Miriam Turrini Wins Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article in German or Italian!

It is with great pleasure that the committee for the Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (German or Italian) on the History of Children and Youth for 2015 announces that the award goes to Miriam Turrini for her wonderful essay “Poco oltre la soglia: racconti autobiografici di aspiranti gesuiti a metà Seicento, Studi storici3/2014, July –Sept., pp. 585-614.  Congratulations Dr. Turrini!

The Prize Committee wrote:
Within a varied field, Turrini’s article stood out for the richness and productivity of the sources used, as well as for the methodological and conceptual issues that her work raises for the study of the history of childhood and youth in early modern Europe.The article is based on a meticulous archival research, whose main focus are the questionnaires compiled between 1636 and 1644 by young aspiring Jesuits admitted to noviciate of S.Andrea, in Rome. Out of the 180 questionnaires available, 82 include the novices’ narratives of their vocation. It is on the sources combining questionnaires and vocational stories that Turrini’s analysis is constructed.
The author presents us with an extraordinary source from a period in which the voices of young people remain elusive and difficult to find. These sources provide information on the background and life experiences of these young people, together with the narration of the discovery of their vocation and subsequent decision to enter the noviciate. Most of the aspiring Jesuits were between 14 and 18 years olds, they came from various Italian and European territories, and from various family backgrounds. Only a minority came from either very rich or very poor family, and many of them were orphans of one or both parents. Young adults rather than children, their testimonies provide precious glimpses into the complicated transition from childhood to adulthood, which in these cases coincided with the equally complicated passage from their “old” secular life to their new life as novices in the Compagnia di Gesù.

While the narratives studied by Turrini follow a recognisable scheme, the sources offer important insights into the individuality and subjectivity of young people engaged in a process of self-analysis and self-representation.

In order to successfully complete the probation period, the aspiring Jesuits had to answer questions relating to their past, and had to present a vision of their future, seen as a project of self-realisation that should coincide with the obtainment of Christian perfection.

Although inevitably informed by the need to satisfy the expectations of their examiners, the sources studied by Turrini show the complicated effort to narrate a radical life project: a project that required young people not only to resist worldly temptations but also to defy parental opposition. Only in a few cases, in fact, we find examples of solicited or even forced conversions, pursued as part of family strategies.

Turrini compare texts written by a majority of younger novices with the texts written by (fewer) older writers, thus highlighting both the specificity of younger people’s voices and experiences and the methodological and theoretical issues brought up by the sources.

The essay by Turrini represented an initial approach to this type of egodocuments, which have since been studied further. The article is bound to promote further historiographical reflections on the categories relevant to the history of youth in Europe.

Many thanks to the Prize Commitee: Patrizia Guarnieri (chair, University of Florence), Stefania Bernini (UNSW Australia), Patrizia Dogliani (University of Bologna), Dirk Schumann (chair, University of Göttingen)

Lydia Murdoch wins Fass-Sandin Prize (English)

The Society for the History of Children and Youth Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English) on the History of Children and Youth published in 2015

It is with great pleasure that the committee for the Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English) on the History of Children and Youth published in 2015 announces that the award goes to Lydia Murdoch for her wonderful essay “Carrying the Pox: The Use of Children and Ideals of Childhood in Early British and Imperial Campaigns Against Smallpox,” Journal of Social History, vol. 48, no. 3 (Spring 2015), pp. 511-535. The Committee wrote:

“In a strong and varied field, Lydia Murdoch’s essay stood out for us not only because of the fascinating story she tells – of the use of children as carriers of smallpox vaccines around the globe in the early nineteenth century – but also as a result of her careful attentiveness to the multiple ways in which the category of childhood was made and remade in intersection with ideas relating to class, race, and gender. What she demonstrates is that shifting conceptualisations of childhood in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries facilitated both the increasing social acceptance, as well as the dissemination, of vaccination. New ideas about childhood innocence were, as Murdoch notes, ‘flexible’. The concept of the pure, innocent child was crucial to popularising and legitimating vaccination particularly among middle- and upper-class parents: vaccination was a sign of their love and care for their children. But, equally, in their innocence, children’s bodies were believed to offer doctors and scientists a tabula rasa on which to test anti-smallpox treatments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, children who were poor, black, and without the protection of their parents were particularly useful for officials and doctors working to make the smallpox vaccine widely available. Murdoch charts the journeys by land and sea of a group of child vectors of the vaccine, whose bodies and work allowed imperial authorities to paint the British Empire as a benevolent parent of people around the globe, but whose treatment and living conditions were certainly well below those afforded to white, middle-class children.

