In this episode of New Books in Literary Studies, John Yargo spoke with Mahshid Mayar about how children’s puzzles and schoolbooks at the turn of the 20th century helped shape U.S. political relations with the world. Professor Mayar is an assistant professor of American Studies at Bielefeld University and research associate at the English Department, Amherst College. Mahshid has just published Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire, with the University of North Carolina Press. Citizens and Rulers of the World recovers how American children at the turn of the 20th century navigated knowledge about world geography in the shadow of the rapidly expanding American empire.
John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies.