What Kids Can't Do: Youth, Historical Agency, and Authority

March 17, 2021 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:00 pm


What Kids Can't Do: Youth, Historical Agency, and Authority

Abosede George

Associate Professor of History, Barnard College and Columbia University 

Sophia Rosenfeld

Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Can children or adolescents make rational choices? To what extent do they have agency or the ability to shape their own circumstances or destinies? Historian Abosede George considers childrens’ lives in different parts of the world and in different eras, as well as how to think about the role of children in history more generally.

Following their presentation, George will be joined by Wolf Humanities Center's Choice topic director Sophia Rosenfeld for discussion and Q&A with the audience.

Cosponsored by the Department of History.

Abosede George is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York. She teaches courses on migration, historical mapping, urban history, childhood and youth, and the study of women, gender, and sexuality in African History. Her book, Making Modern Girls: A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development was published by Ohio University Press and received the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize in 2015 from the Women's Caucus of the African Studies Association, as well as Honorable Mention from the New York African Studies Association. Her publications have appeared in the American Historical Review, the Journal of Social History, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Meridians, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of West African History, among other outlets. She is steadily working on The Ekopolitan Project, a digital forum dedicated to historical research on migrant communities in nineteenth and twentieth century Lagos, West Africa. She seeks collaboration on building the collection of historical sources on migrant communities in Lagos from all descendants of the 19th century Lagos diaspora in Nigeria and around the world.