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Young people have been influential forces of transformation, innovation and even revolution across the centuries and around the globe. Yet their crucial role in driving historical change has been ignored until relatively recently. Although we were all children once, scholars are increasingly recognising that definitions of childhood are not simply biological and immutable. Understandings of children’s competencies and vulnerabilities shift dramatically between different culture and time periods. This subject focuses on children and youth from the ancient world to the present. Topics covered include the politics, popular culture, psychology, sexuality, welfare and work of young people. Students will be introduced to the experiences of children and youth through a range of audio-visual and literary sources. One of the key concerns of the course will be the distinction between adult definitions of childhood and young people’s own behaviours and perspectives, with students challenged to explore the history of young people through a wide diversity of primary sources. Teaching is delivered via an interactive weekly seminar, with students encouraged to proactively contribute to their own learning.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of this subject, students should be able to:
- identify the ways in which understandings of youth and age vary across different time periods and cultures;
- critically engage with key themes in the history of children and youth;
- analyse and utilise primary and secondary sources to construct an argument that takes age as a core category of historical analysis;
- work collaboratively and constructively in groups to discuss culturally diverse perspectives on the history of children and youth, and
- develop verbal and visual presentation skills on topics of significance to histories of young people.
- Academic writing;
- Oral presentation;
- Analytical reading;
- Critical note-taking.
Last updated: 22 February 2020