History 697Z: History of Childhood and Youth

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

 

Fall 2008

Tuesday 2:30 -5:00 pm

640 Herter Hall

 

Laura Lovett

635 Herter Hall

545-6778

Lovett@history.umass.edu

Office Hours: T 1:10-2:30 and by appointment. Also available at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center (538-2275)

 

Course Description:

            This seminar will consider the history of childhood and youth in its global context. Beginning with the presumption that age as an important category of analysis, we will critically interrogate changing ideals and experiences of childhood and youth across time. Using studies of child soldiers in Africa and children in the American Civil war, we will investigate the impact of war in different contexts. From comparative studies of child policies in Europe, North America, and Asia, we will consider how and when different nations have chosen to invest state resources in their children. We will also draw on a rich historical literature on children’s culture to explore shifting patterns of agency and authority in the wake of industrialization, modernization, and now digitization. Students will leave this seminar with a broad understanding of this emerging field of historical scholarship and its value to historical inquiry more generally.

 

Evaluation:

Scholarship Introduction

Each class member will be responsible for introducing and leading a discussion of the scholarship of a class visitor.  This will include not only reading the assigned material, but additional material needed to put that author and his or her work in context.  You should bring tools for leading discussion, such as pre-circulated questions, summaries or excerpts of material that the scholar is addressing, etc. (20%)

Object Lesson

4-8 page analysis of the historical significance of some physical object or representation relevant to childhood and youth, including the process of getting permission to publish an image of your object. Think of this assignment as a tool for giving children a voice. (20%)

Presentation and annotated bibliography. 

Sign up in advance for presentation on some aspect of the history of childhood and youth.  This does not necessarily need to be closely related to the topic assigned for that week. Write up: 5-8 page bibliography of secondary sources.  Due at the time of your presentation. (20%)

Research Paper

15-20 pages on approved topics.  One page proposal due in class on September 23. (40%)

 

 

Disabilities

If you have a documented disability that may affect your performance in this course, please speak to the instructor as soon as possible so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

 

Texts: (Available at Food For Thought Books, 106 N.Pleasant Street

Amherst, MA 01002. Tel: 413-253-5432). Please do the assigned reading in advance of each class.

Š Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood (Vintage Books, 1965).

Š Jacqueline Mosselson, Roots and Routes: Bosnian Adolescent Refugees in New York City  (Peter Lang 2006).

Š Peter Pufall and Richard Unsworth, eds., Rethinking Childhood (Rutgers, 2004).

Š Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (Chicago, 2005).

Š Martha Saxton, Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America. (Hill and Wang, 2004).

Š Vivianna Zelizer, Pricing the Priceless Child (Princeton, 1994).

 

Course website: https://spark.oit.umass.edu/webct/entryPageIns.dowebct

 

Schedule (subject to change):

 

9/2       Introduction: Thinking about the History of Children and Youth

 

9/9       Defining the History of Children and Youth

Reading:

Journal of the History of Children and Youth, Volume 1, Issue 1

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_the_history_of_youth_and_childhood

 

Defining the Field: Nations and Childhoods

                  Peter Stearns,  “Challenges in the History of Childhood”

                  Joseph Hawes and N. Ray Hiner, “Hidden in Plain View, The History of Children (and Childhood) in the Twenty-First-Century”

                  Kriste Lindenmeyer and Bengt Sandin, “National Citizenship and Early Politics Shaping ‘The Century of the Child’ in Sweden  and the United States”

                  Bianca Premo, “How Latin America’s History of Childhood Came of Age”

                  Ping-chen Hsuing, “Treading a Different Path: Thoughts from Childhood Studies in Chinese History”

 

 Age as a Category of Historical Analysis

                  Laura Lovett, “Introduction”

                  Steven Mintz, “Reflections on Age as a Category of Historical Analysis”

                  Stephen Lassonde, “Age and Authority: Adult-Child Relations during the Twentieth-Century in the United Sates”

                  Leslie Paris, “Through the Looking Glass: Age, Stages, and Historical Analysis”

                  Mary Jo Maynes, “Age as a Category of Historical Analysis. History, Agency, and Narratives of Childhood”

 


9/16  The History of Children’s History

Reading: Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood (Vintage Books, 1965).

