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‘From Trauma to Protection: the Twentieth Century as the Children’s Century’


19-20 April 2018

University of Warwick, Arden Conference Centre

Keynote speaker: Dr Manon Pignot (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne)

Please click to view the conference programme and to register. Please feel free to address all queries about the conference to childrenconferencewarwick at gmail dot com

Destroyed family home, Caen, Normandy, 1944. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Calvados

About the conference

From the end of the nineteenth century, the discourses articulated around children’s rights to physical protection, health and well-being underwent profound changes. From the multiplication of laws to protect young people in the public and private spheres, to the rise of non-governmental organisations and associations, efforts were made to bring them relief from trauma, insecurity and maltreatment. Yet, simultaneously, that same period has gone hand-in-hand with increasing opportunities for children to experience such tragedies; and in both domestic settings (abuse or neglect) as well as wider geopolitical manifestations of violence (war and genocide) such anxieties have influenced the form and nature of the above responses.

'From Trauma to Protection' interrogates these two mutually-dependent themes in modern history and explores the historical interactions between them; paying attention to scholarship on the history of the family, on state and NGO aid provision, and on the perspectives of children themselves.

About the keynote speaker

Manon Pignot is maitresse de conférences in Modern History at the Université de Picardie-Jules Verne in France. A scholar of children’s experiences during the First World War, her monographs (including Allons enfants de la patrie. Génération Grande Guerre, Éditions Seuil, 2012; and Paris dans la Grande Guerre, Parigramme, 2014) have examined, amongst other issues, how children experienced and articulated their feelings of fear, isolation and trauma during conflicts in France and (to a lesser extent) Britain and Germany. Dr Pignot's work makes use of uncommon sources (children’s diaries, drawings and material culture) to contribute to an analysis of children’s well-being and emotional landscapes during times of war.


Andrew Burchell (doctoral candidate, University of Warwick)

Camille Mahé (doctoral candidate, University of Warwick and Sciences Po, Paris)

Image credit: War damage, AD/14 5Fi 6/14, Archives Départementales du Calvados

Supported by

Centre for the History of Medicine, Warwick* SSHM logo Society for the Social History of Medicine*Sciences Po - logo 

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