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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Sunday, September 04, 2016

Dublin Seminar for 2017

And speaking of Deerfield, Historic Deerfield will host the next Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife on 23-25 June 2017.

The theme of the 2017 seminar is “Small World: Toys, Dolls, and Games in New England, 1620-1920.” Here’s the call for papers:
The Seminar is now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, and workshops on children’s games and playthings in New England and adjacent areas of New York and Canada from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century. Aimed at understanding the social and cultural backgrounds of young people aged between two and sixteen, the topic will explore the material survival of toys and games, storybooks, child literature, dolls, and dollhouses, as well as the “pretend instinct” or the language of imitation that accompanied their use.

We ask how gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social rank, and demography influenced children’s play. In addition, we are interested in tying toys and games to the making of small-scale models and other forms of miniaturization later in life; to the role of animals (live and representational); and to the use of wheeled carriages and other movable toys, toy boats, toy weapons, book-games, word-games, circus toys, and children’s costuming. Do early toys represent a conservative or out-of-date culture? Did most toys simulate adult circumstances? Were children’s toys routinely thrown away? How did changing views of childhood influence manufactured toys?

The Seminar encourages papers that reflect original research, especially those based on primary or underused resources such as material culture, archaeological artifacts, toy collections, toy literature, letters and diaries, vital records, and federal and state censuses, as well as newspapers, portraits, prints and photographs, business records, recollections, autobiographies, and handed-down memories (i.e., oral histories).
The seminar aims to have approximately seventeen lectures of twenty minutes each, with related tours. Selected papers will be published in the seminar’s annual proceedings volume about eighteen months later.

To submit a paper proposal for this conference, e-mail a one-page prospectus that cites sources and a one-page vita or biography by 10 Jan 2017 to Peter Benes, director of the seminar. Proposals can also be mailed to:
Peter Benes, Director
Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
Historic Deerfield
P.O. Box 321
Deerfield, MA 01342

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