Proseminar 1 (3 credits) – required for all doctoral students in the first year of study
Tuesday/Thursday 4:20-5:40 pm
Dr. Susan Miller

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.

Visual and Material Cultures of Childhood (3 credits)
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Lynne Vallone

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.

Quantative Methods (3 credits)
Wednesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Valerie Adams-Bass

The course is designed to provide graduate students with a solid understanding of quantitative research and statistics through the lens of Childhood Studies. The primary goal of the course is to provide a solid understanding of the logic of social science research. The first half of the semester concentrates on defining research problems, research design (including sampling, measurement, and causal inference), and assessing research quality. The second half of the semester focuses on descriptive and inferential statistics, evaluation of survey measures, the language of data analysis, and interpretation of survey results.

Children’s Geographies (3 credits)
Monday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Kate Cairns

What is the space of childhood? Where (and how) are children ‘out of place’? What do children’s everyday movements and place-based identities reveal about contemporary dynamics of culture, capitalism, and globalization? This course engages with the field of children’s geographies to examine childhood as a social and spatial construct. We will explore key theoretical and methodological debates surrounding the study of space, place, and movement in children’s lives. Spanning multiple spatial scales (e.g., the body, city, nation) and processes (e.g., surveillance, representation, migration), we will examine how geographical insights can shed new light on key debates in childhood studies. Particular attention will be paid to ways in which children’s geographies are shaped by relations of power (e.g., age, race, class).