About This Site


The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University and the University of Missouri–Kansas City received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create Children and Youth in History. The project is in development and will be completed by summer 2010.

Children and Youth in History is designed to help teachers and students learn about the important roles of young people throughout history by providing access to information about the lived experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations. The materials on this website address such questions as: What was it like to be a child or adolescent throughout history? How is childhood defined? How has it changed and how has it remained the same? What factors have shaped childhood and how did children shape history, society, and culture?

Children and Youth in History is a free website with four key features:

  • a Primary Source Database with 350 resources along with guidance on how to use those sources critically and tools for annotating and organizing the sources;
  • 60 Website Reviews that focus on valuable online resources for studying and teaching the history of childhood and youth in world history;
  • 11 Teaching Modules that provide historical context, teaching tools, and strategies for teaching with sets of primary sources drawn from the Primary Source Database; and
  • 25 Teaching Case Studies by experienced scholars and teachers that model strategies for using primary sources to teach the history of childhood and youth.

Project Team

Kelly Schrum (Project Co-Director) is the Director of Educational Projects at the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and an Associate Professor at George Mason University. Schrum is the author or co-author of Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls’ Culture, 1920–1950, U.S. History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online, and World History Matters: A Student Guide to History Online. Schrum is co-director of the websites Making the History of 1989, Children and Youth in History, World History Sources and Women in World History, and is associate director for History Matters.

Miriam Forman-Brunell (Project Co-Director) is a Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas and a leading scholar on the history of American children. Dr. Forman-Brunell is the author of Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood, 1830–1930 (1993;1998) and Babysitter: An American History (2009). She is also editor of Girlhood in America, An Encyclopedia (2001); The Story of Rose O’Neill (1997); co-editor (with Leslie Paris) of The Girls’ History & Culture Reader (2010), and series book editor of Children and Youth: History and Culture (2003–08).

Peter Stearns (Senior Scholar) is Professor of History and Provost at George Mason University. Founder and editor of the Journal of Social History, he is also a prolific author or editor of more than 100 books. His most recent publications include Childhood in World History; The Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self-Control in Modern America; Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in Western Society; Gender in World History; and World History: Patterns of Change and Continuity. Dr. Stearns is editor of the 6-volume Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000.

Mary A. McMurray (Project Manager) is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, where she studies contemporary American history with an emphasis in gender studies. McMurray has completed two internships at the Truman Presidential Library and Museum, presented at several academic conferences, and taught a course on women in wartime and postwar America at the University of Missouri, Kansas City during the 2008 and 2009 fall semesters.

Susan Douglass (Research Associate) is a doctoral student in history at George Mason University, and also serves as education outreach consultant for the Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Publications include World Eras: Rise and Spread of Islam, 622-1500 (Thompson/Gale, 2002), the study "Teaching About Religion in National and State Social Studies Standards" (Freedom Forum First Amendment Center and Council on Islamic Education, 2000), and teaching resources, both online and in print, including the curriculum project World History for Us All, The Indian Ocean in World History, and websites for documentary films such as Cities of Light: the Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain and Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.

Jeremy Boggs (Web Developer) is a designer and lead developer at CHNM and a doctoral student in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. His current research is on the history of web design and cascading style sheets. He also studies the history of technology, history of design, and digital history.

Chris Raymond (Designer) is Senior Web Designer and Creative Lead at CHNM. She brings diverse experience creating effective, award-winning visual communications as a graphic designer, web designer, science museum exhibit researcher/writer, science journalist, and publications director for a national association of science museums. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University, with emphases in mass media and sociology of science.

Advisory Board

Sharon Cohen teaches AP World History and IB Theory of Knowledge at Springbrook High School in Maryland. She regularly presents papers on world history pedagogy at the annual conferences of the World History Association, the American Historical Association, the National Council for Teaching History, and the National Council for the Social Studies, served on the College Board's AP World History Development Committee, contributed articles to the online journal World History Connected, and published curriculum units in world history for the College Board and the online model world history project World History For Us All.

Ryba Epstein teaches World History, Advanced Placement World History, Advanced Placement European History, Humanities, and Advanced Placement English Literature at Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois. She is a consultant and table leader for AP World History and has also read for AP European History. Her M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and she received her A.B. from UCLA. Her dissertation was on African oral epic poetry.

Paula Fass is the Margaret Byrne Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Publications include Children of a New World: Society, Culture, and Globalization; editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society; coeditor, Childhood in America; author of The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s; Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education; and Kidnapped: A History of Child Abduction in the United States.

