Childhood & Youth Studies: Emily Woster and Elizabeth Dillenburg, Feb. 20, 2014
‘Wrapped in Stars and Stripes’: The (American) Arctic Narratives of Robert, Josephine, and Marie Peary
Emily Woster, Writing Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth
The children’s books by the Peary family, published at the turn of the last century, focus on and exploit images of a young Marie in order to market her father Robert’s ostensibly patriotic mission to the North Pole. The Peary children’s books use Marie as a surrogate, showing child readers what her father’s adventures would mean for the United States and for “civilization.” This presentation outlines the narratives and images of Marie Peary in order to explore their historical and nationalist meanings, many highlighting only that Marie (and the children she represents) could be colonized in ways the Arctic itself could not be.
Saving the Race: Child Emigration and Domestic Service in the British Metropole and Colonies, c. 1890-1914
Elizabeth Dillenburg, History, University of Minnesota
This talk explores debates over the emigration of young British domestic servants to two colonies – South Africa and New Zealand – at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century. Emigration societies trained girls to become ideal emigrants that would fortify and consolidate British presence in the colonies, but the complexities of the colonies complicated the seemingly straightforward objectives of emigration programs. Analyzing discourses about the emigration of girls and young women demonstrates the different ways that issues of race and ideas of racial survival shaped girls’ lives and experiences in the Empire. The debates also significantly illustrate the importance of girls in the construction of social and racial identities and reveal how ideas of girlhood served as fault lines between different societies, cultures, class, and races in the British Empire.