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Book Presentation: Bellido & Bowrey, Adventures in Childhood: Intellectual Property, Imagination and the Business of Play

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

Please join us for the presentation of José Bellido & Kathy Bowrey’s Adventures in Childhood: Intellectual Property, Imagination and the Business of Play (Cambridge University Press, 2022)

Adventures in Childhood connects modern intellectual property law and practice with a history of consumption. Structured in a loosely chronological order, the book begins with the creation of a children's literature market, a Christmas market, and moves through character merchandising, syndicated newspaper strips, film, television, and cross-industry relations, finishing in the 1970s, by which time professional identities and legal practices had stabilized. By focusing on the rise of child-targeted commercial activities, the book is able to reflect on how and why intellectual property rights became a defining feature of 20th century culture. Chapters trace the commercial empires that grew around Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, Meccano, Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, Eagle Magazine, Davy Crockett, Mr Men, Dr Who, The Magic Roundabout and The Wombles to show how modern intellectual property merchandising was plagued with legal and moral questions that exposed the tension between exploitation and innocence.


  • Professor Tanya Aplin, Kings College London
  • Professor Alain Pottage, SciencesPo

With replies from Dr José Bellido, University of Kent & Professor Kathy Bowrey, University of New South Wales


Professor Fiona Macmillan, Birkbeck, University of London


The event will also be available to join online via Zoom:

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Meeting ID: 949 6611 5979 

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