Colin Heywood is a Professor of Modern French History at the University of Nottingham (U.K.). His publications include Childhood in Nineteenth-Century France, A History of Childhood, and Growing Up in Modern France. He is currently writing a history of childhood and youth in modern Europe.

Steven Mintz is Director of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center at Columbia University. An authority on the history of the family and of children, he is the author and editor of 13 books, including Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life, Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, and Moralists & Modernizers: America’s Pre-Civil War Reformers. A pioneer in the application of new technologies to history, he is the creator of the Digital History website and past president of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. He is also National Co-Chair of the Council on Contemporary Families and president of the Society for the History of Children and Youth.

Claudia Mitchell is the James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University, and an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research focuses on visual and other participatory methodologies particularly in addressing gender and HIV and AIDS, teaching identity and gender, and the culture of girlhood within broader studies of children and popular culture and media studies.

Paula Petrik received her Ph.D. from SUNY-Binghamton in 1982 and M.F.A. from the University of Montana. She is the author of No Step Backward: Women and Family on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier and co-editor (with Elliott West) of Small Worlds: Children and Adolescents in America, 1850–1950. Recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to the United Kingdom, an NEH Fellowship, an Apple Computer Faculty Internship, and a Smithsonian Fellowship, among others, she has published articles on women in the American West, the U.S. toy industry, and new media.

Heidi Roupp currently teaches and consults on World History projects. For 20 years, she taught World History, Asian Studies, Humanities, Comparative Political Systems, Geography, American History, and Western Civilization at Aspen High School in Aspen, Colorado. Former President of the World History Association and first recipient of the American Historical Association Beveridge Teaching Prize. She is author of Teaching World History, and co-author of Barron’s SAT II World History. From 1998–2000 she served as president of the World History Association. She is currently executive director of World History Connected, an electronic journal for teachers of world history.

Peter Stearns [see above]

Merry Wiesner Hanks, Professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, coeditor of the Sixteenth Century Journal, Coordinator of the Comparative Study of Religion Program, and Interim Director of the Center for Women's Studies. Publications include the prize-winning book, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe: New Approaches to Modern European History; Gender in History; Lives and Voices: A Sourcebook on European Women; and Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World: Regulating Desire, Reforming Practice. She has also written a number of source books for use in the college classroom, including Discovering the Global Past, and a book for young adults, An Age of Voyages, 1350–1600.


James Marten, Professor and Chair of the History Department at Marquette University. Among his dozen book-length publications is The Children’s Civil War, which was a Choice Magazine 'outstanding academic title' for 1999. He was founding secretary-treasurer of the Society for the History of Children and Youth.

Web Review Authors

Sue Fernsebner is a specialist in the cultural and social history of China during the 19th and 20th centuries. Her interests lie in the shared realms of material culture and social experience, gender, and global encounters. Included among her published works is the study "A People's Playthings: Toys, Childhood, and Chinese Identity, 1909–1933." She is currently finishing a book on China's participation in world’s fairs and international expositions. She is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington.

Colin Heywood [see above]

Jessica Hodgson teaches Advanced Placement World History and World History and Geography at South County Secondary School in Fairfax County, VA. She has traveled to China as part of a Fulbright-Hays seminar, is a National Writing Project alumnus, and has studied the life, music, and history of J. S. Bach through a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute. When she is not teaching, she plays the cello with an amateur string quartet.

Nora E. Jaffary, Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Concordia University in Montreal. She is author of False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico. Her edited volume, Gender, Race, and Religion in the Colonization of the Americas is forthcoming in Ashgate’s Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe Series. Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader, which she co-edited with Edward W. Osowski and Susie S. Porter, will appear in the summer of 2009.

Ilana Nash, Assistant Professor of English at Western Michigan University. Her publications include American Sweethearts: Teenage Girls in Twentieth-Century Popular Culture and essays on Nancy Drew, Gidget, and teen magazines.

Nancy Stockdale, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of North Texas. She authored Colonial Encounters Among English and Palestinian Women, 1800–1948 and is a specialist in 19th and 20th century Palestine, Orientalist representations of the Middle East, cross-cultural encounters, and the interplay of gender and empire.

Teaching Case Study Authors

Joe Austin, Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the author of Taking the Train: How Graffiti Art Became an Urban Crisis in New York City; "Rome is Burning (Psychedelic): Traces of the Social and Historical Contexts of Psychedelia" in Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era; and "Youth Culture" in the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society. Austin also co-edited Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History in Twentieth Century America.

