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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Stephanie Olsen


Senior Researcher, Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, Tampere University, Finland



Stephanie Olsen, Ph.D, FRHistS, is an historian of childhood and youth, education, and experiences/emotions, with a particular focus on the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is a Senior Researcher at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, having previously held positions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for the History of Emotions (Berlin) and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. Her new research focuses on the history of children’s experiences, emotions, education, stories and dreams in the First World War.




• Juvenile Nation: Youth, Emotions and the Making of the Modern British Citizen. London: Bloomsbury, 2014 (paperback edition, 2015) [reviews in American Historical Review, Victorian Periodicals Review, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, Social History, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Children and Society].

• [with Ute Frevert, et al] Learning How to Feel: Children’s Literature and the History of Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014 [reviews in Journal of Social History, Journal of Gender Studies, Historia y Memoria de la Educación, English Historical Review, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth]; Traditional Chinese translation: Owl Publishing House, 2018; German translation: Wie Kinder fühlen lernten: Kinderliteratur und Erziehungsratgeber 1870-1970. Weinheim: Beltz, 2021.

Edited books

• Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives. London: Palgrave, 2015 [reviews in International Journal of Play, Journal of Social History, H-net Reviews, Histoire Sociale/Social History].

• Co-Editor, 6-volume A Cultural History of Youth series (Bloomsbury, forthcoming, January 2023).

• Co-Editor, 4-volume Children, Childhood and Youth in the Long Nineteenth Century: A Global Primary Source Collection (Routledge, forthcoming).

Articles and book chapters

• New Cambridge History of Britain, vol 5., chapter on Selfhood and Emotional Life (forthcoming). • “Crianças, infância e formação emocional” in Infância, juventude e emoções na história da educação, ed. Heloísa Helena Pimenta Rocha and Pablo Toro Blanco (Belo Horizonte: Fino Traço 2022).

• Olsen, Stephanie “Mapping the History of Education: Intersections and Regional Trends,” co-written with Heather Ellis and Mark Freeman, History of Education, 2022,

• Millei, Z. (2021). Temporalizing Childhood: A Conversation with Erica Burman, Stephanie Olsen, Spyros Spyrou, and Hanne Warming. Journal of Childhood Studies, 46(4), 59-73. 

• “Historicizing Emotional Development” and “Emotional Frontiers,” co-written with Karen Vallgårda, The Oxford Handbook of Emotional Development, Daniel Dukes, Andrea C. Samson and Eric Walle, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022.

• “The History of Experience: Afterword,” co-written with Josephine Hoegaerts, Lived Nation, Ville Kivimäki, Sami Suodenjoki & Tanja Vahtikari, eds. London: Palgrave, 2021.

• “Children and Childhood,” Vol. 5. Cultural History of Education, Heather Ellis, ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.

• “Editorial,” co-written with Heather Ellis and Mark Freeman, History of Education, 49.1, 2020, pp. 1-3.

• “Children's Emotional Formations in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, around the First World War,” Special Issue of Social and Cultural History: Young People and the World Wars: Materialities, Memories and Cultural Heritage, Kate Darian-Smith and Ana Carden-Coyne, eds, DOI: 10.1080/14780038.2019.1658838 (Aug. 2019).

• “Styling Emotions History” co-written with Rob Boddice. Special Issue of the Journal of Social History, Volume 51, Issue 3, 1 February 2018, pp. 476-487,

• “The History of Childhood and the Emotional Turn,” History Compass (2017): 1–10, 10.1111/hic3.12410.

• “Learning how to feel through play: at the intersection of the histories of play, childhood and the emotions,” International Journal of Play, 2016. DOI: 10.1080/21594937.2016.1243197

• “‘Happy Home’ and ‘Happy Land:’ Informal Emotional Education in British Bands of Hope, 1880-1914,” Historia y Memoria de la Educación, special issue: "La transmisión de emociones y sentimientos. Subjetividad y socialización" [The transmission of emotions and sentiments. Subjectivity and socialization], núm. 2, December, 2015.

• “Emotions and the Global Politics of Childhood” with Karen Vallgårda and Kristine Alexander, Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives. London: Palgrave, 2015.

• “Adolescence and the Moral Empire: Dangerous Boys in Britain and India, c. 1880-1914,” Juvenile Delinquency and the Limits of Western Influence, 1850-2000, Heather Ellis, ed. London: Palgrave, 2014.

• “Informal Education: Emotional Conditioning and Enculturation,” Jahrbuch für Historische Bildungsforschung: “Emotionen in der Bildungsgeschichte,” 2012.

• “The Authority of Motherhood in Question: fatherhood and the moral education of children in England, c. 1870–1900,” Women’s History Review, 18, 5 (November 2009), 765-780.

• “Towards the Modern Man: Edwardian Boyhood in the Juvenile Periodical Press,” Childhood in Edwardian Fiction: Worlds Enough and Time, Adrienne Gavin and Andrew Humphries, eds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 159-176 [winner of the inaugural Children’s Literature Association Edited Book Award 2011].

• “Daddy’s Come Home: Evangelicalism, Fatherhood and Lessons for Boys in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain,” Fathering 5, 3 (2007), 174-196.


History of experiences; history of childhood and youth; history of emotions; Britain and Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Global history
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