Raising Americans – Raising Europeans in the 20th Century

Raising Americans – Raising Europeans in the 20th Century

Dirk Schumann Deutsches Historisches Institut Washington, D.C.
Deutsches Historisches Institut
Washington, D.C.
United States
Vom - Bis
07.04.2005 - 10.04.2005
Dirk Schumann

Call For Papers

Raising Americans – Raising Europeans in the 20th Century
Conference at the German Historical Institute Washington, D.C., April 7-10, 2005

Convener: Dirk Schumann (GHI)

Deadline: October 15, 2004

The 20th century, the century Swedish author Ellen Key had hoped would be the “Century of the Child,” saw an unprecedented expansion of expert knowledge on and state intervention in child rearing on both sides of the Atlantic. Academic experts were divided, however, on how strict or permissive parents should be in raising children. Neither could they agree to what extent, if any, mothers should delegate responsibilities to childcare institutions during the first years of childhood. While political reforms were aimed at ensuring that each child was brought up in a safe, healthy, and emotionally supportive environment and provided with an education appropriate to her/his abilities, these reforms often fell victim to limited funding or produced unwanted results. Despite a general consensus that no child should be “left behind,” the scope and degree of state intervention in matters of child rearing as well as the appropriate methods of raising children and the parental roles, of mothers and of fathers, in the process were hardly better defined at the end of the century than at its beginning.

The conference will shed new light on these issues by focusing on three key questions: How did concepts and practices of child rearing change over the course of the century? What was the impact of pivotal political developments and ruptures, such as the change of political regimes and wars? And how did transnational and transatlantic academic communication shape concepts and practices in individual nations?

Specific fields and topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Definitions of parenthood, roles of fathers and mothers
- Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish concepts and practices of child rearing
- The impact of class and ethnicity on child rearing
- Advice literature and institutions
- Orphans, adoption and foster care
- Corporal punishment, child abuse
- Disabled children and special education
- Pediatrics and child psychology
- Nutrition
- Toys, play, and pets
- Reform pedagogy and its opponents
- Day Care, Kindergarten, Preschool
- Surveying and controlling sexuality, sex education
- School discipline
- Teaching concepts and methods
- Juvenile delinquency and reform schools
- Literature for children and youth
- Educating young consumers

Conference presentations and discussion will be in English. A publication based on the conference is planned. Proposals from Europe and the United States are welcome. The deadline for submission is October 15, 2004. Participants will be notified by the middle of November. They will receive lump sum reimbursement for their travel and lodging expenses. Please send an abstract of the paper (2-3 pages, double-spaced) in English, plus a short c.v. of no more than 2 pages, including a list of relevant publications to the convener (pref. by e-mail):

Dirk Schumann



Dirk Schumann
German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 001 (202) 387-3355
Fax: 001 (202) 483-3430
E-mail: Schumann@ghi-dc.org