The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) will sponsor a roundtable “Historic Children’s Voices” at this year’s American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
This panel looks at the variety of children’s voices throughout the long eighteenth century, when it is commonly accepted that children's literature was first published as a distinct genre. And while children’s literature has long received the attention of scholars, children’s archives have not. As literary historian Karen Sanchez-Eppler writes, “There are now library collections of ‘children’s literature,’ things written for a child audience. But there are as yet no archives of children’s writing.” From diaries to artwork to printed books and pamphlets produced by young people, works by children are present in existing archives but are often understudied. This panel seeks to engage panelists in discussing work produced by, but not necessarily for, children in the eighteenth century to shed light on the larger historical or literary significances of those works.