Archive for March, 2017

Fall 2017 Course: Historical Geography: Mapping American Childhoods (GEOG170/HIST170)

20 Mar

Historical Geography (GEOG170/HIST170)

The intersection of Geography and History is explored here through a critical examination of American childhoods of the late 19th and 20th Centuries. We’ll use diverse readings and resources to uncover the conditions of childhood, including everything from child labor to housing, from childhood diseases to immigrant experiences, and from schooling to material cultures of books, games, and toys. We ask questions such as: How is ‘childhood’ constructed socially and culturally over time and through different places? How are diverse experiences of ‘childhood’ related to broader social, economic, and political contexts?

We will take five key dimensions of social life as central to understanding past childhoods, and in turn, this allows us to build a better understanding of American culture, places, and histories. These dimensions are:

  • Mobility and Migration
  • Building the Nation: Identity and Place
  • Social Inequalities: Race, Class, and Gender
  • Health and Mortality of 19th & 20th C. Children
  • Material Cultures of Childhood and Youth


This is a “3+1 Viz-Lab” course — students register for GEOG170 or HIST170  and for a 1-credit Visualization Lab (GEOG195/HIST195). In the lab we’ll learn data visualization tools such as annotated timelines, short documentaries, and simple maps for analytical and presentation purposes (no prior mapping needed). These tools are used in many companies, non-profits, and in academic programs across the country so they are valuable skills well beyond the bounds of this course.

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