Representing US Childhoods Winter 2024

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Class Details

Childhood as it is understood today in the US is a relatively recent invention. In this course we will read works of literature, history, and cultural studies, as well as consider such mediums as art, films, podcasts and music, and analyze material culture (objects such as toys and clothing) associated with childhood and children in the U.S. Along the way, we will consider questions such as how childhood has emerged as a distinct stage of life; how definitions of childhood vary (or not) across differences such as race, gender, class; what places and spaces define childhood; how writers and artists contribute to constructing particular visions of childhood and what the resonances of these representations are; and what it means to “grow up.” An emphasis will be placed on learning to analyze closely a variety of texts and objects.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1021
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: There will be at least three short (2-5 page) writing assignments; a revision of at least one of those papers; and a short final reflection essay. As an intensive winter study, this class will require approximately 12-15 hours of in-person class time a week, as well as time outside out of class on reading and writing assignments.
Prerequisites: permission of a dean
Enrollment Preferences: students who need to make up a deficiency
Unit Notes: This course is designed to count for both full semester and Winter Study credit. Once a dean approves enrollment, the Registrar's Office will register students in both ENGL 102 and ENGL 41.

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