Children and Crisis

Trauma, Epidemics, and Children’s Well-Being
in Cross-Cultural and Historical Perspective

November 4 and 5, 2022

An Invitation to an Online Workshop

The Society for the History of Children and Youth invite you to participate in an online workshop on Children and Crisis: Trauma, Epidemics, and Children’s Well-Being in Historical Perspective that will take place November 4 and 5, 2022.

The conference organizers, Paula S. Fass, Kriste Lindenmeyer, Steven Mintz, and Bengt Sandin, are eager to bring participants like you and our presenters together to discuss the consequences of trauma like COVID on children and youth.

Those who attend online will be able to ask questions, interact with the presenters, and contribute to the conversation.

There is no fee for online participation, but you must register in advance.

About the Conference

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a renewed focus on children and the special difficulties the young face in times of crisis. The pandemic has inspired scholars and researchers to ask:

  • What are the immediate and long-term consequences of traumatic disruptions on children’s their physical health and mental well-being and on their schooling and socialization?
  • In what ways does the impact vary along lines of socioeconomic class, ethnicity and race, gender, age, and other variables?

By examining the past experiences of children and youth who have undergone trauma as a result of disease, war, and family and community disruptions and other forms of extraordinary change, we seek to illuminate present-day matters.

As historians of childhood, we are especially aware that these contemporary matters have historical antecedents from which we can learn and teach.

Obviously, there are no exact historical parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is possible to draw upon history to uncover insights that speak to current issues impacting children’s lives. For example,

  • How does diversity, including disability, affect children’s experiences during periods of crisis?
  • Are children impacted by these disruptions in ways that differ from adults?
  • To what extent did somewhat similar events in the past carry long-term consequences for children’s identity and outlook?

Program Schedule

November 4th 9:30 am-Noon (CDT)

Children’s health and psychological well-being

Josh Cisler, Joshua Coleman, Janet Golden, David Oshinsky

November 4th 1:30 pm-4:00 pm (CDT)

Schools, educational disruptions, and their impact

Lorna Hermosura, Amanda Littauer, Katherine Newman, Jonathan Zimmerman

November 5th 9:30 am-Noon (CDT)

The impact of childhood displacement and trauma

Anita Casavantes Bradford, Jill Duer Berrick, Friederike Kind-Kovács, Joanna Beata Michlic, Ruben Parra-Cardona

November 5th 1:30 pm-4:00 pm (CDT)

Comparisons and Conclusions

Abena Dove Osseo-Asare, Paula Fass, Kriste Lindenmeyer, Steven Mintz, Bengt Sandin

Confirmed Presenters Include…

Anita Casavantes Bradford

an authority on the history of unaccompanied child migrants, is a Professor of History at the University of California Irvine, Co-Director of the UC-Cuba Multi Campus Academic Initiative, and the author of The Revolution Is for the Children: The Politics of Childhood in Havana and Miami, 1959-1962 and Suffer the Little Children: Child Migration and the Geopolitics of Compassion in the United States.

Josh Cisler

an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Dell Medical School and the UT Austin Psychology Department, is a licensed clinical psychologist in UT Health Austin’s Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences and a specialist in the treatment of PTSD and the impact of traumatic stress.

Dr. Joshua Coleman

a psychologist in private practice in San Francisco, is an authority on parent-child estrangement, parental alienation, couples’ conflict and. other life challenge and a best-selling author of such books as Rules of Estrangement, When Parents Hurt, and The Marriage Makeover.

Abena Dove Osseo-Asare

a specialist on health and history who focuses on Africa, is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and courtesy associate professor in the Department of Population Health at the Dell Medical School.

Jill Duer Berrick

an authority on the experiences of children and families touched by foster care is Distinguished Professor and the Zellerbach Family Foundation Professor of Social Welfare at UC-Berkeley and the author of The Impossible Imperative: Navigating the Competing Principles of Child Protection.

Janet Golden

a historian of medicine and of childhood, is professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University Camden, and the author and editor of such books as Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America into the Twentieth Century and Children and Youth in Sickness and in Health: A Historical Handbook and Guide.

Lorna Hermosura

is assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the University of Texas at Austin College of Education. recipient of a major Department of Justice grant to address racial and ethnic disparities related to juvenile justice, and an authority on th implementation of restorative practices in public schools. 

Friederike Kind-Kovács

is senior researcher at the Hannah-Arendt-Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at the TU Dresden and author of Budapest’s Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War.

Amanda H. Littauer

an assistant professor of history and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Northern Illinois University, is the author of Bad Girls: Young Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties.

Joanna Beata Michlic

is an honorary senior research associate at the Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies at University College London and the author of books including Jewish Families in Europe, 1939-Present: History, Representation, and Memory. She will be Visiting Full Professor of Contemporary History and the Holocaust at Sweden’s Lund University from January 2023 to 2025.

Katherine S. Newman

System Chancellor for Academic Programs, the Senior Vice President for Economic Development and the Torrey Little Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst, is the author of books including The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents,and the Private Toll of Global Competition, The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America, and Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings.

David Oshinsky

the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story and many other books that address race, inequality, and suffering, is director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU School of Medicine and a professor in the Department of History at New York University.

Ruben Parra-Cardona

an associate professor in UT Austin’s Steve Hicks School of Social Work at UT Austin of UT’s School of Social Work and an expert on the impact of parental deportation on the children of undocumented immigrants, and a clinical faculty member and researcher in the Instituto Regional de Estudios de la Familia (a leading family therapy institute in northern Mexico).

Jonathan Zimmerman

(who will participate remotely) is Professor of History of Education and the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a series of books that explore the cultural controversies surrounding campus politics, free speech, sex education, and educational achievement and equity.

Supported by

Register Today!

November 4 and 5, 2022

There is no charge for online participation, but you must register in advance so that we can send you the link to enter the sessions.


Please feel free to contact any of the conference organizers with questions:

Paula Fass,
Kriste Lindenmeyer,
Steven Mintz,
Bengt Sandin,