, morals and responsibilities. It will map the ways in which children could or should be held accountable for the things they do and the contexts in which they are subject to influencing factors and conditions. And it will assess the use of ‘evil‘ in relation to children and childhood in the historical and contemporary cultures.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Innocence and evil; innocent evil
Evil and age; does age matter?
Children: mad, bad or something else?
Children, evil and empathy
The child as perpetrator
Normal children; aberrant children
The vilification of children
Evil, children and/in Fairy Tales: Folk Lore and evil children
Evil, children and the supernatural
Evil and the end of childhood
Forensic and Clinical/Biological perspectives
Child murderers; children who kill
Evil, children and the military. Children and war. Child soldiers
Evil in the playground
Evil, children and/in literature (e.g., Jack Merridew, Lord of the Flies; Frank Cauldhame, The Wasp Factory)
Evil, children and/in films (e.g., “Chuckie,” “Ben,” Damien Torne, Henry Evans, Isaac Chroner, Regan MacNeill)
Evil, children and tv (e.g., Joffrey Baratheon, Kevin Katchadourian, Stewie Griffin)
Children in Horror Literature (“Carrie”)
“Protecting” children from evil (film ratings, etc.)
“Original Sin” and evil children
Children in Victorian drama or literature: victims and perpetrators
Children, disability and evil.
Bastard children (e.g., Shakespeare)
The psychology and psychopathology of evil children
Economics of children and evil
Cross-cultural perspectives of children and evil
Children, evil and social policies
Children, education and evil
Inherited evils: the sins of the parents; children, evil and family
Children who become evil adults
We invite people from all disciplines, professions and vocations to come together in dialogue, to provide a space and a level of legitimacy for a subject, or subjects that is traditionally seen as unimaginable, a socially taboo and even associated with pathology, by providing a forum for ideas and arguments that might otherwise not receive adequate attention and discussion. The ultimate goal is in a sense to expose the current topic to the light of day for examination of the intellectual, the emotional and the personal.