Jane Eva Baxter, Associate Professor of Anthropology at DePaul University. She authored The Archaeology of Childhood: Children, Gender, and Material Culture and Historic Sites on San Salvador, Bahamas: A Guide for Teachers and Students (with John D. Burton). Baxter also edited Children in Action: Perspectives on the Archaeology of Childhood. Forthcoming works include: Archaeological Field Schools: A Guide for Instructors and American Childhoods; Childhood and Adolescence in the American Experience; and numerous peer-reviewed articles and contributions to reviewed edited volumes.

David Bill, high school history teacher with a B.A. and a M.A. in history. Mr. Bill teaches World History and focuses on integrating technology into the classroom.

Christopher Corley, Associate Professor of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has authored articles on early modern families and children the Journal of Family History and the Journal of Social History. He is writing a book manuscript entitled The King's Families: Parenting and Adolescence in Early Modern France.

Sue Fernsebner [see above]

Rebecca Friedman, Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Florida International University in Miami. She is the author of Masculinity, Autocracy and the Russian University, 1804–1863. Friedman is also an editor of Russian Masculinities in History and Culture. She recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for her new project, A Cultural History of the Russian Home.

James Gillham is a student of philosophy and history at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Gillham conducted research on the register of admission to a female orphanage in Dijon, France and presented preliminary results of his findings to Minnesota State University's Undergraduate Research Conference in April 2007. He co-authored his case study with Christopher Corley.

Donald Haase, Professor and Chair of the German Department at Wayne State University. Haase is the editor of several works including: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales; Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies; Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Perspectives; English Fairy Tales and More English Fairy Tales; and The Reception of Grimms’ Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions. He has also authored various book chapters, journal articles, and book reviews.

Kriste Lindenmeyer, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was president of the Society for the History of Children and Youth from 2005 - 2007 and is the author of several books, including The Greatest Generation Grows Up: American Childhood in the 1930s and A Right to Childhood: The U.S. Children’s Bureau and Child Welfare, 1912–1946.

Dana Leibsohn, Priscilla van der Poel Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Smith College, teaches courses on the visual culture of Latin America. Her recent projects focus on colonial visual culture including the book, Script and Glyph: Pre-Hispanic History, Colonial Bookmaking and the Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca, and a collaborative bi-lingual multi-media project, Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America: 1520-1820 (DVD forthcoming from UT Press). She is currently working on a project entitled, "Made in China, Made in Mexico" which focuses on trans-Pacific trade in the early modern period.

Joanna Michlic, Assistant Professor in the Holocaust and Genocide Program at the Richard Stockton College, Pomona New Jersey. Between 2000 and 2003, she was a Lady Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. Her publications include the co-edited with Antony Polonsky, Neighbors Respond: the Controversy about Jedwabne and her book Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present. She is currently working on a monograph, The Social History of Jewish Children in Poland: Survival and Identity, 1945–1949.

Julia Mickenberg, Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of multiple peer review journal articles as well as a historical monograph entitled, Learning from the Left: Children's Literature and Radical Politics in the United States.

Steven Mintz [see above]

Paula Petrik [see above]

Lizbeth Halliday Piel, Assistant Professor of History, Lasell College. In August of 2007, Piel earned a Ph.D. in History from University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she completed a dissertation, "The Ideology of the Child in Japan, 1600-1945."

Beryl Rawson, Professor Emerita and Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University. She has served in the Classics and History departments there. She established the field of ‘Roman Family’ studies, including three international conferences 1981–94. She is the author of The Politics of Friendship: Pompey and Cicero and Children and Childhood in Ancient Rome. Rawson is also the editor of several works including Marriage, Divorce and Children in Ancient Rome and The Roman Family in Italy: Status, Sentiment, Space.

Kerry Roeder is a doctoral student in art history at the University of Delaware where she is preparing a dissertation on the cartoonist Winsor McCay. Her publications include "1905: Little Nemo sets off for Slumberland," in A New Literary History of America, "Chris Ware and the Burden of Art History," in The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking, and "Looking High and Low at Comic Art," American Art (Spring 2008).

Tom Rushford is the Western Civilization Post-Doctoral Fellow at George Mason University. He is currently working on a historical monograph, Burnings and Blessings: The Cultural Reality of the Supernatural Across Early Modern Spaces.

Phil Safford, Kent State University Emeritus Professor of Special Education and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University. His publications have focused on historical, psychological, and educational aspects of childhood disability.

Elizabeth Ten Dyke has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. She is Director of Instructional Services for the Kingston City School District, and is the author of Dresden: Paradoxes of Memory in History.