By dint of their innocence – and vulnerability – children were, then, significant to the extension of scientific and medical knowledge, and also to the making and entrenchment of imperial rule. This is an article that asks us to think carefully about how unstable age categories are crucial to the workings of power.”

Thank you to the prize committee Sarah Duff, University of Witwaterand; Daniel Grey, Plymouth University; and Leroy Rowe, University of Southern Maine for their service.

by Mona Gleason (President, Society for the History of Children and Youth)

Call for Nominations: Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article (English)

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best article in English on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in 2015 in a print or online journal. The prize consists of a plaque and a check for $250. The winner will be announced no later than mid-August.
Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Current members of the SHCY award committee are ineligible.

CORRECTION (2/8/16): Please note that current officers of the Society, including Executive Committee, ARE ELIGIBLE for nominations.

Send a PDF or photocopy of the article to Sarah Emily Duff at sarah.duff@wits.ac.za. Please use the following format for the subject line of your email: ‘Fass-Sandin Prize Surname First Name’ (eg. Fass-Sandin Prize Aries Philippe). The deadline for nominations is April 17, 2016.

The committee is comprised of:

Sarah Emily Duff (chair), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Daniel Grey, Plymouth University

Leroy Rowe, University of Southern Maine

Call for Nominations: 2016 Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article in German or Italian

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best article in German or Italian on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in a 2013, 2014, or 2015 issue of a print or online journal. The SHCY will grant one award. The prize consists of a plaque and a check for $250. The winner will be announced in early September 2016 on the website of the SHCY. She/he will be informed of the award prior to the announcement. Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Eligibility for the awards is based solely on the language in which the article is published, not on the residence or nationality of the author. Current members of the SHCY award committee are ineligible.

CORRECTION (2/8/16): Please note that current officers of the Society, including Executive Committee, ARE ELIGIBLE for nominations.

The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2016.

Please send a PDF or photocopy of the article to both chairs of the prize committee, Patrizia Guarnieri at patrizia.guarnieri@unifi.it and Dirk Schumann at dschuma@uni-goettingen.de. The third member of the committee is Patrizia Dogliani (Bologna).

Committee Members:

Patrizia Guarnieri (chair)
Department Sagas, of History, Archeology, Geography and Fine Arts
University of Florence -Italy

Dirk Schumann (chair)
Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen- Germany

Patrizia Dogliani (member)
Department of History, Culture and Civilization
University of Bologna-Italy

2015 Winner of Fass-Sandin Prize (Article in English) Announced!

The Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English) on the History of Children and Youth published in 2014 has been presented to Barbara Young Welke, “The Cowboy Suit Tragedy: Spreading Risk, Owning Hazard in the Modern American Consumer Economy,” Journal of American History (June 2014), 97-121. The prize committee, which consisted of Simon Sleight (chair), Corrie Decker, and Corinne T. Field offered the following about Welke’s article:

Showcasing a remarkable depth of historical analysis, Barbara Young Welke offers a compelling – indeed haunting – account of the position of children at the intersection of sentiment, profit, material culture and legal status. This is at heart a powerful family drama: we meet young Tommy McCormack, playing in his new cowboy costume inside his Manhattan apartment one winter’s evening in 1945. A gift received the previous Christmas, the outfit is so inherently flammable (this the result of cost-cutting, wartime contingency and corporate negligence) that a lick of flame causes instant conflagration. Welke assumes the role of a detective revisiting a crime scene in unraveling a tangle of threads that led ultimately to calamity. Tommy’s childhood and the childhoods of the many other victims of the same corporate tailor serve as catalysts for Welke’s substantive arguments on risk and attempted legal redress. Interrogation of disparate archival sources yields revelatory discussion, the analysis structured throughout with poise and precision. Where Viviana Zelizer charted the changing cultural status of childhood through sources including trial records and insurance documents, Welke offers – through the focus on children’s desires and the calculus of loss – a stark account of nothing less than the modern consumer economy. The article demonstrates how the history of children and childhood need never be a niche concern; it can instead speak to diverse audiences and help rework multiple meta-level narratives.

The committee also recognized an article for Honorable Mention: Emily C. Bruce, ‘“Each word shows how you love me”: The Social Literacy Practice of Children’s Letter Writing (1760-1860)’, Paedagogica Historica, Vol. 50, No. 3 (2014), 247-64.

