Greetings from the Editors
Happy Holidays and welcome to the first number of the Newsletter for the Society for the History of Children and Youth.
We've gone digital with this publication. Notice of the Newsletter will arrive in your mailboxes via e-mail. Borrowing a (web)page from the History News Network, the email will contain a link to the Newsletter homepage and brief descriptions (with direct links) to the articles, columns, and other features.
This is a work in progress; going digital provides the kind of flexibility that will allow us to respond to your comments and expand our content as needs and issues emerge. Indeed, we would love to hear from you about ideas for additional features to the Newsletter, events and other news of the profession, interesting websites, and anything else related to researching and teaching about the history of children and youth. We need your input to make this Newsletter a success. You'll find our email addresses, and those of the Contributing Editors/Editorial Advisory Board Members on the "Editors" page.
We've tried to make this Newsletter as user friendly as possible. From this "table of contents" page you can go directly to articles of interest. Or use the "page turners " on the left margin to navigate through the Newsletters as you would a paper copy. The "table of contents" is the homepage for Issue #1, and can always be found at the page turner link, 1.
We do have a favor to ask; please forward this e-mail to friends and colleagues who may be interested in the SHCY but are not currently members.
Kathleen Jones and Jim Marten
Table of Contents Newsletter #1, December 2002
The last few months have seen a flurry of activity for the SHCY, especially among members of the Executive Committee, as we made a few decisions and initiated several of the programs envisioned by the founders of the Society. "Since We Last Met" is a summary of the work we've begun.
In September, the history of childhood lost one of its founding members. Hamilton Cravens has written the obituary for Robert Bremner.
"News from the Field I: Exhibits" and "News from the Field II: Conferences," columns edited by Janet Golden and David Pomfret, describe (with links) museum exhibits, past conferences, and upcoming events. including the "Call for Papers" for the SHCY 2nd biennial conference, which will be held in Baltimore, June 26-29, 2003.
Luke Springman has pored over hundreds of dissertation abstracts, culling a wide-ranging list covering everything from education to sexuality, from youth culture to recreation, and from childrearing to children's literature. "Recent Publications of Interest to SHCY Members" contains the results of Luke's searches.
Information about the Newsletter editorial board and contact information can be found on the"Editors" page. Use this page to contact us with suggestions for future issues of the SHCY Newsletter.
The Newsletter also hosts two feature columns:
"Girls History: History of Girls" is edited by Miriam Forman-Brunell and Ilana Nash. In GH:HG I, the editors have put together a list of recent books, dissertations, and videos on the history of girls. GH:HG II discusses websites of interest to this field. And GH:HG III describes the "Girls Studies Scholars List."
"More than Child's Play": Teaching the History of Children and Youth will be a regular column edited by Lisa L. Ossian. In this Newsletter, Lisa lays out her goals for the column.
Along with Lisa's column the Newsletter is also pleased to make available two articles presented as part of a workshop on teaching at the 2001 SHCY conference at Marquette University. In "Service-Learning and the History of Childhood: A Useful Pairing?" Gail Murray discusses her use of hand-on work as a part of history of childhood coursework. She has also provided a list of readings for those interested in service-learning as a teaching tool. In "History of American Childhood," Joe Hawesoffers a syllabus for a survey course at Memphis University.
Important Information for SHCY Members:
SHCY Outstanding Article Award: Deadline for submissions, February 1, 2003. See details at the h-net announcements website.
February 15, 2003 is the deadline for submitting proposals for the second biennial SHCY conference (June 26-28, 2003 in Baltimore). The "Call for Papers" is reprinted in this Newsletter, and is also available on the h-childhood website.
Not a member? Membership information is available at the Society for the History of Children and Youth website:
Since Last We Met: Notes from the Executive Committee
Jim Marten, SHCY Secretary-Treasurer
The big news, of course, was the resignation in the early summer of 2002 of Ray Hiner, our founding president, who decided to leave the presidency due to his responsibilities at the University of Kansas. Vice President Joe Hawes stepped in to finish out Ray's term. As a result, in addition to electing several new members of the Executive Committee in 2003, we will also need to elect a new President and a new Vice President-President Elect.
Soon after the meeting in Milwaukee, the Executive Committee set about drafting a mission statement for the SHCY. Here is the draft we came up with; it will be open for discussion at the business meeting in Baltimore, where we will approve a final version.
The SHCY was founded to promote the history of children and youth. The organization (1) supports research about childhood, youth cultures, and the experience of young people across diverse times and places; (2) fosters study across disciplinary and methodological boundaries; (3) provides venues for scholars to communicate with one another; and (4) promotes excellence in scholarship.
Membership is open to all individuals as well as to cultural and educational institutions.
SHCY resources for scholars include regular conferences, an email discussion list, a website, and publication
Members with specific suggestions for changes in the mission statement should contact Jim Marten prior to the conference next summer.
Changes to By-Laws
The Executive Committee voted to extend the period covered by dues to two years and to extend the terms of office for Executive Committee from two to four years to better fit our membership and governance structures to our bi-annual conferences. These and other procedural changes will be discussed and the by-laws appropriately amended at the 2003 meeting in Baltimore.
Four major initiatives came together during the summer and fall of 2002, as Joe appointed:
Priscilla Ferguson Clement (chair), Gail S. Murray, and Bruce Lindsay to a committee to choose the winner of the first SHCY Outstanding Article Award. The deadline for the $250 prize (with plaque) is February 1, 2003. You can see at the call for submissions at the h-net announcements website.
Paula Fass (chair), Leslie Paris, and Patrick Ryan to the program committee for the June 26-28, 2003, Conference in Baltimore. The conference theme is "Childhood and the State/The State of Childhood; the deadline for proposals is February 15, 2003. The "Call for Papers" is reprinted in this Newsletter, and is also available on the h-childhood website.
Peter Bardaglio (chair), Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Jeanine Graham, and Catherine Gavin Loss to the Nominating Committee. Members who would like to be considered for one of the positions that will be vacant as of next summer should contact Peter within the next month or two.
Kathleen Jones and Jim Marten as co-editors of the SHCY newsletter. Ideas for columns, articles, and other features are welcome; contact either editor with suggestions.
In addition, the Executive Committee commissioned a designer at Marquette University to create a logo for the society, which we've unveiled at the top of this and other pages of the newsletter.
Finally, in case you're counting, we now have ninety-four members.
Note: the minutes of the Milwaukee meeting can be read at http://academic.mu.edu/shcy/new_page_7.htm.
Robert Hamlett Bremner (1917-2002)
Robert Hamlett Bremner, Emeritus Professor of History, The Ohio State University, Columbus, died 2 September 2002; he was 85 years old. Born in Brunswick, Ohio, the son of George L. and Sue Hamlett Bremner, Bob is survived by his wife of 52 years, Catherine Marting Bremner, and his two daughters, Sue and Ann. He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1935 and won his M.A. (1939) and Ph.D. (1943) from Ohio State University. Following employment with the Department of War in World War II in Europe and the nation’s capital, and the Red Cross in Washington as well, in 1946 he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of History at Ohio State in 1946 and rose through the ranks, retiring as Emeritus Professor of History in 1980. He won awards for teaching, as well as visiting professorships at the Universities of Cincinnati, Wisconsin, and Michigan. He won fellowships from numerous institutions, including Harvard University and the Social Science Research Council.
