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The Voices of British Child Migrants (working title)

The project The Voices of British Child Migrants analyses the role of children's voices in history as well as the political and scientific process of coming to terms with the past with the example of the British child migrant schemes to Australia and Canada.

"Child migration schemes" describe a variety of programs bringing mostly home children from the British Isles to British settler colonies (later British Dominions) to work on farms and in households during the nineteenth and twentieth century. While the roots of the idea can be traced back to the seventeenth century, it was not until private welfare organizations and religious institutions established their child migration schemes at the turn of the century that large numbers of children and juveniles were emigrated in highly organized programmes.
The project has two objectives: (1) Making the child migrants' voices heard while reflecting on the practical and methodical limits of this endeavour. (2) Analysing the role of children's voices within the history the child migration schemes. How were children's voices heard, suppressed, or (mis)used? Combing methods and findings of Subaltern and Childhood Studies, the project wants to contribute both to the history of migration, empire, and childhood and to the ongoing discourse about the representation and the voices of marginalized actors in history.

Nature of the project:

DFG-funded project



Participating researchers:

Susanne Quitmann, MA (LMU)
Prof. Dr. Roland Wenzlhuemer (supervisor)