The first of a two-part course on American childhood, the course "Citizens of a New World" adopts a historical perspective with two objectives in store:
On the one hand, throughout the the seminar we step into the many worlds of American children from the colonial era to the Civil War, delving into the ways adults conceived of, disciplined, cared for, educated, and imagined American children at various points in the history of the colonies and later the young nation.
On the other hand, we will examine the ways that childhood was discussed and understood as a 'cultural artifact' by American adults during this time period and the ways these discussions and definitions have been reflected in the history of American childhood.
Course material, including child diaries, picture books, juvenile periodicals, slave narratives, works of literature, and prominent scholarly texts illustrate how various notions of childhood and “the child” have evolved together throughout US history, turning them into battlefields for social, cultural, and political debates.
Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse
The participants are encouraged to get a copy of the novel The Scarlet Letter by N Hawthorne and start reading it prior to the start of the semester. The edition I recommend us all to read from is:
The Scarlet Letter (Evergreens) Paperback (Alma Books Ltc., 2015)