Native Theories of Child Development

Anthropologist of childhood David Lancy is coming to OSU to give a talk on the enormous variability that exists in folk theories of child development. His presentation, liberally illustrated with photos of children and their parents from around the world, will consider how such folk theories impact the child’s experience with formal education. Professor Lancy has done fieldwork in Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad, Sweden and the United States. He is the author of several books, including Studying Children and Schools: Qualitative Research Traditions, Playing on the Mother-Ground: Cultural Routines for Children’s Development, and his new book from Cambridge, The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, and Changelings. The talk is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Center for African Studies. You can view the ppt with voice-over here.

11 am to 1 pm, Friday, March 13th, in the Martha King Center (Ramseyer 200), reception to follow.

New Article in Text & Talk

An article of mine, Body, text, and talk in Maroua Fulbe Qur’anic schooling, has appeared in Text & Talk. It is part of a special issue, The spirit of reading: practices of reading sacred texts, edited by Laura Sterponi, UC Berkeley. In this article, I present a language socialization approach to the study of Qur’anic schooling. Integrating insights from holistic study of the community and the institution, analysis of video recordings of Qur’anic school interaction, and video playback and interviews with community members, I describe the apprenticeship of Fulbe children into Qur’anic orality and literacy as a gradual transfer of responsibility for rendering the sacred text. I conclude by discussing how the language socialization perspective and attention to multiple modalities increase our understanding of Qur’anic schooling as an activity setting in which Muslim subjectivities come into being.