Proseminar 1 (3 credits) – required for all doctoral students in the first year of study
Monday/Wednesday 4:20-5:40 pm
Dr. Lynne Vallone

The proseminar in Childhood Studies is a year-long investigation into some of the important issues, concepts and debates that surround the study of children and childhood today. We will explore various changing and nuanced definitions of “the child,” ethical dilemmas in working with children, the history of western childhood and global childhoods, race, class gender and sexuality, children’s literature, schooling, the manipulation of images of childhood and the children’s agency in helping to form or to combat those images. Although over the year the course will necessarily bring together multiple perspectives, the first half of the proseminar will focus more closely on disciplines from the Humanities.

Girlhood Studies (3 credits)
Tuesday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. Kate Cairns

This course explores key scholarly debates within the field of girlhood studies. Students will engage with multiple disciplinary perspectives to examine historical, cultural, social, and political dynamics shaping the way girlhood is imagined and experienced. The course asks how ‘the girl’ is figured as a site of both promise and peril, inspiring various forms of celebration, regulation, and intervention. Particular attention will be devoted to the relationship between representations of girlhood and the diverse experiences of girls’ lives. We will explore how girls inhabit, rework, and resist notions of girlhood at the intersection of race, class, sexuality and disability.

Visual and Material Cultures (3 credits)
Wednesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Meredith Bak

This seminar is both about what children see and manipulate and how they are seen (and perhaps manipulated) by adult culture. The seminar asks each student to look carefully and critically at representations of children and of children’s things and to question how these images and things are constructed and what they might mean (their ideological underpinnings). By putting image and ideology, history and context together, we aim to attain a deeper understanding of children and childhoods.

Interpretive Methods (3 credits)
Monday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Lauren Silver

This course delves into the philosophical, theoretical and practical aspects of what many call “qualitative” research methods. A number of specific methods will be examined, with particular emphasis on researching the lives and experiences of children.