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Sarah A. Curtis
San Francisco State University Foundation Inc. (San Francisco, CA 94132-1722)
The Culture of Childhood in Nineteenth-Century France

Research for a book-length study on the history and culture of childhood in 19th-century France.

This book-length project examines the culture of childhood in France from approximately 1850 until the eve of World War I. In mid- to late-19th-century France, changing attitudes towards children as well as the rise of consumer culture both reflected and shaped a new focus on children as economic actors, social beings, and cultural icons. Through an examination of children's literature, material objects, publicity materials, memoirs, and contemporary criticism, this project will show how a new culture of childhood developed in a society undergoing social, economic, and demographic transformation, political democratization, imperial expansion, and Catholic-anticlerical conflict. It argues that both consumerism and anxiety about the future of the nation shaped children’s cultural experiences as well as adult expectations for them during a period when children were critical to the future of the French nation and republic.

Project fields:
Cultural History; European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018