It was as a scholar that Bob was best known beyond the confines of Columbus, Ohio. He pioneered the history of social welfare and of poverty in the United States, but one step away from the practitioner histories, such as those by Grace Abbott and others. And, indeed, Bob shared the sympathetic perspective of those champions of the downtrodden in the American past; he was very involved in the emotional battles of the past about which he wrote. Yet that did not prevent him from making three important contributions to American history. The first, and in a sense the most creative, came with his first book, From the Depths; The Discovery of Poverty in the United States (New York: New York University Press, 1956). It may astound the contemporary reader to learn that poverty was something American historians did not write about, or even recognize as a phenomenon worth writing about, but here Bob’s prescience yielded important results. In that work he chronicled the history of the idea of poverty from nineteenth century notions of dependency, meaning that the poor caused social problems, to the early twentieth century revisionist view that pauperism was the consequence of social problems, notably insufficiency and insecurity, which, having come from late nineteenth century “scientific philanthropy”(pp. 124-125) helped create the social welfare reform movement and the progressive reform movement of the early 20th century. Bob’s second major contribution was to encourage work in the history of philanthropy, more nearly of private groups than of the massive foundations of the century just past. He wrote two helpful books in this vein, American Philanthropy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960, 1967) a synoptic view useful in the classroom, and The Public Good: Philanthropy and Welfare in the Civil War Era (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), a competent chronicle of its subject, although by the 1980s scholars were far more interested in the history of the modern foundation and its relationships with public policy as generated by private interests and public institutions and organizations.
His third major contribution, and it literally opened up a field of history, was the multivolume documentary collection he edited and published with three associates, John Barnard, Tamara K. Hareven, and Robert M. Mennel, Children and Youth in America; A Documentary History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970-1974), which illustrated the history of children and youth from the Civil War to the New Deal. Support for the venture came from the American Public Health Association, as well as the Children’s Bureau and the Maternal and Child Health Service of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Among those issues stressed in these massive volumes were health, education, family law, delinquency, dependency, and child labor. Again, Bob’s perspective was to be engaged with the unfortunate youngsters of the past. The work’s point of view has been superceded by others more involved in contemporary theoretical issues that historians have borrowed from literary and social science theory – not necessarily an advance in scholarly understanding. Bob’s approach was more traditional, seemingly atheoretical and empirical. Those of us who knew him during our terms as instructors at Ohio State several decades ago found him a gregarious and generous man, impassioned by the moral battles of the past and present, and supportive of our own efforts as tyros in the profession. He will be sorely missed as a scholar and a human being.
Iowa State University
News From the Field
Janet Golden and David Pomfret, Contributing Editors
The Ybor City Museum Society has just installed Growing up Ybor: toys, games, and childhood pastimes in early Ybor City. Ybor City (now in Tampa, FL) was a community founded in 1886 by cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor. This planned urban environment attracted thousands of immigrant workers: Cubans,Spaniards, Sicilians, and Jews. Growing up Ybor uses photographs from its permanent collection (most dating from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries) as well as artifacts (handmade and early manufactured toys, books, and board games) along with text to evoke the unique experience of childhood in this neighborhood. For location and hours see http://www.ybormuseum.org/.
At the New-York Historical Society see: The Games We Played: Victorian Games From the Linnam Collection Gift. This is a playful explorationof board games as expressive documents of our nation's complex cultural history. A majority of the more than 150 games in the exhibit were manufactured in New York City from the end of the Civil War through the early years of the 20th century. The games document the official values and aspirations of the United States as it strained to absorb millions of new immigrants, ascended to international commercial power, and experienced a shift from predominantly agrarian to urban living. Materials on view are from the recently acquired Liman Collection of Board and Table Games, a nearly definitive collection of over 550 American board games, card games, andpuzzles gathered over two decades by astute New York City collectors Ellen and the late Arthur Liman. A rotating selection of games from the Liman Collection will be continually on view in the Society's recently-opened Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture. For details see: http://www.nyhistory.org/.
The Old Salem Museum in Winston-Salem North Carolina is opening the Toy Museum on November 16. It will be a 1700-year survey of toys featuring those owned and used by the Moravians who settled in the area from 1766 to the 1850s. These include a unique collection of wooden German toys and locally made dolls. Also included in the exhibit Romano-English and later Elizabethan toys excavated from London's Thames River, silver, brass and ivory miniatures in a 1740 aristocratic baby house, while bronze and carved wooden firearms. In addition there are board games, puzzles and other parlor toys from the nineteenth century and basic wax and papier-mache dolls played with by Moravian girls during this same time period. exported throughout the world. For more information visit www.oldsalem.org.
Traveling in Germany? Here are some museums to check out: Berlin: The Museum of Childhood and Youth collects and does research into aspects of the history of childhood in Germany in the last 200 years. Permanent exhibits include: 1) An excursion through childhood in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from birth to 18; 2) Berlin school children 100 years ago: How did they live? How did they learn? Visit the website www.berlin-kindheitundjugend.de for more information.
Nurmberg: The Germanisches National Museum is how exhibiting its toy collection in a 1910 building originally erected as an Infant School. The ground floor features doll houses of the seventeenth century among other exhibits. On the first floor boys and girls toys are displayed in order to examine the gender-specific education of children and artistic toys of the 20th century are also displayed as part of an exhibit showing the ifnluence of educational reform on ideas about children's creativity. The focal point of the second floor is parlor games for children and adults. For more information go to: www.kubiss.de .
Profile: Center for Children and Childhood Studies, Rutgers University-Camden
The Center for Children and Childhood Studies promotes understanding, enrichment and the recognition of the significance of the experiences of childhood through support of intellectual inquiry, development and evaluation of service and outreach programs for children, dissemination of knowledge to those directly responsible for ministering to children's needs and formulating policies affecting their lives and futures and the development of innovative and interdisciplinary courses. The Center supports an interdisciplinary academic minor in Childhood Studies that includes mentored research and structured field placements. It also brings together faculty, fellows and students in a monthly seminar series. A number of historians are Center Associates including one of this year's Junior Fellows, Cynthia Connolly, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University School of Health who will be presenting her work "Prevention Through Detention: The Pediatric Tuberculosis Movement in the United States, 1909-1945." For more information about the Center visit http://children.camden.rutgers.edu.
A Review of Recent and Forthcoming Conferences
Janet Golden and David Pomfret, Editors
In case you missed them: The last twenty-four months have been notable for a spate of conferences and meetings, particularly in the US and Europe, related to key themes in the history of childhood and youth. The following notes suggest how fertile this field of history has become.
In February 2002 Claremont Graduate University (CGU) hosted the Interdisciplinary Children's History Conference. Papers explored the militarization of children's lives, visions of girlhood, children's health, education, and welfare, and children's material culture in both Europe and the Americas. Conference participant Alan McPherson has published "From 'Punks' to Geopoliticians: U.S. and Panamanian Teenagers and the 1964 Canal Zone Riots" in The Americas (2002), Lisa Jacobson will be publishing Raising Consumers: Children, Childrearing, and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century with Columbia University Press (2003), and Lisa Ossian's presentation "Renewed Concerns, New Prescriptions: The Early Depression Politics of Iowa Farm Children's Health, 1930-1933" resulted in her appointment by the Lt. Governor to the Iowa Agricultural Education Commission. Kudos to the graduate students who organized the conference: Molly Quest Arboleda, Jennifer Hillman Helgren, and Cathy Corder. For the complete program, see www.cgu.edu/hum/eng/childhood/Program.html.
