Julie C. Garlen is an Associate Professor of Childhood and Youth Studies at Carleton University, where she serves as the Co-Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies. Previously, she worked in early childhood teacher education in the U.S. South for 11 years. Her work in cultural curriculum studies has explored how culture functions symbolically, institutionally, and pedagogically in the lives of children and youth. She is the co-editor of Teaching with Disney (Peter Lang, 2016) and Disney, Culture, and Curriculum (Routledge, 2016).
Her interest in the ways cultural discourses shape the lives of children through ideologies of race, class, gender, and sexuality informs her current work in critical childhood studies.
Julie’s primary research interest lies in understanding how the myth of childhood innocence has informed work with children within the context of the United States and Canada, such as how adult investments in childhood innocence work against children’s rights and processes of truth and reconciliation in early childhood care and education in settler colonial contexts. Toward that end, she is currently a co-investigator on a SSHRC-funded Insight Development Grant with Dr. Lisa Farley, of York University, Dr. Sandra Chang-Kredl, of Concordia University, and Dr. Debbie Sonu of Hunter College (U.S.). Their work explores the practical and theoretical links between adult memories of childhood and contemporary social constructs of the child in order to better understand how adults think about, plan for, and imagine the children they plan to work with.
Julie is also working with The Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, the University of Ottawa, and the Ottawa-Carleton School District Board to organize the Republic of Childhood Youth Forum, which is being funded by a SSHRC Connection Grant. This project will organize writing workshops to engage children and youth across Ottawa in learning about children’s rights and imagining a future informed by the voices and visions of young people. During the workshops, student participants will work with acclaimed local authors and graduate student facilitators to develop their own creative pieces in response to the SSHRC’s Future Challenge areas. The participants’ original works will be compiled and published as chapbooks, and, between November 20-23, 2019, in celebration of 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the young writers will come together with community organizers, researchers, and policymakers to share their visions for the future and discuss the pressing challenges for and concerns of Canada’s children and youth.