1st Edition

Performing Contemporary Childhoods Being and Becoming a Viral Child

By Bryoni Trezise Copyright 2024
    180 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Performing Contemporary Childhoods: Being and Becoming a Viral Child examines the changing nature of contemporary childhoods by exploring how children’s and young people’s digital media create new ideas about youth agency.

    Visual cultures of childhood have been traditionally traced in photography. Material cultures of childhood have been likewise traced in archives, scripts and even toys. This book shows that performance cultures and their digital literacies – expressed in viral forms such as TikTok dance challenges, tweets and viral GIFs – create new ideas about childhood by positioning young people as authors and owners of their self-representations. With the global pandemic in its immediate backdrop, the book finds that reshaped social relations and a context of crisis in our political, social and ecological realms cultivate nostalgia for ideals of innocent childhood that only promise to be disrupted by the complex, ambiguous and ultimately resistive acts young people appear to generate for and about themselves.

    This book is ideal for students and scholars of childhood studies, performance studies, social and cultural history and visual and digital culture.

    List of figures


    1 Performing the child in-formation

    2 Minor visions: Staging the child in future tens

    3 Minor moves: Embodying the truncated times of girled childhood

    4 Minor texts: Tweeting the child in the time of her making

    5 Minor affects: Voicing the child who recrafts the future

    6 Minor spaces: Apprehending childhood’s ghostly times




    Bryoni Trezise is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of New South Wales. Her major publications develop interdisciplinary conversations between performance aesthetics, pedagogies and cultures and have been published in books and journals including Performance Research, Research in Drama Education and Convergence. Bryoni’s research won the 2019 Essay Prize in Forum for Modern Languages and the 2013 Marlis Thiersch Award for excellence in scholarship. In 2021, Bryoni was awarded the Children’s Book Council Australia Charlotte Waring Barton Award for her unpublished middle-grade novel.