Out on October 7: Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives

I am delighted to announce that a wonderful project that unfolded over the past 3 years will be published by Palgrave on October 7: Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives.

Cover Palgrave Olsen

The genesis of this volume was a conference on Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History, held at the Centre for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in 2012. The reaction to the call for papers was enormous: we received over 200 applications, mostly from historians of childhood. My co-organizer, Juliane Brauer, and I realized that there was something particularly relevant about emotions to historians of childhood, but that until quite recently there had not been any rigorously developed historiographical means to get at them. We wanted to ask if there are particular emotions that are principally relevant in childhood. Can a focus on the history of emotions, its fundamental questions and its methodological approaches, be a productive exercise for historians interested in childhood and youth? Can it open up new ways to uncover children’s voices? And also, can the participation of historians of childhood and youth further the field of emotions history? And can it tell us something new about children in particular settings (both at the micro and macro levels, the intimate and the global), in various relationships of power and dependence. The result of all these questions is the book.

From the initial conference, our thinking has come a long way. I invited several more historians of childhood who were not at the conference to join the project. Chapters were selected for international representation (but not necessarily global within each chapter): East Germany, Britain, New Zealand, Uganda, India, China, Colombia and the US, and in chapter 2, Canada, Australia, Denmark. The topics covered are crucial ones for historians of childhood, including politics, space, schooling, gender, sexuality, families, peers, youth groups, and all of these were informed by questions from the history of emotions. I hope you will find the book as useful to read, as I found the writing, collaboration and discussions with the book’s contributors!

In order to give you a little taste of the depth and breadth of the book, here’s the table of contents:

1. Introduction; Stephanie Olsen
2. Emotions and the Global Politics of Childhood; Karen Vallgårda, Kristine Alexander, and Stephanie Olsen
3. Feeling like a Child: Narratives of Development and the Indian Child/Wife; Ishita Pande
4. Teaching, Learning, and Adapting Emotions in Uganda’s Child Leprosy Settlement, c.1930-62; Kathleen Vongsathorn
5. Settler Childhood, Protestant Christianity, and Emotions in Colonial New Zealand, 1880s-1920s; Hugh Morrison
6. Architecture, Emotions, and the History of Childhood; Roy Kozlovsky
7. Space and Emotional Experience in Victorian and Edwardian English Public School Dormitories; Jane Hamlett
8. Emotional Regimes and School Policy in Colombia, 1800-1835; Marcelo Caruso
9. Feeling like a Citizen: The American Legion’s Boys State Programme and the Promise of Americanism; Susan A. Miller
10. Disciplining Young People’s Emotions in the Soviet Occupation Zone and Early German Democratic Republic; Juliane Brauer
11. Inscribing War Orphans’ Losses into the Language of the Nation in Wartime China, 1937-1945; M. Colette Plum
12. Everyday Emotional Practices of Fathers and Children in Late Colonial Bengal, India; Swapna M. Banerjee
13. Anti-vaccination and the Politics of Grief for Children in Late-Victorian England; Lydia Murdoch


One thought on “Out on October 7: Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives

  1. wish somebody would send me the new book! I really need it to prepare a validation for a PhD! Is there someone out there who can send me a copy please??

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