For the love of cuddly toys

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This essay reflects upon a particular moment at the end of Chris Philo’s Children’s Geographies lecture (see Philo 2016), when discussion turned to cuddly toys. I recall a particular mood constituted in and by this moment: of apparent bashfulness, hesitancy, things-left-unsaid, and disinclination to discuss cuddly toys within the space of an academic conference. I suggest that this incident might be understood as indicative of three sets of silences which, still, characterise a great deal of work within the fantastically vibrant subdisciplines of Children’s Geographies and Cultural Geographies. This argument is accompanied by photographic portraits of three particular toys: Angus, Arnold and the B.B.D. I hope that the presence of these portraits helps bring to the surface something of the often-silenced geographies – of memories, affects, intimacies and vulnerabilities, of play, fun and care, and of material and popular cultures – upon which my argument is focused.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-454
Number of pages9
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018


  • Children’s geographies
  • Philo
  • cuddly toys
  • memories
  • play
  • popular culture


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