Director of Academic Innovation, Professor of Childhood Studies
Professor Conrad teaches courses on childhood studies and critical youth studies with a particular focus on the convergence of psychological, social, and literary analysis. Her current scholarship involves taking young people seriously as poets and is the subject of her book project, Time for Childhoods: Young Poets and Questions of Agency. Her essays have appeared in Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research; Children’s Literature Association Quarterly; Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters; Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures; and The Lion and the Unicorn’s Special Issue on Children’s Rights and Children’s Literature.
She is on the steering committee of the Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning program.
Young activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has written that "the youth of the world are continuing to rise to power and shape our culture." In this course, we will examine texts written by youth, and youth action and activism primarily in the contemporary U.S., as forms of enacting such power and shaping. We will use methods from critical youth studies and literary studies to take seriously young people's literary, cultural and social-political engagements. In focusing on young people writing and taking action for racial, environmental, and climate justice, we will consider youth-produced texts and action/activism as well as conditions that make possible youth-and-adult collaborations. As part of the Environments and Change Learning Collaborative, we will have the opportunity to engage in collaborative work and projects with a cohort of classes at Hampshire College addressing similar questions from different perspectives to form a learning community. (keywords: youth, children, activism, justice, childhood studies)