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Cultures of Childhood

The Cultures of Childhood series collects, revives, and recontextualizes archival youth voices from the past, and brings new or unpublished sources into print. It celebrates the expansive contours of interdisciplinary childhood studies, which increasingly identifies and brings actual children’s voices from the margins into the mainstream. Traditional to experimental methods are welcome, especially those which require archival “primary sources” authentically authored or recording youth voices—in diaries, memoir, ethnography, public history, childlore, court records, marginalia in scouting manuals, news media, advice columns, interactive periodicals, fan-club paraphernalia, shipping manifests, prison journals, case studies, artwork, and storytelling.

Howard Zinn wrote that “collection of records, papers and memoirs, as well as oral history, is biased toward the important and powerful people of the society, tending to ignore the impotent and obscure: we learn most about the rich, not the poor; the successful, not the failures; the old, not the young” (Midwestern Archivist 2.2, p. 21). Visibility projects like this series are necessary in tipping such a skewed perspective. Opportunities for finding authentic accounts of youth experience abound in public archives and private collections yet they remain tucked into obscurity due to a century of increased sentimental silencing of young members in society.

This series fosters a democratic curation of material history, offers great production value necessary in visual studies, and recognizes that great learning can result from noticing the smallest expressions.

Series Editor: Susan Honeyman, Professor of English at University of Nebraska-Kearney

For more information or to submit a proposal, contact senior acquisitions editor Katie Keene.

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What the Children Said

Jeanne Pitre Soileau vividly presents children’s voices in What the Children Said: Child Lore of South Louisiana. Including over six hundred handclaps, chants, jokes, jump-rope rhymes, cheers, taunts, ...