Proseminar 2 (3 credits) – required for all doctoral students in the first year of study
Monday/Wednesday 4:20 – 5:40 pm
Dr. Daniel Cook

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.


Children and Cinema (3 credits)
Monday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. Meredith Bak

This course examines relationships between children, childhood, and media from historical, cultural, social, political, and psychological perspectives. Radio, film, and television along with digital media and new technologies will be examined, as will certain types of print media. Coursework focuses on the ways in which media have and continue to be understood both as threatening to childhood and as liberating/empowering for children. The course will also explore extensions of kids’ media culture into everyday life (e.g., clothing, food, education) and the use of media by children. Students will be expected to conduct research on a topic relevant to course materials.


Interpretive Research Methods (3 credits)
Wednesday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. Anthony Wright

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.


Theories of Childhood Studies (3 credits)
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Sarada Balagopalan

The development of Childhood Studies has been influenced by a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. In this seminar we will explore in depth salient theoretical works emerging from diverse disciplines including philosophy, social anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics and development studies. It will include examining the work of mid to late 20th and 21st century authors whose wide theoretical perspectives have had a strong and pervasive influence on the field both in the industrialized and “developing” worlds. Key authors to be studied include Michel Foucault, Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, Walter Benjamin, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Aihwa Ong, Pierre Bourdieu, Richard Sennett and Judith Butler. This course will include detailed examination and discussion of selected texts and of their impact on the field.