Congratulations to Barbara and Emily!

2015 Fass-Sandin Award Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the following winners for articles published in Scandinavian languages:

Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, “From children of the Nation to individuals in their own right,” Scandia (2012: 2). Scandia is a peer-reviewed journal for historical research that was founded in 1928 in Lund and publishes Swedish and Nordic research (sometimes also in English). It was founded to promote historical analyses in the Annales School tradition based on critical analyses of primary sources.

Olle Widhe, “’The Battle Is Ours!’ A Study of Olof Fryxell’s Snow Castle: a Tale for Countryside Boys and the Revival of Gothicism in 19th Century Swedish Children’s Literature” (Samlaren 2013). Samlaren is the oldest peer-reviewed, literary journal in Sweden. Published by the Swedish Society for Literature in Uppsala ince 1880, it publishes studies on Swedish and Nordic literature.

Each author will receive a plaque and $250. The selection committee was comprised of Bengt Sandin, Ning de Coninck-Smith, Eva Österberg, and Niels Finn Christiansen.

Call for Nominations: Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English)

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best article in English on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in 2014 in a print or online journal. The prize consists of a plaque and a check for $250. The winner will be announced no later than mid-summer.

Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Current members of the SHCY award committee, the executive committee, and officers of the society are ineligible.

Send a PDF or photocopy of the article to James Marten at james.marten@marquette.edu. The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2014.

The committee is comprised of:

Simon Sleight (chair), King’s College, London

Corrie Decker, UC-Davis

Corinne Field, University of Virginia

Call for Nominations: Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best article in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in 2012, 2013, and 2014 in a print or online journal. The SHCY will grant two awards. The prizes consists of a plaque and a check for $250. The winners will be announced at the SHCY conference in Vancouver 2015. Authors will be informed of the award prior to the conference, and it will be announced on the website. Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Eligibility for the awards is based solely on the language in which the article is published, not on the residence or nationality of the author. Current members of the SHCY award committee, the executive committee, and officers of the society are ineligible.

Send a PDF or photocopy of the article to the chair of the prize committee, Bengt Sandin at Bengt.Sandin@liu.se. The deadline for nominations is March 1st, 2015. The other members of the committee are Ning de Conink Smith, and Ellen Schrumpf.

Nominations for Fass-Sandin Prize for the best articles in French and German will be announced in 2016 and in Italian and Spanish in 2017; each award will cover the three previous years.​

Nicholas L. Syrett wins Fass-Sandin Prize

Robin Bernstein (committee chair), Melissa Klapper, and Pamela Riney-Kehrberg unanimously selected Nicholas L. Syrett’s article, “‘I did and I Don’t Regret It’: Child Marriage and the Contestation of Childhood in the United States,” to receive the Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English) on the History of Children and Youth published in 2013. Twenty articles were submitted for the committee’s consideration.

Syrett’s essay, published in the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (vol. 6, Spring 2013), uses an exceptionally rich and multi-dimensional field of evidence, including legal cases, archival newspapers, and census data, to argue that at the turn of the twentieth century, some minors used early marriage as a way to gain agency over their own lives and in some cases to contest the state of childhood itself. This is an original, counter-intuitive argument that challenges the received dogma that child marriage is by definition exclusively oppressive to youth. The Prize Committee particularly admired the way that Syrett used legal evidence to unearth youths’ perspectives on—and manipulations of—the law. Syrett’s essay is a significant and unforgettable work of scholarship. Syrett is an associate professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado.

Continue reading “Nicholas L. Syrett wins Fass-Sandin Prize”

Call for Nominations: Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article

Call for Nominations: Fass-Sandin Prize for the best article (in English) on the History of Children and Youth published in 2013.

The Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY) is pleased to call for nominations for the best article in English on the history of children, childhood, or youth (broadly construed) published in 2013 in a print or online journal. The prize consists of a plaque and a check for $250. The winner will be announced in mid-summer. The Fass-Sandin awards for articles published in Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish will be announced separately.

Nominations are invited from publishers, editors, scholars, and authors. Current members of the SHCY award committee, the executive committee, and officers of the society are ineligible.

Send a PDF or photocopy of the article to the chair of the prize committee, Robin Bernstein, at rbernst@fas.harvard.edu. The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2014. The other members of the committee are Melissa Klapper and Pamela Riney-Kehberg.