Paris has proved to be an important centre for recent work in the field. Late in 2000 the Sorbonne hosted a three-day colloque, entitled Lorsque l’enfant grandit: Entre dépendance et autonomie (September 2000) at which the discussion ranged from children and demography; family, authority and sociability; work, social organisation and marginality. According to the colloque organisers, the collected papers from the meeting are being edited for publication. Details of the conference can be found at http://www.ifrance.com/enfantgrandi.
In December 2001 further evidence of the contribution of French scholars (particularly historians, architects and architectural historians) was offered by the colloque Ecoles de plein air au XXe siècle, again organised around Université Paris IV, with the participation of research centres from Versailles, Ghent and Surèsnes. The meeting brought together specialists working on the history of spaces of childhood in modern France. For titles of papers presented at this conference go to: http://www.revues.org/cgi-bin/calenda/nouvelles.pl?p=1294&config=nouvelles_config.
In the US, in summer 2000, the Benton Foundation sponsored a conference on the History of Children and Youth in Washington, DC. A follow-up meeting was held at fMarquette University in July 2001, and at this meeting the Society for the History of Children and Youth was formed.
In February 2002 the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University organised an interdisciplinary conference on the topic of "Youth, Popular Culture and Everyday Life" with a strong emphasis on contemporary and twentieth century youth cultures, subcultures, material cultures and politics. Details still up at http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/ics/ycc/panels.html.
May 2002 saw a remarkable international interdisciplinary meeting at the University of California, Berkeley, drawing scholars from architecture, landscape design, history, geography and comparative literature to present and discuss on "Designing Modern Childhoods: Landscape, Buildings and Material Cultures." This meeting (organised by representatives of the Centre for Working Families and Southern Denmark University) offered an impressive example of how interdisciplinarity can work as a powerful and effective lens through which to view specific themes, in this case the organisation of space for pre-adults. Conference description located at: http://www.hum.sdu.dk/projekter/ipfu/designing-childhoods/.
More recently, a number of meetings have been held in the UK at which the history of youth/childhood has been a direct or tangential focus for discussion. A summer conference (July 2001) at the Institute of Contemporary British History, University of London, entitled "The Permissive Society and Its Enemies," offered a talking shop for new research into writing the history of 1960s youth subcultures.
In the summer of 2002, the Tenth International Planning History Conference, "Cities of Tomorrow" in London, UK, featured the theme of childhood and planning in its schedule (www.iphs2002.com), and further evidence for the vitality of historical research into spaces of pre-adulthood was provided in August 2002 at the Sixth International Conference on Urban History at Edinburgh, UK. Here, Detlef Siegfried and Axel Schildt chaired a panel of scholars from Western, Central and Eastern Europe discussing "European Cities, Public Sphere and Youth in the 20th Century." (Paper titles and text are still available at http://www.esh.ed.ac.uk/urban_history and the papers from this panel are due to appear in print as an edited volume in 2003.)
The last few months have been notable for the number of conferences and panels of interest to scholars working on the history of children and youth, and calls for papers being issued currently suggest that the trend is likely to continue, particularly in the UK and US.
"The Unforgivable Crime: Child Murder in History" is the title of an interdisciplinary meeting to be held at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK in September 2003
(details at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/announce/show.cgi?ID=131123).
Meanwhile, a conference on the literature of children and young adults with a strand discussing the uses of history is scheduled for February 2003 to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (for details see http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/announce/show.cgi?ID=131209).
Finally, the SHCY will hold its second biennial meeting in Baltimore, July 26-29, 2003. The call for papers has been reprinted in the SHCY Newsletter.
Call for Papers
"Childhood and the State / The State of Childhood"
Second Biennial Meeting of the Society for the History of Children and Youth
June 26-29, 2003
University of Maryland Baltimore County
The Society for the History of Children and Youth invites scholars at all levels to submit proposals for its Second Biennial Meeting to be held June 26-29, 2003 in Baltimore. We welcome individual papers and complete session proposals across a range of historical periods and national contexts.
The first part of our theme, “Childhood and the State,” solicits scholarship on the relation of children and youth to politics, and issues of state development. Children and youth have often served as political icons and as emblems of the nation. How has the state defined (or attempted to define) young people, and how have young people experienced and influenced the state? How does the study of these young historical subjects allow us to think differently about membership, community, and the experience of inclusion or exclusion? What provisions have states made for the nurture, education, training and recreation of the young?
The second part of our theme, “The State of Childhood,” calls for papers that address the shape, status, and condition of childhood and youth and their study. How have the meanings of childhood and youth been contested and variously framed over time and place? What roles have science, religion, literature and art played in these definitions? How might we integrate the study of ideologies of childhood with children’s own experience? Topics might include children’s self-consciousness, material culture, youth culture, and the changing constructions of age and youth.
Finally, we interpret our theme as a call for a discussion of the state of children’s history itself. We seek papers that show us where this emergent and vibrant field is headed: the most pressing conceptual and methodological questions, areas of important new research, and new paradigms in the field.
The SHCY aims to foster the study of children and youth across disciplinary and methodological boundaries and incorporates scholars who address all historical periods and regions of the world. In addition to the work of historians and youth studies scholars, we are interested in scholarship in fields such as children’s literature, education, film studies, art history, history of medicine, legal studies, and social work.
Individual paper proposals should include a 300-word abstract; author contact information including a paper title, postal address and e-mail address; and a one-page cv. The organizers of complete sessions should send, in a single packet, abstracts and cvs for each of the paper presenters; cvs for the session chair and commentator (one person can, if desired, serve in both of the latter capacities); and a 200-word description of the session. All submissions should include contact information for all participants. Please list audio-visual requirements, if any.
The SHCY Program Committee for 2003 consists of Paula S. Fass (University of California, Berkeley), chair; Leslie Paris (University of British Columbia); and Patrick Ryan (University of Texas, Dallas)
All proposals must be submitted by February 15, 2003. Presenters will be expected to pre-register for the conference.
Send your proposal to:
Paula S. Fass
Department of History
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720
A Selection of Recent Dissertations on the History of Children and Youth (2000-2002)
Luke Springman, Contributing Editor
Africa, Asia, Latin America
Burgess, Gary Thomas. Youth and the revolution: Mobility and discipline in Zanzibar, 1950--1980 (Tanzania). Indiana University (2001).
May, Ann. Unexpected migrations: Urban labor migration of rural youth and Maasai pastoralists in Tanzania. University of Colorado at Boulder (2002).
Premo, Bianca C. Children of the father king: Youth, authority and legal minority in colonial Lima (Peru). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2001).
Amkraut, Brian David. Let our children go: Youth Aliyah in Germany, 1932—1939. New York University (2000).
Arndt-Briggs, Skyler J. The construction and practice of place in Weimar Republic Berlin. University of Massachusetts Amherst (2000).
