Forthcoming 'Childhood and Nation' book - pre-reviews out

By Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Childhood and Nation in World Cinema: Borders and Encounters is an international volume (co-editedfwith Emma Wilson, Cambridge University and Sarah Wright, Royal Holloway University), funded by the Leverhulme Trust and my Australian Research Council Fellowship. but it is also a strongly UNSW Arts and Social Sciences achievement, featuring staff from Humanities and Languages (Jan Lanicek and I), School of Arts and Media (Greg Dolgopolov), the postdoctoral community (Klara Bruveris, ex School of Arts and Media and also ex research associate in Humanities and Languages) and also a colleague who has studied and taught at School of Arts and Design (Susan Danta). Susan is the animator behind the recent film Constance on the Edge.

Some of the pre-reviews:

“This terrific new collection provides the emerging, vibrant, interdisciplinary field of writing on the child in cinema with a welcome new direction. Reflecting upon the shifting global geopolitical boundaries of our everyday world, it provocatively challenges, uncouples and rethinks accepted correlations between cinematic depictions of childhood and nationhood. The scholarship is engaging, often eye opening, in its illumination of the complexities of depictions of children (adopted, deported, disappeared, “left behind”), in cinemas ranging from Bollywood to South Korean animation to Argentine stop-motion to Australian indigenous films. This book will speak to anyone who was ever moved by a film about childhood to reflect on their own history, their own place within the world.”

David Martin-Jones,  University of Glasgow.


“World Cinema is, before anything else, a school in other cultures. Children on screen, in turn, represent processes of learning from the world. In combining childhood, the nation and world cinema, this superb collection takes us on an enlightening journey around the world through the eyes of the child. It teaches us how nations are formed and destroyed, how they affect the world, and how the child is particularly affected as it grows up amidst conflicts, wars and disputes over borders. As the editors of this collection remind us, films become emotionally closer to us when there is a child protagonist, and one could add, a child’s lessons on the world are closer to the truth.”

Lúcia Nagib,  University of Reading.


“The figure of the child has been a potent symbol in many constructions a representations of national identity within various forms of visual media. Covering examples from many different historical and cultural contexts, this edited volume raises ethical challenges about such representations in an intellectually rigorous manner. This is a powerful and timely book with a truly global perspective.”

Tim Bergfelder, University of Southampton


“This important and compelling book addresses the place of children in an increasingly troubled world. A much neglected area of study in the history of the cinema, the cinematic child is explored here with great insight and depth of understanding. Childhood and Nation in Contemporary World Cinema offers an original and moving study of the power of cinema to explore ethical issues surrounding the future of the child in nations marked by war, homelessness and the search for identity. The authors explore the concept of the cinematic child from a range of national backgrounds and across a range of themes: sexuality, dispossession, war, migration, suicide, family, identity. A truly inspiring collection, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in cinematic depictions of childhood and the significance of the child in narratives about the future of all nations challenges about such representations in an intellectually rigorous manner. This is a powerful and timely book with a truly global perspective.”

Barbara Creed, University of Melbourne.

 childhood nation cover

Stephanie Donald

Post a Comment

Commenting is closed for this article.