History 597C (201) Topics in Comparative History
This course will consider historical approaches to the study of life stages, generations, and age cohorts. Focusing particularly though not exclusively on the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and drawing on case studies from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, our themes will include the historical formation and social significance of age cohorts, age-specific cultural and political phenomena, and shifts in chronological consciousness. With attention to other intersectional categories of identity such as gender, race, sexuality, class, and national origin, we will explore some key works and approaches to the field, and consider how the life course matters for historians. How might we think about historical subjects whose age-bound identities are perpetually in transition, and who are also situated in changing cultures over time? How have age, generation, and aging taken on meaning in particular political, temporal, and community contexts? Topics may include the rise of youth culture; projects of political and individual rejuvenation; and the effects of demographic trends including birth and death rates.