CFP: Childhood, Youth & the Emotions

The Max Planck Institute for Human Developmentā€™s Centre for the History of Emotions is organizing a three-day conference on Childhood, Youth, and the Emotions in Modern History. The conference will take place from November 29th to December 1st, 2012 in Berlin and will include a keynote address by Peter Stearns (right). The full call for papers follows below:

This three-day international conference will bring together scholars interested in the intersection of childhood, youth, education and the emotions in historical perspectives. Multi-disciplinary perspectives are welcome and encouraged.

The conference will be held from November 29 to December 1, 2012 at the Institute for Human Development, Centre for the History of Emotions, in Berlin and is organized by Stephanie Olsen and Juliane Brauer. Peter N. Stearns, Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University, will give the keynote address.

The emotional upbringing and education of children is a topic of acute historical as well as contemporary concern for policy makers and politicians. The main goal of this conference is to draw together new research in the history of childhood and youth, in the history of education and the important interventions from the emerging discipline of the history of the emotions. The conference seeks to build a comparative history of the education of the emotions through an exploration of formal and informal educational contexts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The intent of the conference is to focus broadly on both formal and informal educational strategies, both inside and outside of the family, and at the level of the State. How far did the State exercise control over the education of the emotions? To what extent did governmental strategies inform, and to what extent were they informed by, political, ideological, cultural, familial and religious understandings of children and their emotional states? What was the role, from the late nineteenth century, of voluntary societies in informing official state policy on childhood? Also at this time, did the increasingly professionalized scientific, psychological, educational fields fundamentally alter ideas and policies related to children and emotions?

Schools, youth associations, religious institutions and family structures all contributed, and sometimes competed, in providing children and youth with the necessary emotional and moral framework in order to shape the next generation of men, women, workers and citizens. How did children and youth navigate this range of emotional contexts, feelings and expressions in different phases of growing up? To what extent were various forms of childhood education informed by questions of emotion? How did changing historical perceptions of childhood interact with changing conceptions of emotions and vice versa? Is there such a thing as a distinct set of emotions in childhood and how does this change over time? In what ways can the history of emotions and the history of childhood and youth be integrated to allow deeper insight in both? What are the methodological challenges here and what sorts of source material can be marshalled?

Possible topics include the history of emotions and:

  • Theory and methodology linked with the history of childhood and youth
  • Imperial/colonial and postcolonial childhood and cross-cultural perspectives
  • Education in school and outside of institutional settings (professional and lay)
  • Professionalization of disciplines related to childhood and youth and child welfare
  • Family and community networks
  • Popular culture (media, music, literature, movies, television and visual culture)
  • Religious and secular norms of behaviour and feeling, and resistance to them
  • Material culture (clothes, toys, spaces, advertising)
  • Gendered and racialized childhood and youth
  • Experiences in infancy, childhood, and adolescence (e.g., intensity or variability of emotional experiences; mixed emotions)
  • Expression and control of emotions in infancy, childhood, adolescence
  • Particular emotions (e.g. anger, fear, love)
  • Moral development and moral education

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Interested applicants should send a short CV and a paper abstract (max. 250 words) to cfp-emotions@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

http://administration.gmu.edu/images/presoffice/stearns.jpg

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.