All SHCY members receive the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. Published three times a year, it features scholarly research and critical book reviews.

Recent Updates

Aug  05

2014 Outreach Grant Report: Working Group on Children

On June 4, 2014, an SHCY Outreach Grant helped the Working Group on Children at the University of California, Santa Cruz bring Mary Niall Mitchell, Joseph Tregle Professor in Early American History, Ethel and Herman Midlo Chair in New Orleans Studies, and Associate Professor at the University of New Orleans, to present her current project exploring children, photography, and the politics of abolition in the nineteenth century United States. Mitchell, author of Raising Freedom’s Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future after Slavery (New York University Press, 2010), presented “The Slave Girl in the Archive: A Tale of Paper and Glass,” a talk drawing on her current research. Mitchell’s project tells the story of a girl named Mary Botts, the first light-skinned formerly enslaved child to be photographed for abolitionist purposes. Beginning with the deposit of the child’s daguerreotype portrait at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1921, Mitchell unspools the history of Mary’s family and their long efforts to be free from slavery. “The Slave Girl in the Archive” uses this narrative to explore connections between the lives of enslaved people and the variety of documents and artifacts that contain traces of them. The talk attracted a lively audience of about thirty-five people, drawing faculty and graduate students from across disciplines, including History, Literature, Politics, and Philosophy to the campus’s weekly Cultural Studies Colloquium.

In addition to the talk, Prof. Mitchell led a workshop directly addressing the possibilities and challenges of writing the history of children. The workshop, entitled “Archival Challenges: Children, Slavery and Nineteenth Century Visual Culture,” included a discussion of pre-circulated readings, including selections from Robin Bernstein’s Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (New York University Press, 2011), Mary Langdon’s Ida May: A Story of Things Actual and Possible (London, 1854), Alan Trachtenberg, “Reading Lessons: Stories of a Daguerreotype,” Nineteenth Century Contexts 22 (2001), 537-557, and Mitchell’s recent piece in the New York Times’ Disunion blog, “The Young White Faces of Slavery,” January 30, 2014. The workshop was attended by a mixture of faculty and graduate student participants in the Working Group on Children. The conversation ranged widely but was particularly focused on the value of fiction in attempting to reconstruct the historical values attached to childhood, as well as the importance of historical investigation to illuminate the distance between sentimental representations and children’s historical lives. The Institute for Humanities Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz also provided support for both events.

For more information on the event, including audio of the talk, please visit this website:

Jul  22

CFP: Transnational Childhoods

For the topic focused on “Transnational Childhoods” of the journal Transnational Social Review–A Social Work Journal (TSR), the guest editors Ruth Emond and Florian Esser invite your submissions of proposal abstracts.

Full information (PDF): CFP_Transnational_Childhoods

Jul  21

CFChapter: Indigenous Youth In The “British World”

The co-editors of “Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World: Historical Perspectives” – under contract with Palgrave Macmillan for publication in 2015 – seek an additional chapter for the volume. We are looking for an expert contribution of up to 6,500 words on the theme of indigenous youth within the historical setting (and conceptualization) of the “British World,” to sit alongside 15 other chapters already commissioned. The proposed chapter can address any non-Australian part of the British World, such as southeast Asia, Africa, Canada or the Caribbean.

There is a tight deadline for this submission, and details concerning this and other aspects of the publication can be discussed by emailing the editors at the following addresses:;

We will be seeking an abstract of c. 400 words and a CV from prospective contributors; please submit these by 31 July to both addresses detailed above. All candidates will be notified of the outcome in early August.

Jul  21


The Society for the History of Children and Youth will award two $500 grants for events that take place in 2015 to projects deemed worthy by the Outreach and Executive Committees of the SHCY.

$500 grants will help defray expenses for speakers, workshops, and other scholarly events fully or partially devoted to the history of children and youth. Funded events cannot conflict with the SHCY’s 8th Biennial Conference (June 24-26, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia).

Possible uses:
•Keynote speakers or panelists
•Printed materials
•Support for students attending the event

Application deadline: November 1, 2014.

Terms of the grants:
•Applicants must be members of SHCY. (See for membership information.)
•Recipients of 2013 and 2014 Outreach Grants cannot receive 2015 grants, and no one may apply for more than one 2015 grant.
•Funds will be distributed directly to host departments or institutions prior to the event.
•SHCY must be acknowledged as co-sponsor on all print and web-based materials and announcements, and, when appropriate, in speaker introductions. When possible, use the SHCY logo and link to the SHCY website.
•SHCY must be sent PDF’s or links to announcements and promotional materials before the event.
•A report must be submitted to the chairs of the Outreach Committee no later than thirty days after the funded event. It should consist of the following:
—Blog post describing the event for use on the SHCY website
—Summary of the attendance (size, makeup)
—Copy of appropriate printed materials or screenshots of websites
—Description of the actual expenses covered by the grant

Note: If the event funded by the grant is part of a larger conference or other function, the funded portion of the conference must be identified as discrete portions of the program and labeled as co-sponsored by SHCY.

One-page applications should be submitted as PDF files via email to the Outreach Committee co-chairs Rebecca de Schweinitz and Luke Springman. They should include:
—Date, location, and primary sponsor of event
—Description of audience (size, makeup)
—Total cost of event and other confirmed or potential funding sources
—Description of event that articulates how it contributes to all or part of SHCY’s mission: promoting the history of children and youth by supporting research about childhood, youth cultures, and the experience of young people across diverse times and places; fostering study across disciplinary and methodological boundaries; providing venues for scholars to communicate with one another; and promoting excellence in scholarship.

*Note: The Committee may request additional information from applicants about their event and about the participants and intended audience.

The Outreach Committee will recommend awardees to the SHCY Executive Committee, which will make final decisions. Recipients of grants will be announced by December 12, 2014.

Jul  10

Outreach Grant Report: Twenty Years a-Growing Conference

Twenty years a-Growing: Conference Report

On the 9th and 10th of June, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin, hosted ‘Twenty years a-Growing: an international conference on the history of Irish childhood from the medieval to the modern age.’ This conference was the first of its kind in Ireland and explored various historical narratives of Irish childhood. Over fifty speakers participated in this highly successful conference, with speakers travelling from Canada, Israel, and the UK, as well as from Irish institutions. Papers were delivered in both the English and Irish languages.

The participants came from a variety of disciplines and the topics presented included cultural, literary, educational, social, and institutional history, along with the history of Irish childhood in the transnational context. Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne (University College Dublin) delivered the first keynote address and provided an historiographical overview of Irish childhood to date. Leading expert on the history of childhood, Professor Hugh Cunningham (University of Kent) dealt with the dominant narratives of childhood and the extent to which these narratives reflect the reality of children’s lives past and present. Professor Pat Dolan (NUI Galway) emphasized the importance of family histories in our understanding of childhood in the past, and the final plenary speaker, Professor Declan Kiberd (University of Notre Dame) addressed the archaic and avant-garde nature of childhood in the literature of major Irish authors from Swift and Wilde to Yeats and Joyce.

Building on the success of this conference, a History of Irish Childhood Research Network has been established to facilitate future collaborative research on the history of Irish childhood. Further information is available at The conference committee is also building up a bibliography of archival sources on the history of Irish childhood, which will soon be available on the internet.

The conference committee would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth in the form of an outreach grant.

Conference Committee: Gaye Ashford, Marnie Hay, Ríona Nic Congáil (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra), Sarah-Anne Buckley (National University of Ireland, Galway), Mary Hatfield (Trinity College Dublin), Jutta Kruse (University of Limerick).

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