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History Dept | Brooklyn College Library

HIST 3320: The History of Childhood




Primary Sources:

Children Attribution: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Discussion Questions

  • Who was Philip Ariès? Why is he important for our understanding of the modern child? Do you agree with Philip Ariès’ view that “child” is a “modern invention”? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples.
  • What new insights did Barrie Thorne bring to our understanding of modern childhood? Can you establish a personal connection with her argument?  
  • Why do you think children and childhood are important categories of historical analysis? What are the different ways of studying histories of childhood?  

Work to do

Discussion Board

Discussion Board (DB) #1 Sharing Our Past due on Blackboardblackboard logo, takes you to blackboard page..

Looking into the Future

Write a paragraph or two (300-350 words, 1 page) about an occasion, object (toy, book, music, film, event, etc.), picture, memory, individual that acts as a defining moment of your childhood. Please be specific about your age, ethnicity, race, gender, location (which city, country), time period (tentative year), members involved; description of the object, event, and any other factor that was important for that moment. 

You will share the above information with the class to explore how our childhood experiences are determined by age, location, region, context, gender, ethnicity, religion, relationships, and other specific conditions.