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Narrating and Visualizing Youth, Sec. 1

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Organizer: Miao Dou

Co-Organizer: Melody Yunzi Li

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This seminar explores the importance of youth in various cultural and intellectual contexts from the nineteenth century to the present day. The period witnesses the rise of and, more recently, the critique of imperialism, nationalism, and globalization. In the field of children and youth history there has been a shifting focus from adult-centered perspectives to the agency of children and youths. However, the efforts to discuss the histories of youth and its distinction from the histories of children is rather limited. For example, the adult-child binary that prevails in children studies does not neatly apply to the histories of youth, as the concept of youth has been historically used to describe both a biologically defined period of life and a state of mind for some adults. With a focus on youth rather than childhood, recent studies strive to understand "youth" as a mobilization category for politics and gender issues such as adolescent girlhood. Peer-reviewed journals such as The History of Childhood and Youth and Girlhood Studies, as well as scholars such as Akira Iriye, Richard Evan Jobs and David M. Pomfret collectively promote the study of histories of youth in a transnational or global framework. Building on the existing achievements of youth studies, this seminar intends to explore the historical and fictional figures of youth presented in various media and genres of narrative and art from the nineteenth century to the present. While this seminar is open to papers on any aspects of this subject, a particular goal of this seminar is to examine the role that "youth" plays in politically charged historical moments which facilitate our understanding of some historically normalized discourses such as modernity, white supremacy, Social Darwinism, heterosexuality, nationalism, etc. We welcome papers that add to the transnational and comparative conversation of the modern history of youth. Possible topics include but are not limited to: -The histories of children and youth -Girlhood studies -Queer youth -Youth education -Youth and things -Youth and affect -Youth and the digital world -Youth in film and literary studies -Youth in travel narratives -Youth and diaspora

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