History 443 (201) History of North American Children and Youth


Tamara Myers



Course Level



This course looks at the emergence of childhood and adolescence in western society to its remarkable journey across the 20th century. Drawing from history, law, film, media, music, literature, psychology, geography, and anthropology, this course delves into how childhood and adolescence were defined, as well as how the worlds of children were experienced and remembered. We’ll look at how youth captured the imagination of each generation; how it simultaneously was a problem and a promise. Among the topics we’ll cover: how the adolescent and teenager were conjured by social science and the media; how race, class, gender, ability, and ethnicity shaped the definition and experience of childhood; the spaces of adolescence; sexuality; and the rights of the child. We’ll grapple with how to find and comprehend sources that reveal the representations and experiences of growing up.