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  • Editor’s Introduction
  • Linda Mahood

Greetings! This is my first issue as editor of the JHCY. On behalf of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth, I would like to begin by thanking Dr. James Martin for doing the majority of the work on this issue, and for his years of dedication to the journal as both editor and mentor to scholars in this vast and dynamic field. I sincerely hope to continue to guide original research, books, essays, and object lessons through the review and revision process so that scholarship in the interdisciplinary field of the history of childhood, youth, and contemporary policy is elevated. In that regard, I look forward to your suggestions and future collaboration.

As this issue goes to press, the SHCY is pleased to announce that Richard Ivan Jobs, author of Backpack Ambassadors: How Youth Travel Integrated Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), is the recipient of the 2017 Grace Abbott Book Prize; likewise, Julia M. Gossard’s “Tattletales: Childhood and Authority in Eighteenth-Century France,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 10, No. 2 (2017) won the Fass-Sandin Prize for best English article. Please inform your colleagues that the SHCY has started the process of offering scholarly prizes for work in eight languages.

The focus of this issue is citizenship training and the role that creative writing, didactic literature, and material culture have played in the socialization of children and young people. MicKenzie Fasteland’s article makes the timely observation that “adolescence” was originally coined by psychologist G. Stanley Hall in 1904 to describe the ideal attributes of American middle-class white males. Hall prescribed “ephebic literature” that inspired leadership and citizenship for young male readers. The literary role models Hall selected represented “ideal” adolescent “types” that reinforced white supremacy at home and an imperialist agenda abroad. Alysa Levene and Jean Webb, as well as Susan L. Tananbaum, move readers to nineteenth-century England. Levene and Webb draw on parliamentary papers, social surveys on child labor, and proscriptive literature written for middle-class children to illustrate the historically perilous [End Page 1] lives of poor working children. The co-authors argue that many real and fictional sources contributed to a broader understanding of and compassion for the poor; however, a fuller critique of child labor was generations away. Tananbaum looks at the Roman Catholic Church’s repose to the threat and danger of poverty for needy Catholic children in nineteenth-century England. In some sectors, public anxiety about physical degeneration and the decline of the Empire took an anti-Catholic turn, and the physical, moral, and religious well-being of poor Catholic children was called into question. Catholics responded by establishing orphanages and homes for poor and working children as part of their commitment to providing faith-based childcare services and work for women.

Lauren Rea takes us to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and introduces a form of creative and educational children’s literature: Billiken (founded 1919). Through a snapshot of Billiken in the 1940s, Rea examines the role the magazine played in forging ideal future citizens for Argentina’s nation-building process. The role of nationalism was also a central element in consumer culture in the Yishuv (Jewish community) of Mandatory Palestine between the two world wars. Hizky Shoham looks at contemporary advertisements and campaigns for children’s products that directly targeted children and urged them to pressure their parents to buy only local, Jewish-produced goods. Kelly Whitmer’s article explores early efforts to introduce Realia, or real things, to the curricula of Latin schools in central Europe during the seventeenth century. Using educational writings and textbooks, Whitmer argues that introducing everyday objects such as rocks, trees, and animals in the classroom raised intriguing questions about children’s inherent qualities, especially their “natural inclination” to learn through experience. [End Page 2]



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