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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2011 > Weiss Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar Series Set to Begin

Weiss Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar Series Set to Begin

A unique series of public lectures on childhood culture

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Consuming Child is the topic of a unique series of public lectures and seminars that is set to begin Jan. 19 on Penn State’s University Park campus.

The fourth annual Josephine Berry Weiss Interdisciplinary Seminar consists of 14 multimedia lectures given by a diverse group of nationally and internationally recognized scholars. The series will focus on the intertwining of consumption, children's culture, and ideas of childhood that have occurred since the 18th century in England and especially in North America.

The guest lectures will be held most Wednesdays throughout the spring semester, from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. in 111 Forum Building. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Themes will include the 18th- and 19th-century emergence of modern consumption, children's literature and consumer goods, child-focused holidays, and new images of the child; the 20th-century origins of impact of modern commercialized childhood in media and playthings; and recent developments in television, video, and other media that have transformed childhood and childrearing.

The series is funded by the Josephine Berry Weiss Chair in the Humanities Endowment. The co-facilitators are Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, associate professor of language and literacy education in the College of Education; Gary Cross, distinguished professor of modern history in the College of Liberal Arts; and Christine Marmé Thompson, professor of art education in the College of Arts and Architecture.

Below is a listing of the lecturers and the topics of their talks.

January 19: Colin Heywood
Children and the “Consumer Revolution” During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

January 26: Lissa Paul
Visits to the Juvenile Library: The Children’s Book Business in the Early Nineteenth Century

February 2: Andrea Immel
Extraordinary Ordinary Things: Artifacts Made by and for Children

February 9: Elizabeth Pleck
Birthday Parties and Holidays as Special Times for Children

February 16: Gary Cross
How Commercialism Changed Childhood between 1900 and 1970

February 23: Ann Higonnet
Captured Moments: Childhood and Photography

March 2: Joe Tobin
Upending Developmental Models of Children’s Understandings of Commercials

March 16: Abigail Van Slyck
Spaces of Childhood in the Twentieth Century

March 23: Miriam Forman-Brunell
Getting and Spending: The Dynamics of Commercial Teen Culture and Part-Time Work

March 30: Steven Kline
The Perfect Storm: Transformations of Consumer Socialization in the 1970s

April 6: Scott Eberle and Richard Gottlieb
Toy Marketing, “The Uncanny,” and a Case of the Dog Not Barking; Plus Gender and Toys

April 13: Dan Cook
The Making/Marketing of the Child Consumer after 1970

April 20: Claudia Mitchell
Girls and Moral Panic

April 27: Brent Wilson
From Cave Walls and Comic Books to the World Wide Web: A Brief History of Children’s First-Site Images and Third-Site Pedagogy