Centre for the History of Childhood

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Graduate courses in this field
Research Aims

The Oxford University History Faculty established a Centre for the History of Childhood in 2003. This was the first centre for the history of childhood in the United Kingdom, and its first directors were Laurence Brockliss and George Rousseau.

Today the Centre has three principal aims:

  • To promote the study of children, youth and childhood in the past, through supporting research within and beyond Oxford.
  • To foster a community of researchers interested in this burgeoning area of scholarship, particularly through encouraging the work of undergraduates, graduate students, and early career researchers.
  • To share new research in the history of childhood through public engagement activity, including through partnerships with schools, museums, creative industries, practitioners, and policy-makers.

Each term, the Centre organises a series of informal lunchtime seminars, designed to support on-going research by researchers in Oxford and beyond. The seminar’s convenors are currently Christina de Bellaigue, Siân Pooley and Helen Sunderland. The Centre also has a tradition of organising an annual cross-disciplinary colloquium on new research relating to children, youth and childhood in the past, as well as supporting the organisation of other events.

The Centre welcomes enquiries from graduate students, early career researchers or visiting scholars interested in pursuing research relating to the history of childhood at Oxford – please email Sian.Pooley@history.ox.ac.uk to get in touch.

The Centre is managed by a steering committee, including several graduate student and early career representatives and members both from the History Faculty and beyond. For 2023-4, the steering committee is: Christina de Bellaigue, Zara Christmas, Jennifer Crane, Nicole King, Gillian Lamb, Rachel O'Driscoll, Siân Pooley, Catherine Sloan, and Helen Sunderland.

If you would like to find out more about the Centre for the History of Childhood, follow us on twitter (@HistChildOxford) or sign up to our mailing list.

Seminars and Events