Bosch, Thomas. From ruins to rock 'n 'roll: Images of male youths and constructions of masculinity in West German cultural production, 1945-1961. University of Texas at Austin (2000).
Corley, Christopher Richard. Parental authority, legal practice, and state building in early modern France. Purdue University (2001).
Donson, Andrew C. War pedagogy and youth culture: Nationalism and authority in Germany in the First World War. University of Michigan (2000).
Dribe, Martin. Leaving home in a peasant society: Economic fluctuations, household dynamics and youth migration in southern Sweden, 1829-1866. Lunds Universitet (Sweden) (2000).
Fox, Barbara Curtis. Rejuvenating France: The creation of a national youth culture after the Great War. University of Massachusetts Amherst (2002).
Glassman, Gary Scott. The couriers of the Jewish underground in Poland during the Holocaust. California State University, Dominguez Hills (2001).
Jobs, Richard Ivan. Riding the new wave: Youth and the rejuvenation of France after World War II. Rutgers (2002).
Kopp, Frederic M. Rocking the Federal Republic: Rebellious youth and music in West Germany, 1945-1990. University of Illinois at Chicago (2001).
Plante, Lisa Anne. "We didn't miss a day": A history in narratives of schooling efforts for Jewish children and youths in German-occupied Europe. University of Tennessee (2000).
Redding, Kimberly Ann. "We wanted to be young": Hitler's youth in post-war Berlin (Adolph Hitler). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2001).
Simonelli, David Anthony. "Meet the new boss/same as the old boss": British rock music and the rhetoric of class, 1963-1970. Tulane University (2001).
Starks, Tricia Ann. The body Soviet: Health, hygiene, and the path to a new life in the 1920s. Ohio State University (2000).
Stephens, Robert Patrick. The drug wave: Youth and the state in Hamburg, Germany, 1945-1975. University of Texas at Austin (2001)
Whisnant, Clayton John. Hamburg's gay scene in the era of family politics, 1945—1969 (Germany). University of Texas at Austin (2001).
U.S. and Canada
Alexander-Starr, Myra Lois. Youth-in-the-States: The Mvskoke Indian nation's nineteenth century higher education program (Oklahoma). Ohio State University (2000).
Alvarez, Luis Alberto. The power of the zoot: Race, community, and resistance in American youth culture, 1940—1945. University of Texas at Austin (2001).
Arruda, Antonio Filomeno. Rural youth in transition: Growing up in Williams Lake, British Columbia, 1945-1975. University of British Columbia (Canada) (2000).
Baumann, Mary Elizabeth. Menstrual blood marking the educable subject: Three historical events of power/knowledge. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001).
Bergler, Thomas E. Winning America: Christian youth groups and the middle-class culture of crisis, 1930—1965. University of Notre Dame (2001).
Bibbs, Lona Carol Cooley. Historical development of Life Adjustment Education and its implementation in the Chicago Public Secondary Schools per national and state patterns, 1945-1955. Loyola University of Chicago (2002).
Carmichael, Rosalind Faye. Educating African American youth: Reflection of historical knowledge and cultural values in African American young adult literature. Temple University (2000)
Coble, Christopher Lee. Where have all the young people gone? The Christian Endeavor movement and the training of Protestant youth, 1881-1918. Harvard University (2001).
Corea, Carlo Joseph. Racial delinquency: Italian-American and African-American adolescent identity and the delinquency experience, 1915-1932. State University of New York at Stony Brook (2001).
Delaney, Joseph Patrick. Creating the good American: Religion and education in nineteenth century Massachusetts. Boston University (2000).
Fowler, Joy Allen. Redheaded angel: Real women take their place in children's literature. The Union Institute (2001).
Godfrey, Phoebe Christina. "Sweet little girls"? Miscegenation, desegregation and the defense of whiteness at Little Rock's Central High, 1957-1959. State University of New York at Binghamton (2001)
Hessinger, Rodney. Seduced, abandoned, and reborn: Sexual and social stress and the role of youth in defining bourgeois America, 1780—1858. Temple University (2000)
Jorgensen, Luke Robert. Boal and youth theater in the United States (Augusto Boal, Viola Spolin, Winifred Ward, Dorothy Heathcote). Tufts University (2000).
Klapper, Melissa Rose. "A fair portion of the world's knowledge": Jewish girls coming of age in America, 1860—1920. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (2001).
Koerner, Steven Richard. The conservative youth movement: A study in right-wing political culture and activism, 1950—1980. University of Virginia (2001).
Paris, Leslie M. Children's nature: Summer camps in New York State, 1919—1941. University of Michigan (2000).
Pattison, Lindsay. Sexual discourse and social planning: Youth, sex and the Canadian Youth Commission in the 1940s. Laurentian University of Sudbury (Canada) (2001).
Rogers, Bethany Lynn. Social policy, teaching and youth activism in the 1960s: The liberal reform vision of the National Teacher Corps. New York University (2002).
Schrum, Kelly R. Some wore bobby sox: The emergence of teenage girls' culture, 1920-1950. The Johns Hopkins University (2000).
Sheramy, Rona. Defining lessons: The Holocaust in American Jewish education. Brandeis University (2001).
Smith, Katharine Capshaw. "For the children of the sun": African American children's literature, 1914—1954. University of Connecticut (2000).
Sundue, Sharon Braslaw. Industrious in their stations: Young people at work in Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston, 1735--1785. (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina). Harvard University (2001).
Vela, Rafael Arnoldo. With the parents' consent: Film serials, consumerism and the creation of a youth audience, 1913-1938. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000).
Witter-Easley, Jacqueline Lorraine. An investigation into the illustrations of Snow White and her stepmother in selected retellings of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" from 1882 to 1996: A feminist inquiry. Northern Illinois University (2001).
SHCY Newsletter Editors
James Marten and Kathleen Jones are acting as co-editors of the Newsletter. We solicit articles, consult with the contributing editors, gather their columns together, and put the Newsletter online.
Jim is Professor of History at Marquette University, the author of The Children's Civil War, editor of Children and War: A Historical Anthology, and Director of the Children in Urban America Project. (The project can be found at http://academic.mu.edu/cuap) He is also Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for the History of Children and Youth.
Kathy is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech, where she teaches the history of medicine and a course on murder in America. She is currently developing a "digital history" component for the department's graduate MA program. She is the author of Taming the Troublesome Child: American Families, Child Guidance and the Limits of Psychiatric Authority (1999; 2002); at present she is working on a history of youth suicide.
Miriam Forman-Brunell, a Professor of History at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, teaches courses on the history of American girls, women, and gender. She is the author of Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood (1993;1998) and the editor of Girlhood in America(2001). Her forthcoming book, Get a Sitter! Fears and Fantasies about Babysitters is due to be published by Routledge Press next year. Emai: Forman-BrunellM@umkc.edu
Janet Golden is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Camden and a Faculty Associate at the Rutgers Center for Children and Childhood Studies. She is currently working (with Heather Munro Prescott and Richard Meckel) on an edited volume on Children and Youth in Sickness and Health. Janet co-edits with David Pomfret the "News from the Field" column. Email: email@example.com
Ilana Nash just earned her doctorate in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University. Her dissertation, "America’s Kid Sister: Teenage Girls in Popular Culture, 1930-1965," is currently under consideration for publication. Dr. Nash has taught “The American Teenager, 1925-1975” in addition to courses on women, gender, and popular culture. She is currently a Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mount Holyoke College. Ilana co-edits, with Miriam Forman-Brunell, the Newsletter column on the history of girls. Email: inash@MtHolyoke.edu
Lisa L. Ossian completed her Ph.D. in agricultural history and rural studies at Iowa State University in 1998 with a dissertation titled "The Home Fronts of Iowa, 1940-1945." She is currently researching the early depression years in rural Iowa and is history and English instructor at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa. Lisa edits the column on teaching. Email: LLOSSIAN@aol.com
David M. Pomfret is Assistant Professor in Modern European History in the Department of History, University of Hong Kong. He teaches and publishes on the history of young people and adults' representations of
young people in modern European cities. David co-edits with Janet Golden the "News from the Field" column. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke Springman is Associate Professor of German and Chair of the Dept. of Languages and Cultures at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Working on a monograph examining youth culture of the German Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Luke edits the "Recent Publications" column. Email: email@example.com
Girls’ History: History of Girls, I
Miriam Forman-Brunell and Ilana Nash, Contributing Editors
This column—Girls’ History: History of Girls—aims to serve the needs of students and scholars with a special interest in the history of girls, girls' cultures, and girls' studies. It is our hope that it will provide safe haven by filtering out the input of those whose interest in “girls” is less scholarly and more salacious. Functioning somewhat like a clearinghouse, this column aims to coordinate useful information: calls for papers, book announcements, employment and grant opportunities, etc. We are eager to include information that will be useful to others such as upcoming conferences with panels on girls’ topics as well as girls’ topics on conference panels. It is our hope that new opportunities will be generated as we share such sources and resources as web links, information about new films and videos, and so forth. We very look forward to facilitating a broader dialogue about girls and history and promoting the development of a community of students and scholars across disciplines.
Selected Books, Dissertations (in Progress and Completed) and Videos
Catherine Driscoll, Girls: Feminine Adolescence in Popular Culture and Cultural Theory (Columbia University Press, 2002)
Jennifer Frame and Jay Rosenblatt, Period Piece, (video) www.jayrosenblattfilms.com
Susan K. Freeman, "Making Sense of Sex: Adolescent Girls and Sex Education in the United States, 1940-1960" (Ph.D diss., Ohio State University, 2002)
Frances Gatewood and Murray Pomerance, eds., Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Cinemas of Girlhood (Wayne State University Press, 2002)
Jane Greer, Girls and Literacy in America: Historical Perspectives to the Present Moment (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, June 2003)
Kristen Hatch "Playing Innocent: Shirley Temple and the Spectacle of Girlhood" (diss in progress, Film & Television, UCLA)
Ilana Nash, "America’s Kid Sister: Teenage Girls in Popular Culture, 1930-1965" (Ph.D diss., Bowling Green, 2002)
Kimberely Roberts, "Girls in Black and White: The Icongraphy of Teenage Girls in Post-Feminist America" (Ph.D diss., University of Virginia, 2002)
Kate Kruckemeyer, "More than Just a Pretty Face: Feminism, Race, and Popular culture for Girls, 1955-2001" (Ph.D. diss, George Washington University, 2003)
Girls’ History: History of Girls, II
Miriam Forman-Brunell and Ilana Nash, Contributing Editors
Studying Girlhood on the Web
This section offers brief coverage of web sites relevant to some branch of the study of girlhood, both in its historical and contemporary aspects. If you know of a site you would like to see listed, please send the URL to Ilana Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will usually review two sites in each issue.
The “Girl Culture” Site at Duke University <http://www.duke.edu/~jbb1/girlculture/>
This web site was designed to complement a class at Duke University called “Girl Culture: Studies in Femininity and Feminism” a few years ago. The course description and syllabus are interesting enough, but there is also a diverse bibliography which covers both secondary and primary sources for the study of girlhood. Secondary sources are divided into such headings as “Body,” “Race and Ethnicity,” and “’Bad’ Girls/Delinquents.” The selected readings cover historical material as well as up-to-date social science writings about girls’ health, educations, consumer patterns, and other topics. Primary sources include fiction for and about girls, girls’ magazines, and films. The “Girl Sites” section offers links to websites for girls, but does not provide much by way of source materials for historical, academic study of girlhood.
Girls' Literature in the Sallie Bingham Center For Women's History and Culture at Duke University <http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/women/beyond-nancy-drew.html>
This web site references an outstanding collection of etiquette and "conduct of life" books and girls' literature (e.g., novels; storybooks; mysteries). Some works in the collection are grouped topically (e.g., heroines; nurses; tomboys), some by presses. All titles listed in this bibliography can be found in Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, unless noted otherwise. With few exceptions, titles are listed chronologically within the various subject headings. This is a selective bibliography; it is recommended that you search Duke University Library's online catalog.
“The Jazz Age – Flapper Culture and Style” <http://www.geocities.com/flapper_culture/>
This page is part of a larger website, “Pandorasbox.com,” the homepage for a Louise Brooks fanclub (for those of you too young to remember, Louise Brooks was a popular silent-film actress, and one of the definitive flappers). The “Jazz Age – Flapper Culture and Style” page is an excellent resource for scholars of 1920s youth. In addition to the beautiful graphics, the host has provided full-text transcriptions of two 1920s magazine articles on the subject of flappers (one attack, and one defense). There is also a link to another transcribed article – a diatribe from the Ladies’ Home Journal (1921) listing the dangers of jazz music and its deleterious effect on the young. The links lead you to several other, well-selected sites for studies of 1920s music, fashion, literature, and youth culture. A real treat.
Primary Sources Online
Primary sources long considered a part of the women’s history canon can be reunderstood within the context of girls’ history and culture. While widely available in book form, they are now also accessible in electronic formats making them especially useful to students. These include:
“The School Days of an Indian Girl,” by Zitkala-Sahttp available via The History of Childhood and Education web site http://www.socsci.kun.nl/ped/whp/histeduc/links09b.html
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl, is available at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JACOBS/hjhome.htm
Girls’ History: History of Girls, III
Miriam Forman-Brunell and Ilana Nash, Contributing Editors
Studying Girlhood on the Web: The Girls Studies Scholars List
What is the Girls Studies Scholars list?
The Girls Studies Scholars discussion list provides a forum for exchanging information on the academic study of girlhood. Members come primarily from the humanities, arts, and social sciences. We are starting a syllabus file and have a strong bibliography of varied books and essays. Members have the opportunity to add files, post Calls for Papers, ask questions, and launch relevant discussion topics.
Why is it hosted through Yahoo?
The list is hosted through Yahoo! Groups, an outstanding Internet service that provides its discussion groups with great flexibility and a large amount of space for uploading files and creating databases. It also gives members the option to control how much email they get from the group – if you prefer not to have another subscription cluttering your Inbox, you may elect to read and post messages solely by visiting the group’s website. Because Yahoo is an internet service, not a privately owned List-proc, the list is extremely easy to access – you can be on any computer, anywhere, and simply sign in on the website with your i.d. and password. It allows all members to edit their membership preferences directly, without having to go through the Listowner. Yahoo! is free to all members, although the price we pay is the presence of advertisements on the site. These can be a minor irritation, but are easy to ignore.
