Fall 2008

The History of Childhood

Listed in: History, as HIST-72


Michal Shapira (Section 01)


(EU) This class explores the changing history of childhood in Europe. We will examine what the child and childhood came to represent in different periods and cultures. As historical categories of analysis, the child and childhood are still emerging. We will discuss the latest scholarship on topics of child psychology; childhood as a site for state and expert intervention; popular and scientific practices of childrearing; theories of parenthood; the construction of childhood as a period of education rather than labor; children in democratic, dictatorial, and colonial regimes; juvenile delinquency; children and consumerism; children in war and ethnic conflicts, and children and human rights. We will analyze primary texts such as images, films, and autobiographies, and draw on secondary sources that examine the history of private life, gender, selfhood, the family, war, and nationalism. Two class meetings per week. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Shapira.