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Green Templeton College | Oxford

The World's Child

This series was intended to raise questions about the changing nature of childhood and 'adult world' responses to this.

Global in scope, the lecture series explored some of the key influences on the conditions of childhood today, aiming to locate children in regard to such developments as rapid technological change, marketisation and globalisation. Among the topics to be considered are children's security and the significance of war and conflict in children's lives, the role of technology and the internet, childhoods and children's life chances in global perspective, and children's cultural lives as reflected in and through literature.

The global focus spells a recognition of the increasing interconnectedness of the lives of children around the world and the belief that the future of both children and society requires better sharing of responsibilities for all children, as well as greater knowledge about the impact of developments in the 'adult world' on children.

Visit the Green Templeton podcasts page to listen to podcasts of all the 2015 lectures.

  Download the lecture series poster

Monday 26 January 2015
Children, War, Insecurity and Conflict

Navi PillayThis lecture considered the numbers of children directly and indirectly affected by war and conflict, identified consequences and also spoke about the actions that are being taken towards amelioration of children's situation and greater protection of children.

The idea of security as a condition of good childhood is an underlying theme as is the role of the international community and international organisations in effecting change.

Speaker: Dr Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2008-2014.

More information about Navi Pillay


Monday 2 February 2015
Children and the Internet

Professor Sonia LivingstoneChildren are increasingly being targeted as a set of consumers of the internet, whether in a commercial sense or as regards the consumption of mass media. But is this a corruption of childhood or is the commercial world providing entertainment, learning, creativity and cultural experiences that children did not enjoy in earlier times?

This lecture looked at this question through the lens of children's use of technology and the internet, the issues raised by this and the regulations and controls that are and can be put in place in that regard.
Speaker: Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics. 

More information about Professor Sonia Livingstone

Monday 9 February 2015
Global Childhoods

Dr Karen WellsThis lecture looked at developments relating to childhood, viewed in a global perspective. The discussion focused on how processes associated with globalisation - viewed broadly to include political, social and cultural factors as well as economic processes - are acting to influence and affect childhoods. Inequalities in children's life chances were among the topics to be considered. The lecture considered these and other topics from an international comparative perspective and with particular regard to how developments are serving to change the lives and futures of children.   

Speaker: Dr Karen Wells, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, Birkbeck University of London.

More information about Dr Karen Wells

Monday 23 February 2015
Children's Worlds through Children's Literature

This lecture focused on the changing literary world of the child and the place of literature in the lives of today's children. The purpose was to consider developments in children's literature in their own right, to identify and critique depictions of children in literature and to relate developments in children's literature to the changing nature of children's lives. Consideration was also given to the child's world as depicted both in key books and literary characters.  

Speaker: Professor David Rudd, Professor of Children's Literature, University of Roehampton.

More information about Professor David Rudd