Because Yahoo! is a public service, and because the word “girls” tends to attract the wrong sort of people, the Girls_Studies_Scholars list is restricted in membership. This means that every request to join must be approved by the listowner. Anyone with an .edu extenstion to their email address will be automatically approved. People with .com email extensions will be asked to write a few sentences verifying that they really are academics. We apologize if this seems a bit fascistic, but it is the best way to protect our group from pedophiles.
How do I join?
There are two memberships at issue here: first, you must be a registered Yahoo! user, with a log-in i.d. and a password (easy to do, and free). Second, you must subscribe to our specific discussion list. Both tasks can be completed in about 15 minutes.
To join the Girls_Studies discussion list, go to this URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Girls_Studies
- Once there, click on the link that says “join this group.”
- The next page will offer you two options. You can either sign in to Yahoo! directly, if you already have a Yahoo! i.d. and password, or – if you have never used Yahoo! before – you can click “sign up now” to register.
- If you already are a registered Yahoo! user, just enter your i.d. and password and follow the simple steps to join the GS discussion list. If you are brand-new to Yahoo, however, click on the “Sign up now” link, and you will be walked through a simple registration form. You do not need to answer the questions they ask about your personal interests—this is a marketing tactic, so skip those questions and make sure you UNCHECK the box that asks if you want to receive advertisements. The system will send a confirmation code to the email address you enter, and you’ll then be asked to return to the Yahoo site to enter that code (this is how they make sure that you are a real person with a functioning email adress).
The signup process is quite simple and straightforward for anyone familiar with registration-based Internet services. If you’re not familiar with such services, you may need to take your time and read the instructions on each page carefully. If you encounter any difficulty at any phase, write to the listowner for assistance: email@example.com
NOTE: Please write down your i.d. and password and store them in a safe space. Yahoo can be difficult to deal with if you’ve forgotten these essentials.
How Do I Access the List’s Features?
Messages from the list will go straight to your email account, if you so choose. Otherwise, you read them on the website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Girls_Studies. At that website, you will also find a menu with hyperlinks like “files,” “databases,” “links,” et cetera. Currently, the “files” and “databases” folders are the active ones; click on them, and you’ll see our (as yet) small collection of syllabi, and our rather robust bibliography. These features are visible only to subscribed members.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: bookmark the group’s website.
More than Child’s Play: Teaching the History of Children and Youth
Lisa L. Ossian, Contributing Editor
Children’s history, whether integrated into the history survey courses or explored in separate undergraduate or graduate courses, is more than the teaching of toys and play. Playtime is certainly a fascinating topic, yet children’s history, like all aspects of social history, explores politics, economics, health concerns, and many, many more aspects of life as well. That is the focus of this column--defining children’s history and exploring how it can be taught in the college classroom and lecture hall.
Last summer, when I wasn’t teaching and could awaken in the morning with ideas and energy, I brainstormed a dozen ideas for this column. After further consideration, I will list and explain ten in this issue; then suggest one as a focus point per issue of this newsletter.
(1) Established courses.
Who currently teaches college courses specifically labeled children’s history in the university or college catalog? What are the specifics: titles, summaries, instructors, institutions, and enrollment? I believe we need a beginning point. (No courses in children’s history were offered when I was an undergraduate twenty years ago, and the idea of adding a chapter concerning children to my WWII home front dissertation was flatly discouraged by my major professor just five years ago. I can’t imagine I’m alone on these points.) Although this won’t be a scientific survey, this introduction could offer some numbers and facts. Are only several courses or dozens offered throughout the country in private and public colleges? And from these course listings, can a pattern be established?
(2) Suggested readings.
What texts and documents best emphasize the teaching of children’s history to either specific courses in children’s history or other topical history courses? What kinds of readings should perhaps be avoided and why? Are certain archival sources recommended?
How are courses and topics conceived? What unique projects, exams, and papers can be suggested? How have courses evolved? (Editor's Note: H-Childhood hosts a syllabus exchange page at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~child/syllabi/ To share your syllabus with the list, send the file to Kathleen Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
(4) Teaching techniques.
What techniques have been created and utilized in large and small classes? How has children’s history been introduced in topical classes with more of an economic, military, or political focus?
(5) Survey courses.
How is children’s history depicted in the general survey courses of United States, European, or world history? Are topics concerning children more apt to be integrated into the general material or offered as separate entities? How have traditional-aged and adult students responded to aspects of children’s history introduced in the survey courses?
(6) Other disciplines.
How is children’s history explored in other courses such as children’s literature or psychology? Is interdisciplinary cooperation and research encouraged or discouraged at certain institutions?
(7) Introducing new courses.
Who has proposed children’s history courses at either state universities and private and community colleges? Who is considering this process, and who has been discouraged? Please add such specifics as proposals, conflicts, and success stories. (In other words, if I knew then what I know now . . . how might I propose that course?)
(8) Education majors.
What are the courses contained within education majors which pertain particularly to children’s issues? Are historical perspectives represented within these courses or is this lacking?
(9) Myths and misconceptions.
How do instructors “tackle” myths of children’s history within the classroom? How do instructors best encourage students to “unlearn” certain aspects of history as taught in the elementary classroom? How are tragic and complex topics of children’s history best explored?
(10) Graduate programs.
Is children’s history encouraged at all within graduate history programs? Or is it dismissed, perhaps as “a career killer”? What opportunities exist for graduate students who do study children's history as part of their professional training?
As the foregoing suggests, we will not lack for material in this column. I will start at the beginning of the list and work through the series. At the end of each column, I will send out a call for the next issue’s topic. This focus will allow a depth of exploration as well as an organizational focus for the newsletter’s archives.
Days ago, I asked my Western Civilization II students to examine photographs of the turn-of-the-century and to propose their own stories based on the images in the primary documents. These antique postcards included children, perhaps 15 of the 40 images, which especially sparked the imaginations and interpretations from my students because they too could remember their own children’s history and draw theories from the representations.
Children’s history promises exciting new ways to reach our students, colleagues, and the public. Let us gather our own snapshots of the current state of children’s history but also project our future images of the field. It will be fun, interesting, and, yes, frustrating at times because as readers of this newsletter know, teaching children’s history is much more than child’s play.
Call for Next Issue: The current state of children’s history courses.
If you teach or know of someone who teaches a college course with the main focus on children’s history, please describe the course and its history along with any relevant material such as course title, institution, years taught, catalog descriptions, syllabi, and enrollment figures. Send these ideas, comments, and descriptions to my home e-mail (LLOssian@aol.com) with attachments in RTF format.
Service-Learning and the History of Childhood: A Useful Pairing?
History of Childhood and Youth Conference
Gail S. Murray, July 28, 2001
My introduction to the History of Childhood in America was in a graduate course taught by Joe Hawes and my first book was edited by Ray Hiner, so you can see that this panel is a bit incestuous! At Rhodes (a private, four-year, liberal arts college), I have taught the History of Childhood 8 or 9 times. Like most beginning teachers, the first few times through I wanted my undergraduates to read everything I had read in graduate school -- and more; I wanted to problematize the whole construct of childhood and show that its very definition and structure served social purposes. The longer I taught, the more I learned, and the harder it became to cover the chronological spectrum and as well as the themes I wanted stressed.
