Childhood Across Cultures: Little Angels and Devious Devils (CBL)

Spring 2017

Instructor:  Adam Harr
Meeting Days/Times: Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. On average students can expect to spend at least two hours per week in the community.

Are children angelic blank slates, demonic nuisances, or a cheap source of labor? Do humans have an “instinct” to adore and care for children? Do children everywhere go through the same developmental stages? When does childhood begin and end? How should caregivers speak to a child? When and how is it appropriate for children to behave as sexual beings? Different cultures and historical periods exhibit a range of ways of imagining and enacting the early stages of human life. In this class, we will treat this diversity as a vast experimental laboratory for understanding the malleability of the human condition. By examining case studies of childhood across a variety of cultures and gaining first-hand experience with children living in the North Country, we will explore the question of what is natural and what is cultural about our ideas of childhood. (CBL)

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