I am currently writing a history of American childhood between 1965 and 1980, which explores the effects of various social and political movements of the era in children's culture.
My dissertation tells the history of interwar summer camps in New York State, and provides insight into the lives of the New York City children who attended them. Widely disparate groups shared the belief that rural spaces offered a healthy antidote to city living, and proposed that camps were especially suited to teach children the arts of social acculturation and good citizenship. The children of recent immigrants and the native-born; union activists and socialists; Protestants, Jews and Catholics; and children of all races and classes–-to varying degrees, all of these boys and girls shared this rite of passage. They did not, however, usually share camps; as the history of summer camps suggests, communal self-segregation could be taken to new heights in rural spaces. In camping-conscious New York City, perhaps one out of seven children attended camp at some point. Camping in New York State, meanwhile, serves as an ideal example of a national industry in expansion; by the late...
This introductory survey course will examine American history from the colonial era to the present. Topics will include Native life; early European settlements; the American Revolution and the early Republic; slavery and race relations; westward expansion; the Civil War and Reconstruction; industrialization and urbanization; commercial culture and mass culture; political movements including religious revivalism, labour activism, civil rights agitation, and feminism; and the rise of the nation-state in the twentieth century, both domestically and internationally. Students will consider varied political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives on the American past, including scholarly historiography and first-hand accounts; the choices of the leaders of the nation and the lives of ordinary Americans; official political culture and popular culture. Assignments will include papers, exams, and participation in class discussions.
This seminar will explore varieties of history writing over time and in different regions of the world. Drawing on a range of materials, including scholarly narrative histories, theoretical reflections on the field, popular histories, and sources other than written texts, we will consider history and historical methods as they have been conceived, disseminated, and challenged; explore questions of methodology and interpretation; examine genre and narrative; and investigate the politics of memory.
This course introduces students in all fields of history to historical research methods and historical writing. The first half of the course will be devoted to an exploration of various primary sources available to historians as well as styles and approaches to historical writing. In the second half of the course, students will produce a piece of writing linked to their thesis projects. The emphasis of the seminar is on the process of defining, developing, and revising a project. Students will prepare proposals, and will read and comment on other students' drafts.