Agents of Future Promise

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Wellcome Library, London

Wellcome Library, London


Still from Humphrey Jennings’ ‘A Diary for Timothy’









In recent history, children have often been used to represent a particular future. Because of their apparent innocence and their potential as future citizens, children are positioned as ‘carriers’, or ‘agents of future promise’ – encapsulated in the phrase ‘children are the future’. But what does that mean? This research project explores how, why and with what effects children have been ideologically used in modern British and French history.

While the project examines children and ideology in the past, it considers how children continue to be ideologically used in the contemporary world. Through our collaboration with Save the Children, War Child and History & Policy, we examine how past insights can influence present practice. The project is funded by the AHRC Care for the Future programme.

The Agents of Future Promise website includes regular updates about our project on our blog, information about the background and aims of the project and our team. You can tweet us using the hashtag #children2015.

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