Richard Waller is a member of the History Department at Bucknell University, where he teaches courses in African History, Imperialism & Colonialism and Modern Africa. He is an historian of the 19th century and colonial periods in East Africa. He began his scholarly research with fieldwork amongst the Kenya Maasai and retains a strong interest in the history of pastoralism, both black and white. He has also written on the topic of age organization and youth. Most recently, he has shifted direction to consider aspects of crime, violence and the law in colonial Kenya.

Merry Wiesner Hanks [see above]

Teaching Module Authors

Tom Ewing, Professor of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has written and edited several books, including: Teachers of Stalinism: Policy, Practice, and Power in Soviet Schools of the 1930s; Revolution and Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives on Educational Foundations; and, as co-editor, Education and the Great Depression: Lessons from a Global History. He is also Project Director of the Digital History Reader, an educational website dedicated to the study of United States and European history.

Sue Fernsebner [see above]

Jeanine Graham, Associate Professor, University of Waikato, New Zealand (retired). Her investigations into New Zealand childhood history have combined extensive use of oral history as well as documentary, material and visual sources. She also brings to her research the insights gained from some three decades of teaching at Waikato University, where papers on the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand are delivered jointly with colleagues from the School of Maori and Pacific Development. In addition to working in the fields of social history, cultural encounters and childhood history, Graham maintains an active interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning in history.

Jesse Hingson, Assistant Professor of History at Jacksonville University. He is the author of Making the Invisible Visible: Scholarship on the African Experience in Mexico and the Southern Cone, with Roberto Pacheco. Hingson is also preparing a new monograph, The Politics of Plunder and Restitution in Nineteenth Century Argentina.

Anne Kinney, Professor of Chinese at the University of Virginia. Among her recent publications are Representations of Childhood and Youth in Early China and The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China. She is currently at work on an annotated translation of Lienüzhuan (Traditions of Exemplary Women) and a digital research collection for the study of women in early China.

Heidi Morrison is an assistant professor of modern Middle East History at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She is currently writing a book entitled State of Children: Egyptian Childhoods in an era of Nationalism, Modernity, and Emotion. Heidi is also the editor of the forthcoming The History of Global Childhood Reader (Routledge Press, 2011). She is working on a project on the history of boys and mental health in Palestine.

Tim Parsons, Professor, Washington University. Parsons is the author of several books, including Race, Resistance and the Boy Scout Movement in British Colonial Africa; The 1964 Army Mutinies and the Making of Modern East Africa; The African Rank-and-File: Social Implications of Colonial Service in the King’s African Rifles, 1902–1964; and The British Imperial Century, 1815–1914: A World History Perspective.

Lynda Payne, Ph.D., RN, Sirridge Missouri Endowed Professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics and Associate Professor of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is the author of With Words and Knives: Learning Medical Dispassion in Early Modern England, and is currently researching and writing a monograph on the 18th-century surgeon Percivall Pott.

Brian Platt, Assistant Professor of History, George Mason University; author of Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750–1890.

Stephen Robertson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Sydney in Australia. His first book, Crimes against Children: Sexual Violence and Legal Culture in New York City, 1880–1960, explored the prosecution of sex crimes during the period in which new ideas about childhood transformed American laws regarding sexual violence. His current research explores everyday life in Harlem in the 1920s.

Nancy Stockdale [see above]

Colleen Vasconcellos, Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. Her research focuses on childhood in the Atlantic World, in particular colonial Jamaica. In addition to being an editor and advisory board member of several H-Net listservs, Dr. Vasconcellos is co-editor of Girls in the World: A Global Anthology with Jennifer Hillman Helgren (forthcoming).

Shona Kelly Wray, Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her book, Communities and Crisis: Bologna during the Black Death, is forthcoming. Wray is also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Teaching Module Lesson Plan Authors

Sharon Cohen [see above]

Janelle Collett, teaches ninth-grade World History, 10th-grade U.S. History, and 12th-grade electives on the history of violence, the history of nonviolence, and East Asian history at Springside School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching, Collett is a Faculty Educational Technology Leader at Springside. In January of 2006, she was a member of an American History Association Conference panel, "Teaching the Nation as Imagined Community: Strategies for Understanding Nationalisms in the Classroom."

Susan Douglass [see above]

Ryba Epstein [see above]

Jessica Hodgson [see above]

Heidi Morrison [see above]

Tom Rushford [see above]

Cynthia Szwajkowski is the Teaching American History Grant Coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools, a one million dollar federal grant program. Dr. Szwajkowski also taught Advanced Placement U.S. History and Government to high school students in northern Virginia. She was awarded the Virginia Social Studies Teacher of the Year (2005) and, in addition, has experience teaching U.S. History to Loudoun County teachers.

Elizabeth Ten Dyke [see above]