 

9/23  Colonial Childhoods 

Reading: TBA, (Barry Levy, History, University of Massachusetts)

 

9/30     Children in Nineteenth Century American

(Karen Sanchez-Eppler, English and American Studies, Amherst College)

Reading:

            Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (Chicago, 2005).

            James Martin, The Children’s Civil War, excerpts.

 

10/7     Revaluing Children

Reading:       

            Vivianna Zelizer, Pricing the Priceless Child (Princeton, 1994).

            Michael J. Sandel, “The Case Against Perfection: What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering,” The Atlantic, April 2004.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200404/sandel

 

10/14  No Class

Possible class trip to Historic Northampton. Kerry W. Buckley, Director and author of  Mechanical Man: John B. Watson and the Beginnings of Behaviorism

 

10/15  PANEL Discussion:

Unnatural Selection?: Eugenics, Race, and Ideas of Biological Value

Richard Lewontin and Diane Paul (Harvard University)

Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, Measuring the Value f Human LIfe

http://www.umass.edu/history/feinberg.html

 

10/21  Citizenship and Education

(Hilary Moss, History and Black Studies, Amherst College)

Reading:

            Hilary Moss, "The Tar and Feathering of Thomas Paul Smith: Common Schools, Revolutionary Memory, and the Crisis of Citizenship in Antebellum Boston," New England Quarterly, 2007.

            Primary sources on our Spark webpage

 

10/28  Childraising in Early America

(Martha Saxton, History, Amherst College)

Reading:

            Martha Saxton, Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America. (Hill and Wang, 2004).

 

11/4     Rethinking Childhood

Reading:

            Peter Pufall and Richard Unsworth, eds., Rethinking Childhood (Rutgers, 2004).

            Eisenstadt  v. Baird, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_17/

            Bellotti v. Baird, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1978/1978_78_329/

 

11/11  No Class

 

11/14-15   Home, School, Play, Work: The Visual and Textual Worlds of Children.  American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA.   http://www.americanantiquarian.org/chavic2008.htm

$30 registration fee for graduate students. Possible class trip.

 

11/18  Children in Psychological Perspective

(Rachel Conrad,  Psychology and Childhood Studies, Hampshire College)

Reading:

            Rachel Conrad, “Darwin’s Baby and Baby’s Darwin: Mutual recognition in observational research,” Human Development 41 (1998), 47-64.

            Rachel Conrad, “Desiring relation: Mothers’ and children’s agency, subjectivity, and time,”  Studies in Gender and Sexuality. (In Press).

 

11/25  German Youth and Nationalism

(Andrew Donson, German, University of Massachusetts)

Reading: 

            Andrew Donson, “Why did German youth become fascists? Nationalist males born 1900 to 1908 in war and revolution,” Social History 31 (2006), 337-358.

            Walter Laquer, Young Germany:  A History of the German Youth Movement (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962), excerpts.

 

12/2  Childhood, Dislocation, and Refugee Experiences

(Jacqueline Mosselson, Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts)

Reading:

            Jacqueline Mosselson, Roots and Routes: Bosnian Adolescent Refugees in New York City  (Peter Lang 2006).

            Jacqueline Bhabha and Susan Schmidt, “Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in the U.S.,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Volume 1, Issue 1

 

12/9  Children and Policy

Reading:

Paula Fass, Children of a New World, Excerpts.

Dave Eggers, What is the what?, Excerpts

Deena Haydon, “’Do Your Promises and Tell the Truth. Treat Us With Respect’: Realizing the Rights of Children and Young People in Northern Ireland,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Volume 1, Issue 3

Afua Twum-Danso, “A Cultural Bridge, Not an Imposition: Legitimizing Children’s Rights in the Eyes of Local Communities,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Volume 1, Issue 3