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Grant number: FT-61374-14

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Susan A. Miller
Rutgers University, Camden (Camden, NJ 08102-1405)

Young Defenders: Children and the Development of the American Civil Religion, 1876-1939

In Young Defenders: Children and the Development of the American Civil Religion,1876-1939, I interrogate the trope of American civic immaturity and argue that its longevity and subtle historical transformation can best be understood by analyzing it side by side with the history of American childhood. My work suggests a reciprocal flow of ideas between changing notions of American nationalism--and in particular the denominational flavor of the American Civil Religion--and the historical construction of childhood and youth. Young Defenders claims a special place for the emotion inherent in the nationalist project and suggests that children, newly defined by their protected position within the sacred heart of the middle-class family and by the emotional longings that allegedly characterized their teen years, became the perfect memes for carrying ideas of civic rights, responsibilities, and, most importantly, love of country.

Project fields:
American Studies; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2014 – 8/31/2014