AM 260-002: Childhood in America (3 cr)
An interdisciplinary exploration of American culture from 1620-2010, focusing on the experiences and roles of American children. Beginning with Native American patterns, the class will explore Puritan notions of childish original sin, the increasing independence of young Americans at the time of the Revolution, the early Victorian ideas of children's innocence, class and childhood in the nineteenth century, and children's lives during and after plantation slavery. In the twentieth century we will consider the work of psychologists and education reformers such as John Dewey, John B. Watson, Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Benjamin Spock, as well as emphasizing the importance of considering race, gender, class, and ethnicity in analyzing childhood. Our overall strategy will be to study American culture historically, and through fiction, film, and art by analyzing the lives of children, their experiences, and the changing ideas and policies which have defined American childhood.
SYLLABUS (coming in the Fall)