Full text versions of some publications are available on the University of Minnesota Morris Digital Well, alongside other work by colleagues and students.
Recent & Forthcoming Publications
“Christian Felix Weiße’s influence in anglophone children’s literature of the Enlightenment,” in Christian Felix Weißes Werk im europäischen Kontext. Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, Kulturtransfer und populäre Aufklärung, ed. Tom Zille, Sebastian Schmideler, and François Genton (Heidelberg: J. B. Metzler, forthcoming).
with Stephanie Olsen, Beatrice Scutaru, and Lauren Stokes, “Diverse Perspectives on Children’s Agency in Migration,” Denken ohne Geländer: Der Blog des Hannah-Arendt-Instituts für Totalitarismusforschung e.V. (January 2022)
“Encountering Emotions in the Archive of Childhood and Youth,” in Children and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents: Innovative Approaches to Research across Space and Time, ed. Deborah Levinson, Mary Jo Maynes, and Frances Vavrus (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). A podcast episode about this collection in which I participated is available from the Society for the History of Children and Youth.
“Playing on the Map: An Educational Game from the Age of Revolutions,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 13, no. 1 (Winter 2020): 9–17. [written with then UMN Morris undergraduate Elise Klarenbeek]
“The Education of European and Chinese Girls at Home in the Nineteenth Century,” in A History of the Girl, ed. Mary O’Dowd and June Purvis (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). [with Qin Fang]
“‘Our Girls Have Grown Up in the Family’: Educating European and Chinese Girls in the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Modern Chinese History 10, no. 1 (2016): 1–18. [with Qin Fang]
“Reading German Girlhood: Louise Tilly and the Agency of Girls in European History,” Social Science History 38, no. 1 (2014).
“‘Each word shows how you love me’: The social literacy practice of children’s letter writing (1780-1860),” Paedagogica Historica 50, no. 3 (2013).
My research is motivated by the conviction that childhood is neither a static nor uniform category, but rather has a history itself bound up in all aspects of social life. I am intrigued by what we can learn about European social and cultural history through uncovering the everyday experiences and perspectives of children.
See another tab on this website for more information about my forthcoming book, Revolutions at Home: The Origin of Modern Childhood and the German Middle Class.
The development of modern childhood has traditionally been understood as a process enacted on youth by adults, but in practice children’s socialization was mediated by young people’s own choices. To better understand the roles children played in transformations of modern life, there is now a need for studies which combine the history of changing sentiments with the history of children’s lived experience. In addition to the ideas and practices of pedagogues and family educators, we also must consider the part children played. Rather than dismissing the disciplinary aspects of pedagogy or overlooking the power of children to influence adults, my approach emphasizes the mutual constitution of agency and discipline in determining how children influenced European modernity.
My research has been generously supported by:
- The University of Minnesota: Grant-in-Aid of Research Artistry, and Scholarship from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Imagine Funds from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and Faculty Research Enhancement Funds from the UMN Morris Dean’s Office
- The National Academy of Education / The Spencer Foundation: Dissertation Fellowship, 2012-2013
- Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service): Research Grant, 2011-2012
- The Conference Group for Central European History
- The University of Minnesota Graduate School (2007-2008, 2010-2011), College of Liberal Arts, History Department, and Center for German & European Studies (Hella Mears Graduate Fellowship in European Studies, 2012)
- The Friends of the Princeton University Library: Research Grant, 2011
A number of excellent resources related to the history of childhood, personal narratives, and the history of the book may be found on the web. Here are some links to sites which may be of interest:
- Children & Youth in History, from the Roy Rozenzweig Center for History and New Media
- Center for the Study of Egodocuments and History, the Dutch inventory of memoirs, diaries, and other autobiographical writings
- The German Archives for Diaries (Deutsches Tagebucharchiv) in Emmendingen
- SHARP: Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing
- Interacting with Print research group
- SurLaLune Fairy Tales
My first book is based partly on documents from state and city archives across Germany. It also draws on the holdings of libraries with extensive collections of books published for children and youth. Here are links to some of those institutions:
Historical Collections of Children’s Books
- Kinder- und Jugendbuchabteilung, Staatsbibliothek Berlin (Children’s and Young People’s Literature Department, State Library Berlin)
- Cotsen Children’s Library: Princeton, NJ
- Bibliothèque l’Heure joyeuse (Library of the Joyful Hour): Paris, France
- Georg-Eckert Institut für Internationale Schulbuchforschung (Georg-Eckert Institute for International Schoolbook Research): Braunschweig, Germany
- Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung (Research Library for the History of Education): Berlin, Germany
- Institut für Jugendbuchforschung (Institute for Youth Literature Research): Frankfurt, Germany
- ALEKI – Arbeitsstelle für Kinder- und Jugendmedienforschung (Center for Children’s and Young Adult Media Research): Cologne, Germany