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.


Historical Research Methods (3 credits)
Monday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. Susan Miller

This course is an introduction to historical methodology and research methods. We will discuss trends in historiography and theory – especially as they pertain to the history of childhood – but we will always keep the hands-on business of historical research in mind, and put it into practice as much as possible. All of which is to say that we will ask a lot of questions about questions: Why do historians of childhood interrogate some aspects of kids’ lives but leave others relatively untouched? Why are we ourselves inclined to ask certain questions about childhood and sidestep others? How do scholars select and compile sources, and how is it possible to frame questions about those sources before understanding their content?  Unusual for a history course, this seminar is structured around the character of our sources and texts, and not beholden to chronology. As the semester progresses we will move from the most private of sources, such as diaries, letters and memoirs, to ever more public sources, such as advice manuals, organizational records and government documents.


Youth Identities (3 credits)
Tuesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Lauren Silver

This graduate seminar provides a forum for critically examining the identity constructions of youth coming of age in cities, within the United States and across the world. A central aim is to consider comparatively how social, cultural, and physical urban ecologies shape youth development. We will investigate the constitution of youth as student, friend, worker, daughter, and parent, paying particular attention to how identity roles are informed by structures of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. We pay close attention to the roles of institutional contexts such as neighborhood, school, work, family, and peer groups. This course considers the ways in which connections (or lack thereof) across these contexts inform youth identities and development.