Call for Papers

Association of Internet Researchers annual conference online session (AoIR 2021) and special issue in Digital Geography and Society


21. Mar. 2021 | submission of short abstracts

24. Mar. 2021 | Invitation to submit AoIR abstract sent out to authors by session chairs

12. Apr. 2021 | Deadline for submission of longer AoIR abstract (1000-1200 words, template will be circulated) to session chairs

01. Jun. 2021 | Notification of acceptance for session by AoIR

01. Jun. 2021 | Notification of acceptance for session by AoIR

Conference Date (online):

13. – 16. Oct. 2021

31. Oct. 2021 | Full articles for special issue due

Q1  2022 | Publication of special issue

Download the CfP as PDF



Session & Special Issue: Researching Digital Geographies with Children and Young People

 Tabea Bork-Hüffer* & Christina Ergler**
* Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Austria,
** School of Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand,


Children’s geographies, young people’s geographies – and more recently youth/youthful geographies – can already look back on a rich tradition of critically unpacking children’s and young people’s active, embodied making of physical and digital space (Aitken, 2018; Evans, 2008; Skelton, 2019; Skelton & Aitken, 2019). Although the (active) role of digital technologies in children’s and young people’s lives has increasingly been addressed since the mid-2000s, there is an urgent need to further investigate and theorise the digital more fully from a children’s/young people’s/youth’s standpoint.
Thereby, we are particularly interested in contributions that theorise children’s and young people’s physical and virtual realms, e.g., by scrutinizing “collapsing contexts” (boyd, 2002), blurred “place-making” (Waite, 2020), “interwoven presences” (Thulin, Vilhelmson, & Schwanen, 2020) or entangled socio-material and techno-social spaces (Bork-Hüffer, Mahlknecht, & Kaufmann, 2020) as an intrinsic, natural part of children’s and young people’s lives. We thus look for contributions that consider how matter, bodies and technologies simultaneously act in complex and situated everyday spaces (cf. Änggård, 2016).

Nature, Health and Digital in Times of Crisis

Questions of “inclusive” and “contested everyday geographies” (Hopkins, Botterill, & Sanghera, 2018) are just as pressing in the digital realm. Critical, partly intersectional, analyses have started to look into the inequalities, exclusions or adverse incorporations that are created through the coming together of socio-material and techno-social constructions of gender, sexuality, class, race, and nationality (e.g., Cover, 2016, 2019; Rodó-de-Zárate, 2017). While underlining the importance of making visible and addressing inequalities, we look for papers that seek to move beyond the reproduction of normative social categories, e.g., through looking at “ways of thriving otherwise” (Elwood, 2020, p. 2), notions of diffracted difference (Barad, 2014) or hyper-diversity (Kraftl, Bolt, & Kempen, 2019).
Given the ubiquity of the digital in children’s and young people’s everyday spaces, there is further a need to make the endeavours of “researching digital geographies with children and young people” visible. We invite submissions that focus not only on theorising their everyday life, but also papers that focus on innovative ways of researching with children and young people, thereby regarding “youth as active citizens” (Kallio, 2018, p. 566). Hereby we are particularly interested in innovative ways of integrating digital technologies as tools and objects of researching with children and young people. We ask all authors to reflect on research and data ethics in the process of researching with children and young people.

We welcome contributions from various disciplinary backgrounds, and regional foci and particularly encourage submissions that focus on the majority and growing number of youth in the Global South (cf. Blerk, 2019) or fill the gap of dialogue between Global South and Global North studies (cf. Holt, Blazek, Benwell, & Blerk, 2020; Punch, 2020)

We seek papers that address (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Critical ventures into children’s and young people’s socio-material and techno-social “ways of thriving otherwise” aimed at deconstructing normative and divisive social categories
  • Conceptualisations and analyses of entangled socio-material and techno-social everyday spaces in children’s and young people’s lives
  • Theoretical-conceptual approaches to children’s/young people’s/youthful geographies in light of the digital transformation
  • Innovative, ethically sound methodologies, possibly adopting digital and mobile technologies as research tools and objects, that are developed for researching with children and young people
  • Ways of co-creating knowledge and transferring knowledge in the field of digital geographies together with children and young people
  • Research and data ethics involved in researching digital geographies with children and young people


We seek to bring all authors together for mutual discussions during an online session of the Association of Internet Researchers conference in 2021 (AoIR 2021) and to eventually publish full articles in a special issue on “Researching digital geographies with children and young people” in Digital Geography and Society (Elsevier, please see author’s guidelines here:
Interested authors are asked to submit a short abstract (max. 250 words) to the session chairs by 21 March 2021. Based on the submissions the session chairs will select papers for the AoIR session, invite the respective authors to submit the required longer AoIR abstract by 12 April 2021 and eventually submit a full paper for review for the special issue in Digital Geography and Society by 31 October 2021.


