Modern Europe Colloquium | The Last Kid: French Childhood, Culture, and Media in the Shadow of Depopulation (1900–1940)

Event time: 
Monday, April 1, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Humanities Quadrangle, 107 See map
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Hannah Stamler, postgraduate research associate, Princeton University
Event description: 

The Modern Europe Colloquium presents Dr. Hannah Stamler, postgraduate research associate, Princeton University, on “The Last Kid: French Childhood, Culture, and Media in the Shadow of Depopulation (1900–1940)”

Location: HQ (Humanities Quadrangle), Rm 107, 320 York St.

The Modern Europe Colloquium is generously sponsored by the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund; the European Studies Council of the Yale MacMillan Center

The final decades of Third Republic France were marked not only by falling birthrates and the attendant rise of pronatalism. The period was also a moment of enormous innovation in the realms of children’s material culture and domestic visual media. Joining the history of French biopolitics to the history of childhood, this talk asks how children’s things and pictures took on new meaning in the shadow of so-called depopulation, and in turn, how the course of 20th-century French population politics was shaped by modern ideals of child consumption and aesthetics. Who were “the children” to whom French society committed itself in the early 1900s? The talk will illuminate how items like toys and family snapshots arbitrated crucial questions of national identity, family welfare, and citizenship in the French 20th century.

Bio: I’m Hannah (she/her), a postgraduate research associate at Princeton University, from which I recently received my Ph.D. in History and Interdisciplinary Humanities.

My dissertation, Patrimony in Miniature, studied the development of modern ideals of childhood in early 20th-century France against the backdrop of the “depopulation” crisis. Previous academic research has been published in French Politics, Culture & Society and Film History. Since 2023, I serve as the co-editor of Digital Childhoods, a new online magazine and digital humanities initiative from the Society for the History of Children and Youth.

I am also a public-facing critic, editor, and culture administrator. My exhibition, book, and film reviews have appeared in Art in America, Artforum, Frieze, The Nation, and The Village Voice, among others. From 2018–19, I was an Associate Art Editor at The Brooklyn Rail, and from 2015–17, served as Circulation & Marketing Director for Artforum International. Prior to this, I worked in marketing at Artstor (ITHAKA).