J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Call for Papers on “Children, Youth & Labor on the Eve of Independence”

Robin P. Chapdelaine and Lara Putnam have issued a call for papers on “Children, Youth & Labor on the Eve of Independence.” Chosen scholars will present their papers at a workshop in Pittsburgh in March 2019, with a selection published in an edited volume or journal.

The call says:
The aim of the project is to reflect the various ways in which adults and children interpreted the work performed by children and youth throughout the colonies.

In recent years, scholarship on children, youth and labor throughout the ‘Empire’ has increased substantially. Often, discussions about child labor, in a colonial context, focus on child slavery, child trafficking and exploitation. While it is true that various forms of colonial labor forcibly incorporated children, what is unclear is how children and adolescents related their work to the colonial state.

Taking into consideration that children were indoctrinated to become productive and patriotic citizens through engaging in social activities, clubs, schooling and religion-how then did they understand their labor as a form of (imperialistic) nationalism? Or did their work represent autonomy, agency and perhaps anti-imperial efforts? In what other ways was child labor understood?
The organizers define “labor” and the temporal and geographic parameters of their topic broadly. They encourage “analyses that focus on class, gender, and masculinity” and any “re-consideration/articulation of patriotism, nationalism, citizens, subjects and labor.”

Proposals should include a 400-word abstract and curriculum vitae for each author, sent to duqyouthlabor@gmail.com by 2 Nov 2018. The organizers will accept up to twenty proposals for the workshop. Papers must be submitted by 22 Feb 2019.

Those papers will be pre-circulated to participants in the workshop scheduled for 29-30 March at Duquesne University. The event will be hosted by the university’s Department of History and Center for African Studies and co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of History. Selected papers will be prepared for publication through editing and peer review.

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