From psychology to labor rights, from ethics to education, Childhood Studies is one of the most active fields in academia today. It encompasses the meanings that adults place on children’s innocence or competence, and interrogates the notion of childhood as a social category. How adults have thought about children and the impact that this has had on the ways children are treated are also analyzed critically and great emphasis is placed on historical, cultural and literary interpretations of childhood. Contemporary Childhood Studies is also characterized by its insistence on the need for children themselves to be understood as the best informants of their own lives. Childhood Studies is international and cross-cultural in scope, transcending narrow geographical confines and analyzing modern and historical childhoods both locally and globally.
When the administration of the Western College for Women – now a part of Miami University – opened its campus to civil rights activists in 1964, the institution followed its long tradition of independence and innovation. An estimated 700 young, idealistic college students from across the north arrived in Oxford, Ohio for voter registration training before leaving to serve in Mississippi to register African-Americans to vote and assist with local community projects, like Freedom schools and the building of community centers.
Today, the story of Freedom Summer has the power to evoke important questions about American identity, public life, engagement, and commitment. This exhibit will focus on local resident Roland Duerksen and former student volunteers Carole Colca and Mark Levy. They have left the legacy of their work in the Western College Memorial Archives. This exhibit, which includes photographs, letters, audio recordings, and an interactive map of Mississippi, will serve as a narrative of their dedication to civil rights and social justice.
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Freedom Riders Collection
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