I determined that I had to narrow my focus. At the same time, I began to realize that there was a dimension to this course that was not present in the other American history courses I taught. I found myself focusing more on society’s construction of childhood, the values and the public policy that flowed from that, than on the actual lives of children and families. My own research on children’s literature and the construction of childhood was tracking in similar directions. In this particular course, I found myself functioning less as an “objective” or disinterested historian and more as a passionate advocate for child services. However, I was very aware that for my students -– mostly female, financially comfortable, southern, and white -- the history of childhood was just another check on their list of distribution requirements, albeit with a more interesting reading list than other history courses.
I wanted students to look more critically at the socially constructed expectations of childhood. I wanted to diffuse the Whiggish notion of the progressive, enlightened treatment of children over time. I wanted to engage students in the real issues facing today’s children, to see that current practices were the result of social choices that were neither inevitable nor “better” than those made in previous generations. Perhaps if students could personally encounter the dilemmas and frustrations facing parents, childcare providers, educators, and other service-providers, they too might raise more systemic, critical, and philosophical questions about childhood, children’s rights, social capital, and public policy.
Just as I was struggling with this pedagogical dilemma, Rhodes College embarked on a program to facilitate something called service-learning (S-L) by offering workshops and providing summer grants for course development and restructuring. Recently the college has begun to provide stipends for students with service-learning experience to serve as S-L Fellows, assisting faculty with administrative details. This fall will mark the 4th time I have taught the History of Childhood in America incorporating a service-learning requirement.
Before discussing how this service-learning course works, perhaps some general introduction to the concept of service-learning would be helpful. S-L is only one of several kinds of experiential education that has resonated with administrators and faculty seeking to connect traditional liberal arts education to global experiences, or citizenship, or community involvement. The term “service-learning” was first used in the late ‘sixties by coordinators at the Southern Regional Education Board. Two years later, the Office of Economic Opportunity (part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty) established the National Student Volunteer Program to encourage community service among college students. Renaming itself the National Center for Service-Learning, this program joined with the Peace Corp and VISTA to form the federal agency ACTION that encouraged campus-based service programs through the late 1960s and early 1970s.1
However, this community involvement movement that gained a foothold on college campuses, like much of the curricular changes of the 1960s, did not survive the next decade, as reduced federal spending, along with financial crises at many liberal arts colleges, took their toll. The current interest in service-learning dates from a resurgence or reinvention of the concept circa 1987 with the formation of Campus Compact, “an organization of college and university presidents who have pledged to encourage and support academically-based community service at their institutions.”2 Four years ago, there were 575 member campuses participating in Campus Compact, with approximately 10,000 faculty teaching at least one service-learning course.3
One of the prominent scholars in the field of experiential learning, Jane Kendall, found in 1990 at least 147 different definitions of “service-learning” in the literature.4 A decade later, a definition which emphasizes both halves of the service-learning equation seems to predominate. That is,
service-learning must (1) qualitatively enhance classroom learning while it also (2) provides a community service.
A corollary to the latter includes involving the population served in the design of the experience to avoid a paternalistic “here-s-what-you-need” approach. The classroom and the field experience should be linked with time spent in reflection. For example, a student who volunteers at a homeless shelter or is a reading tutor at the local elementary school is providing a valuable service, but he is not engaged in service-learning. When a soup kitchen experience is incorporated into a class on Contemporary Social Problems, the student can then integrate the philosophical argument for social justice, sociological studies on homelessness, and personal experiences of homeless people. The student begins to ask why some people are homeless, what personal and societal obstacles stand in the way of their finding permanent housing, and what kind of advocacy homeless people have. When the reading tutor combines her volunteerism with a course in Cognitive Development and meets regularly with other tutors to track the problems they are observing, the classroom theory and its practical application produce an enhanced learning experience. In addition to a S-L component as part of an existing course, some colleges use S-L as part of their required freshman experience, as part of optional honors projects, or as Spring Break electives. At Hobart & William Smith, professors created new courses, like “Politics, Community and Service” in order to encourage more students to participate in community service.5
To convince deans and department chairs that S-L has educational value (and that it doesn’t dilute the vigor of an academic course), faculty may have to “prove” that the service experience expands and/or enhances student learning about the subject or contributes to their development as a “whole person” or “community citizen.”6 (On this Reading List, the book by Janet Eyler and Dwight E. Giles, Jr., Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning?, does this very well.) And to make sure that students have access to the type of service projects that best enhance that learning, faculty have to convince over-worked and underpaid agency directors to utilize student skills in their community organization.
Although service-learning might fit most easily with sociology, psychology, religious studies, or urban affairs courses, at Rhodes we have four history courses that have successfully introduced service learning. Women’s History sends students through training and service at the local shelter for abused women; Philanthropy in America asks students to rotate work with various philanthropic organizations; Contemporary Latin America engages students in grant-writing with Latino organizations. In the History of Childhood in America, I have used various agencies for the S-L component: after school programs at community centers or churches, private preschool programs, child-care for parents in counselling for child abuse, respite care for children and teens with disabilities, and YWCA self-esteem programs for adolescents. My students make a 6-week commitment to service-learning over the 15-week semester. This allows me to assign heavier readings in the first half of the course and then ease up some during the 6 weeks they go into the field. Early in the semester, I have a student panel from previous years talk about their experiences – good and less successful – in service learning, and then students meet individually with the S-L Fellow to select the site for their project. During the six or seven weeks of their S-L participation, the course content continues in chronological fashion, meeting as regularly scheduled for lecture and discussion. Their 2 hours at a child-service agency is in addition to time spent in class. Every other week, we take about thirty minutes of class time to reflect on their S-L experience. In order to better focus these discussions, I am going to try making some specific assignments about the experience:
(1) physical setting, neighborhood, physical resources; (2) interview a staff member about experience & motivation.
Because the course reading can seem separate from their experiential learning, I try to weave the S-L agencies into the lecture and discussion on particular topics, such as “child-saving agencies” or “mother’s pensions/ADC/AFDC/welfare-to-work.” Students keep a journal about their service-learning participation and in the final month of the course, student teams conduct research on a topic of their own choosing and make group presentations to the class. Some years, students at the same agency have worked together on programming or evaluating for that agency; other times students have self-selected their groups and topics. This year I am going to have all students at the same agency design and carry out a project for that agency: a needs assessment, interviews, a needed physical renovation, etc.
The most difficult and time-consuming aspect of doing service-learning involves finding cooperative child-service agencies to participate and continuing contact with them during the semester to insure that the agency fully utilizes the students’ skills and doesn’t assign them mere housekeeping or “baby-sitting” tasks (although this too teaches them how much work minimum-wage child care providers do!) I have learned that the agency director may intend to utilize students in a creative way, but another employee with a different agenda may oversee their weekly participation. I also have to make sure that at least one location is within walking distance of the campus for those students who do not have cars. I provide driving and parking maps for the other sites and visit all of them personally to pinpoint any confusing entrance procedures or safety issues. If one of the options is at night, I require the students to travel together. When I began, all the S-L opportunities were with “at risk” populations. Some students complained that I was “stacking the deck” about childhood problems, so this fall I will include one church-run day-care in a middle-class, white neighborhood as an option.
