CRFR informal seminars are FREE but booking is essential. To register please email: (CRFR reserves the right to charge a £5 cancellation fee if a booking is made but the delegate fails to appear)

Please feel free to bring your lunch if the seminar is held at CRFR (we will provide water, but as the seminars are free we cannot provide tea or coffee. You are welcome to bring some with you.  The University of Edinburgh Business School Café is nearby)


Dr Urszula Markowska-Manista, Program Director: MA Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam / Fachhochschule Potsdam

The childhood of Ba’Aka children and their rights to education

Friday 8 March 2019 • 12 noon to 1.00pm
Seminar Room, 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LN

Dr Markowska-Manista will present the socio-cultural situation of children from the Ba’Aka indigenous community, a hunter-gatherer group inhabiting the Sangha-Mbaéré region of the rainforest in the Central African Republic. She will draw on her field research (also participatory methods) to discuss the education of Ba’Aka children which, as “the key do development”, should be provided to all children in the world (CRC). Their educational situation places them at the crossroads of traditional indigenous and modern life in CAR, failing to serve either as the proverbial “fish” or the metaphorical “carrot”. She will outline the situation of children (part of the collective community) who are unheard in the minority and majority of the Global World and invisible in the crush of global problems. Her approach to the subject is influenced by the work of Janusz Korczak, in particular, the child’s right to respect, and the child’s right to be heard and seen, which he strongly postulated and postcolonial childhood studies.

For further information and to reserve a place, click here


Holly Davis, Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Edinburgh and M.P. , PION, Norway

The Nordic Model in Theory and Practice: A conversation between the researched and the researcher.

Wednesday 27 February 2019 • 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Seminar Room, 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LN

This talk will first provide a brief overview of the feminist sex wars and influence, and then move onto the working research design we are currently developing. The final and most substantial segment of this talk will be an unscripted dialogue between Holly Davis, the researcher, and M.P., the researched, about a wide range of issues surrounding the Nordic Model. In this discussion, we will explore topics such as the impact of the sex wars, feminism, stigma, sex work research, representation, working conditions for sex workers under The Nordic Model, policy and larger socio-political themes such as racism, sexism, classism and immigration/migration.

For further information and to reserve a place click the link below 


Both of the seminars below are fully booked

Two forthcoming seminars on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and resilience. Both seminars are FREE to attend and open to all.

We especially welcome those working outside academia to join us.

ACEs, resilience and the early years – Ariane Critchley and Dr Lynn McNair

Monday 25th February 2019, 12.30-2pm
Room 3.3 Lister Learning & Teaching Centre, 5 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh  EH8 9SU

The early years and early intervention are a cornerstone of Scottish policy, with investment being a key route to preventing problems later in life and improving Scotland’s social problems. The growing interest in ACEs and resilience-led interventions have provided an opportunity to re-focus on the importance of early experiences on later outcomes. In this seminar we will discuss how ACE aware practice is shaping early years and childcare settings, and what this means for children, families and professional learning.  Ariane Critchley, will examine the ways child protection social work with unborn babies and their expectant mothers has been informed by current discourses around ACES, opening up the difficult conversation about why and how the state should intervene to prevent harm.     Dr Lynn McNair was Head of Cowgate Under Fives Centre in Edinburgh and is now a Senior Teaching Fellow at Moray House School of Education.  Lynn will talk about the ways discourse on ACEs and resilience is shaping early childhood practice, and in particular its relationship to, and impact on, Froebalian principles.

Adverse Childhood Experiences? Gendered dimensions and feminist perspectives – Professor Jane Callaghan

Tuesday 12th March 2019, 12.30pm-2pm
Room LG.09, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) model promotes a cumulative model of developmental trauma that suggests that the more ACES a child experiences, the more likely they are to experience negative health, mental health and educational outcomes.  In this seminar, Professor Jane Callaghan will explore the value inherent in this model (particularly in terms of popularising an understanding of the potential impact of trauma on children’s lives), but also consider its limitations, as a model that is individualist, and overly dependent on a neurodevelopmental account. In particular, the seminar will highlight the gendered assumptions and implications of the model, exploring ACES through an intersectional feminist lens.

About our speakers

Ariane Critchley (@ArianeCritchley) is a lecturer in social work at Napier University, social work practitioner and researcher.

Dr Lynn McNair (@LynnMcNair) was Head of Centre of Cowgate under 5s Centre, Edinburgh and is now a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Jane Callaghan (@JaneEMCallaghan) is the Director of the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection at the University of Stirling.


Christine Whyte,
Lecturer in Global History, University of Glasgow

‘When Mammy Maria want to flog [the] witness, she call her “slave”‘: Childhood, family and slavery in mid-19th century Sierra Leone

Thursday 21 February 2019 • 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Room G3, 30 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LN

Sierra Leone is internationally infamous due to the widespread publicity around the enslavement of children as ‘child soldiers’ in the 1990s civil war, and the endemic use of child labour in both rural and urban areas. This paper seeks to explore the history of child labour in order to better understand the relationship between childhood, slave status and forced labour in Sierra Leone. By using testimonies of enslaved children, gathered in criminal proceedings, this paper highlights the ambiguities that existed between family relations and relationships of service and enslavement. These testimonies demonstrate how Sierra Leonean children were particularly vulnerable to enslavement and practices of forced labour.

Part of the intention of this research is to connect these histories to contemporary concerns about child labour and child trafficking, and encourage practitioners and policy makers to explore and consider particular cultural and historical contexts. By working with previously unattended child testimonies, this historical project will hopefully offer a useful comparative case study for contemporary research.

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