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New academic journal explores childhood in Africa


Dec 7, 2009
By Mary Reed

The Center for International Studies' Institute for the African Child has launched a new online peer-reviewed journal titled Childhood in Africa: An Interdisciplinary Journal (CAJ).

Childhood in Africa is about bringing an Africanist perspective into childhood studies,” said Andria Sherrow, assistant director of the Institute for the African Child and managing editor of CAJ.

“Working toward this discourse and consolidating it hasn’t been done before,” Sherrow added, “You have the medical side, you have the development side, you have the very small child development side and then you have the social sciences … we think the issues that children in Africa are facing are worth a consolidated effort.”

The semiannual publication is intentionally interdisciplinary; academic researchers as well as non-governmental organizations are encouraged to submit manuscripts. Collaborations between on-the-ground organizations and academic researchers are encouraged.

For example, the first issue of CAJ includes an article submitted by the U.S.-based Atrium Society detailing a peace curriculum the agency has used in war-torn Liberia. Other articles are written by academics from higher education institutions in North America and Africa.

University of Dayton Assistant Professor of Anthropology Kristen Cheney, who studies survival strategies among African AIDS orphans, says CAJ is filling an important role by providing a forum for academic research on children and childhood in Africa.

“We don’t see much attention yet to children and childhood (in Africa),” Cheney said. “Half the continent is under 15 years old, so we’ve got to start paying attention to these people and doing research.”

“I’m excited to see how this will influence the field, especially in African studies,” Cheney added, “Will it help people see the links in other broader security (and) environmental issues and the situation of childhood and children themselves in Africa? I would like to see it have that impact.”

CAJ is an open access journal, meaning there is no fee to submit or to subscribe. All content is available online, including searchable PDFs of individual articles. “It’s accessible from any Internet café in Africa and in many parts of rural Africa, too,” Sherrow said.

In addition, the journal’s copyright license allows for full reprints of articles as long as the author is credited.

2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the Institute for the African Child. The new journal builds on the institute’s decade of courses, conferences and symposia on childhood in Africa.

View the journal online at www.afrchild.ohio.edu/CAJ/browse/current_issue.html.

 

Published: Dec 7, 2009 2:41 PM

 
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