The literature on S-L reveals high student satisfaction with their S-L experience, which has certainly been true for me as well. Usually 1-2 students in a class of 20-25 will give negative feedback, either because they thought it took too much time or because they felt manipulated into concerns they didn’t want to have. Most attest to insights that books had not provided: personal growth, greater multi-cultural appreciation, greater desire to give-back to their community, or new vocational interests. A common reaction to their S-L time is plain old-fashioned guilt. Students become aware of their privilege and want to “help the unfortunate.” One of my goals is to recognize those feelings as normal, but to move beyond them to creative solutions to child-centered social problems.
To be sure, S-L uses time that could be spent on covering more topics, assigning more readings, or involving students in traditional historical research. Placing 25 students in five or six agencies guarantees at least several crises during the course of the semester! Still, I am convinced that the gains are substantial, as measured both in individual lives, but also in the depth and quality of class discussions. Students are the future taxpayers, voters, members of Boards of Directors, educators, and parents. If they can understand the historical experience of children and the various successful and failed social efforts on their behalf, and can relate that history to current debates about “family values,” child services, and children’s rights, we might all hope for a more creative public policy toward children.
1. Barbara Jacoby, “ Service-Learning in Today’s Higher Education,” Volunteerism, Frank McGuckin, ed. (New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1998), 20.
2. Ibid., 22.
3. Janet Eyler and Dwight E. Giles, Jr. Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995), 6
4. Ibid., 3.
5. Ibid. Each of ten chapters profiles a different college’s experience with service-learning.
6. Ibid, 165-185.
Readings on Service/Learning
Gail Murray, Dept. of History, Rhodes College
Delve, Cecilia I,, Suzanne D. Mintz, Greig M. Stweart, eds. Community Service as Values Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
DeVitis, Joseph L., Robert W. Johns, & Douglas J. Simpson, eds. To Serve and Learn: The Spirit of Community in Liberal Education. New York: Peter Lang, 1998.
Eyler, Janet and Dwight E. Giles, Jr. Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.
Gray, Maryann Jacobi, et. al. Combining Service and Learning in Higher Education: a Summary Report. Rand Corporation, 2000.
Hamner, Doris M. Building Bridges: the Allyn & Bacon Student Guide to Service Learning. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001. [for student use]
Honnet, E. P., and S. Poulsen. Principles of Good Practice in Combining Service and Learning. Wingspread Special Report. Racine, Wis.: Johnson Foundation, 1989.
Kendall, Jane. Combining Service and Learning: A Resource Book. Pearson Custom Publishing, 1998.
Rhoads R. and J. Howard, eds. Academic Service Learning: A Pedagogy of Action and Reflection. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.
History 4863: History of American Childhood
The Teaching Column
Paper from the 2001 SHCY Conference
J. M. Hawes, "Syllabus for 'History of American Childhood'"
Instructor: J. M. Hawes, Professor of History, Memphis University
Purpose of the course:
This is a writing-intensive course designed to introduce students to the
broad outline of the rich history of children in American society. The principal focus of the course is on the public aspects of children's lives, on public discourse about children, and on the development of public policy toward children. Because of the dearth of information pertaining to the Colonial period, the course will concentrate on the 19th and 20th centuries. So far as is possible, this will be a multi-cultural, gendered look at children and youth in the American past.
In addition to the content of the course, great emphasis in this particular course focuses on
methods of understanding--especially the use of various types of writing as means to enhance
The two principal writing requirements of this course are the journal and the autobiography of a students' childhood. The journal is an evolving personal record of thoughts about and reactions to the reading materials and to issues that appear in class discussion. Journals will be collected periodically. Please see the hand-outs on journals and autobiographies for further information. Examinations will be predominantly essay in format; they will be written in class from notes and with the use of the texts read by the class as a whole.
As this is a discussion-based class and as there are regular quizzes, regular attendance is strongly urged. Students who prefer not to write an autobiography should see the instructor to work out an alternate paper topic.
About Journals and Autobiographies
Journals: Please obtain a soft-sided, loose-leaf binder for your journal. Journals may be hand- written on standard loose-leaf paper or they may be typed (or computer-generated). If you type your entries, use a three-hole punch to prepare the sheets for the binder. Journal entries should be made for each reading assignment. Please try to resist the temptation to summarize the readings--the purpose of the journal is reflection and analysis. Consider some of the following questions as guides to your journal writing:
- What was the purpose of the assigned chapter?
- What sorts of sources or evidence does the author use?
- How convincing is the chapter?
- How does this reading relate to other readings?
- Was the class discussion of this material effective?
- What questions does the reading or the discussion raise in your mind?
Journals will be taken up several times during the semester, so please keep them up to date.
Autobiographies: The subject is your own childhood. Please write an account of your own
childhood, noting what you consider to be the important turning points in your life. Where possible, please try to relate the events of your life to the themes of the course (life cycle, family roles, societal changes, etc.). Autobiographies will be kept strictly private. You are encouraged to include photographs and all papers and photographs will be returned. Typically autobiographies run about 10 typewritten pages. Please note that if you prefer not to write an autobiography, you may do a more traditional term paper. Please see the instructor if wish this option.
Texts: HH= Hawes & Hiner, Growing Up in America; Clem = Clement, Growing Pains; Kunz =
Kunzel, Fallen Women, Problem Girls; Nasaw = Nasaw, Children of the City; Berrol = Berrol,
Growing Up American; EMP = Elder, Modell, and Park, Children in Time and Place. About History 4863
Date - Topic - Reading Assignment
8-26 Introduction to the Course
8-28 Colonial Children HH #s 1, 2
9-2 Colonial Children, II HH #s 3, 4
9-4 19th Century Children HH 5
9-9 19th Century, II HH 6, 7
9-11 More 19c Children Clem. Chs. 1,2
9-16 Yet more 19c Clem, 3
9-18 School and Work Clem. 4, 5
9-23 Play, Clem 6
9-25 Poverty & Trouble Clem 7 & Concl.
9-30 Slavery Ended? HH 10, 11
10-2 Minority Children HH 12, 13
10-7 No Class Fall Break
10-9 The Girl Problem Kunz Intro, 1,2
10-14 Problem Girls Kunz 3, 4
10-16 Mid Term Examination
10-21 City Kids Nasaw 1-3; Berrol 1
10-23 School and Work Nasaw 4-7; Berrol 2
10-28 Play Nasaw 8-10; Berrol 3
10-30 Unions and Parents Nasaw 11-13; Berrol 4, 5
11-4 Girl Problems EMP 5, 6 ; Kunz 5
11-6 Study Day--work on autobiographies or journals
11-11 Depression and War EMP 2, 3; Kunz 6
11-13 Death and Government HH 14, 15
11-18 The stoop and Spock HH 16, 17
11-20 Child Development EMP 9, 10
11-25 Historians? EMP 11
12-2 Autobiographies, Journals and Review
12-9 10:30a FINAL EXAMINATION
5 quizzes @ 20 points each 100
2 Examinations @ 200 points each 400
Autobiography or paper 200