Aitken, S. C. (2018). Children’s Geographies: Tracing The Evolution and Involution of a Concept. Geographical Review, 108(1), 3-23. doi:10.1111/gere.12289
Änggård, E. (2016). How matter comes to matter in children’s nature play: posthumanist approaches and children’s geographies. Children’s Geographies, 14(1), 77-90. doi:10.1080/14733285.2015.1004523
Barad, K. (2014). Diffracting diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart. Parallax, 20(3), 168-187.
Blerk, L. v. (2019). Where in the world are youth geographies going? Reflections on the journey and directions for the future. Children’s Geographies, 17(1), 32-35. doi:10.1080/14733285.2018.1535695
Bork-Hüffer, T., Mahlknecht, B., & Kaufmann, K. (2020). (Cyber)Bullying in Schools – When Bullying Stretches Across cON/FFlating Spaces. Children’s Geographies. doi:10.1080/14733285.2020.1784850
Boyd, D. (2002). Faceted ID/entity: Managing representation in a digital world. Master thesis submitted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2002. Retrieved 30 July 2019
Cover, R. (2016). Digital identities: creating and communicating the online self. London, England: Academic Press.
Cover, R. (2019). Competing contestations of the norm: emerging sexualities and digital identities. Continuum, 33(5), 602-613. doi:10.1080/10304312.2019.1641583
Elwood, S. (2020). Digital geographies, feminist relationality, Black and queer code studies: Thriving otherwise. Progress in Human Geography, 30913251989973. doi:10.1177/0309132519899733
Evans, B. (2008). Geographies of Youth/Young People. Geography Compass, 2(5), 1659-1680. doi:
Holt, L., Blazek, M., Benwell, M. C., & Blerk, L. V. (2020). Editorial introduction to Children’s Geographies Sponsored lecture section: generational orderings and Geographies of Children and youth. Children’s Geographies, 18(2), 125-127. doi:10.1080/14733285.2019.1694221
Hopkins, P., Botterill, K., & Sanghera, G. (2018). Towards inclusive geographies? Young people, religion, race and migration. Geography, 103(2), 86-92. doi:10.1080/00167487.2018.12094042
Kallio, K. P. (2018). Not In The Same World: Topological Youths, Topographical Policies. Geographical Review, 108(4), 566-591. doi:10.1111/gere.12266
Kraftl, P., Bolt, G., & Kempen, R. V. (2019). Hyper-diversity in/and geographies of childhood and youth. Social & Cultural Geography, 20(9), 1189-1197. doi:10.1080/14649365.2018.1491619
Punch, S. (2020). Why have generational orderings been marginalised in the social sciences including childhood studies? Children’s Geographies, 18(2), 128-140. doi:10.1080/14733285.2019.1630716
Rodó-de-Zárate, M. (2017). Who else are they? Conceptualizing intersectionality for childhood and youth research. Children’s Geographies, 15(1), 23-35. doi:10.1080/14733285.2016.1256678
Skelton, T. (2019). Youthful geographies: from Cool Places to hyper-dynamic Asia. Childrens Geographies, 17(1), 24-27.
Skelton, T., & Aitken, S. (Eds.). (2019). Establishing Geographies of Children and Young People. Singapore: Springer.
Thulin, E., Vilhelmson, B., & Schwanen, T. (2020). Absent Friends? Smartphones, Mediated Presence, and the Recoupling of Online Social Contact in Everyday Life. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110(1), 166-183. doi:10.1080/24694452.2019.1629868
Waite, C. (2020). Making place with mobile media: Young people’s blurred place-making in regional Australia. Mobile Media & Communication, 8(1), 124-141. doi:10.1177/2050157919843963



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