Working Group on the Study of Children 2014-15


About the Cluster

The working group on the study of children brings together faculty and graduate students from multiple disciplines to explore how to pursue and theorize research on children. In our first year as a new research cluster, we are particularly interested in examining how different disciplines are currently approaching the study of children and what they might learn from each other. We will be pursuing common readings, sharing developing research, and inviting scholars to present current work.

Here are some of the questions we hope to explore:

• How do conceptions of children’s subjectivity shape political possibilities for children and adults? For example, in liberal political thought, children, defined in part by their incapacity to give meaningful consent, help define adults as agents, as well as authorize state interventions in children’s lives.

• Can different disciplinary accountings of children and childhood—developmental, cultural, historical—speak to each other? How might integrating disciplinary approaches reshape research questions and strategies? For example, how might developmental accountings of childhood grounded in biology shape conceptions of historical actors’ subjectivity? How might culturally and historically distinctive understandings of child status challenge assumptions about the universality of developmental categories?

• How do children participate in and challenge state efforts to project authority domestically and transnationally? For example, through state educational enterprises, forced migration of children to populate empires, removal of children from families of subject people, etc.

• How does age, as an axis of identity, intersect with race, gender, disability, and sexuality? How does childhood intersect with other relationships of power?

• How can conceptualizing children and childhood as spatially, as well as temporally, distinct enrich our work? For example, the presence, or absence, of children helps demarcate kinds of social space, most vividly in the islanding of children in institutions like schools, but also in the organization of domestic space.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about the cluster, please contact Kate Jones (


Cluster Members

Noriko Aso (Faculty, History)
Melissa Brzycki (PhD candidate, History)
Janette Dinishak (Faculty, Philosophy)
Jesica Fernández (PhD candidate, Psychology)
Megan Gudgeirsson (PhD candidate, History)
Lisbeth Haas (Faculty, History)
Catherine Jones (History)
Danielle Kohfeldt (PhD candidate, Psychology)
Regina Langhout (Faculty, Psychology)
Stephanie Montgomery (PhD candidate, History)
Angela Nguyen (PhD candidate, Psychology)
Danilyn Rutherford (Faculty, Anthropology)
Jeff Sanceri (PhD candidate, History)
Vanita Seth (Faculty, Politics)
Matthew Wolf-Meyer (Faculty, Anthropology)


Event Archives

Mary Niall Mitchell: “Archival Challenges: Children, Slavery, and Nineteenth Century Visual Culture” June 4, 2014

Rebecca Jo Plant: “Child Soldiers: Militarism and American Youth” April 3, 2014