The Seminar is accepting proposals for papers on all aspects of childhood in New England and contiguous portions of New York State and Canada, 1620 to 1920. The conference will focus on the broader areas of play, education, social behavior, work, and health. Categories might include sports and games, toys, doll play, and pet-keeping; children's sleeping arrangements and furniture; nursery lore; reading habits, common schooling and curriculum, the experience of female academies, and school-taught children's art.
Other categories might encompass children's clothes and fashion, gender expectations, and issues of coming of age including sexual maturity and courtship; naming patterns and the use of nick-names; areas of juvenile congregation, children's spaces, perceptions of time, and language usage; and guardian and legal issues such as assignment to other households, adoption patterns, and the use of corporal punishment.
The conference will also consider children in military companies, children experiencing religious conversions, juvenile mourning customs, and all aspects of child work, apprenticeship training, children's diseases, runaway children, and child abandonment and abuse. This year's Seminar will address children in both rural and urban settings, with an additional emphasis on children of servants and slaves, adopted children, immigrant children, as well as those growing up in orphanages and religious groups. Other approaches will also be encouraged.
Preference will be given to proposals based on primary sources such as children's art, copybooks, period artifacts, formal and informal portraits, photographs, diaries, probate and genealogical records, reminiscences, school and town records, oral histories, and newspapers.
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