School of Humanities



Philip Keirle

Phone: (+61 4) 0891 5382
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1069

Start date

Jan 2008

Submission date

Feb 2012

Curriculum vitae

Philip Keirle CV
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Updated 10 Dec 2010

Philip Keirle


Periodicals and the Quest for America’s Future: the cultivation of youth citizenship in the United States, 1870-1910.


Through an examination of the nation’s leading periodicals for youth at the turn of the 20th century – and these were among the most popular in the nation – this thesis explores the role played by these textual media in shaping ideas of ‘good’ citizenship for youth and in providing various programs through which American youth could perform the values associated with this identity. The thesis covers the development of health literacies, focuses on discourses of character and virtue, examines the physical culture movement, explores the detrimental aspects of laughter and entertainment, explores the benefits and threats of literacy, and considers the relationship between the civic and market socialisation of youth.

Why my research is important

This research seeks to fill a large gap in historical scholarship on citizenship in the United States, in terms of both sources (youth periodicals) and subjects (youth). Various youth periodicals are examined in order to more clearly understand their role in articulating an idea of ‘good’ citizenship for youth, in articulating the values and behaviours commensurate with good citizenship, and in providing opportunities for youth to perform this valorised identity. To date, this process of civic socialisation and mobilisation remains largely unexplored.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award