Histories of Childhood and Youth in the Middle East

Episode 402

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Does everybody have a childhood? What kinds of childhood experiences have defined the modern Middle East? In this episode, three scholars discuss the methodological excitements and challenges of studying the history of childhood and youth in the modern Middle East. They discuss the roles of institutions like the army, the medical mission, and the school; the rise of state and colonial power; and the emergence of youth politics, all with an eye to history's younger actors and witnesses. Throughout, they consider how using age as a category of analysis might change the ways we understand the past and the ways we live in the present.

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Contributor Bios
Dylan Baun is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and current program chair of the Association of Middle East Children and Youth Studies (AMECYS). He is preparing a manuscript based on his current research, entitled Winning Lebanon: Youth Politics, Populism and the Production of Sectarian Violence in the Middle East, 1920-1958.
Heidi Morrison is Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and President of the Association of Middle East Children and Youth Studies (AMECYS). She is author of Childhood and Colonial Modernity in Egypt and the editor of The Global History of Childhood Reader. She is working on a book, Surviving Memory in Palestine: Narration, Trauma, and Children of the Second Intifada.
Murat Yıldız is Assistant Professor of History at Skidmore College. He specializes in the cultural and social history of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of subject formation, the body, gender, and popular culture in the late Ottoman Empire.
Susanna Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern History at Columbia University. She is currently finishing a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939."


Episode No. 402
Release Date: 19 February 2019
Recording Location: San Antonio, Texas
Audio editing by Susanna Ferguson and Matt Ghazarian
Music: "Hey Onbeşli," with special thanks to Doğa Için Çal for use of this segment
Images and bibliography courtesy of  Dylan Baun, Heidi Morrison, and Murat Yıldız


Members of the social club turned political party, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, in the late 1940s, courtesy of Dylan Baun

Select Bibliography

Association of Middle East Children and Youth Studies

Phillipe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life (Vintage Books, 1962).

Nazan Maksudyan, Orphans and Destitute Children in the Late Ottoman Empire (Syracuse University Press, 2014).

Heidi Morrison, Childhood and Colonial Modernity in Egypt (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Beth Baron, Christian Missionaries and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014).

Omnia Elshakry, "Schooled Mothers and Structured Play," in Abu-Lughod, ed., Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).

Peter Stearns, Childhood in World History (Routledge, 2010).

Lucie Ryzova, "Boys, Girls and Kodaks: Peer Albums and Middle-Class Personhood in Mid-Twentieth-Century Egypt" in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Vol. 8., No.2-3 (Summer-Fall 2015).

Karnig Panian, Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Benjamin C. Fortna, ed, Childhood in the Late Ottoman Empire and After (Brill, 2016).

Marcia Inhorn, The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2012)

Suad Joseph, "Introduction: Family in the Arab Region: State of Scholarship," in Ed. Suad Joseph, Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2017).

Dylan Baun, "Lebanon's Youth Clubs and the 1936 Summer Olympics: Mobilizing Sports, Challenging Imperialism and Launching a National Project," The International Journal of the History of Sport vol. 34, no. 13 (2018): 1347-1365.

Murat Yıldız, "'What is a Beautiful Body?' Late Ottoman 'Sportsmans' Photographs and New Notions of Male Corporeal Beauty," Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 8 (2015): 192-214.


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