I-CYS is proud to showcase some of the research our graduate students are conducting.
June 2017: University of Edinburgh’s “Speaking when they’re spoken to: Re-integrating the experiences and perspectives of children into historical research” workshop
On June 6 2017, University of Lethbridge I-CYS graduate student affiliates Kaitlynn Weaver and Ashley Henrickson presented some of their thesis findings at the University of Edinburgh’s “Speaking when they’re spoken to: Re-integrating the experiences and perspectives of children into historical research” workshop. This workshop focused on mediating the practical research challenges that arise when trying to theorize archival documents and oral history narratives of and about children or their pasts. The common challenges that were explored included issues of authenticity of children’s documents – for example, journals or letters – and nostalgia when theorizing adults’ childhood memories.
Kaitlynn, an MA student in Cultural, Social and Political Thought, spoke about the ways in which University of Lethbridge student-teachers remember their own childhood experiences of being ineligible to vote in Canadian federal and provincial elections. She discussed how or if these memories can be used to challenge educators’ preexisting age-based assumptions.
Ashley, who is pursuing an MA in History, examined the letters Canadian children wrote to “Maple Leaf Club” during the Great War. The “Maple Leaf Club” was a children's correspondence club published in Canada’s most popular national newspaper the Family Herald and Weekly Star. She argued that conceptualizing the club as an imagined community and an emotional space allows historians to better uncover children’s emotions from their letters.
Overall, they had an amazing time at the workshop and were delighted to listen and learn from influential scholars working in the history of childhood in America and the United Kingdom. The attendees provided them with thought provoking feedback which will contribute to the development of their own research projects. Ashley and Kaitlynn are excited about the international connections they made and continue to maintain with the organizers of the conference and the other presenters. Kaitlynn and Ashley are very thankful as this trip was made possible by the financial support of the School of Graduate Studies and the Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies.