Professor of Psychology
Office: Longwood 1
A.B. 1978 (magna cum laude), Harvard University
Ph.D. 1987, Yale University
Spencer Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow 1988-1990, Harvard University
Emily D. Cahan teaches several courses in Human Development, including a course on Memory, Identity, and Development. She also teaches a course in American Studies on In the Best Interests of the Child and has most recently become involved in a new service learning course and trip on Learning from the Holocaust.
Her research focuses on the history of psychology and its connections with moral philosophy. Closely related is her research in the history of developmental psychology and how culture and history have reflected our ideas about the good and shaped our ideas about child development, our practices with children, and the experience of childhood itself. In addition, Dr. Cahan has for some time been investigating the emergence of psychology from 19th century moral philosophy though a case study of Harvard's Department of Social Ethics, 1906-1930.
She remains active on the editorial boards of Research in Human Development and the History of Psychology. Dr. Cahan has published numerous chapters, articles, and book reviews on the history of psychology as well as a book on the history of child care and an edited volume with Barbara Beatty and Julia Grant titled "When Science Encouters the Child: Education, Parenting, and Child Welfare in 20th Century America," published by Teacher's College Press. In addition she has served as a consultant to Worth Publishers, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and served as a member of the executive committee of Cheiron (The International Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences), and chaired the History Committee of the Society for Research in Child Development.
Cahan, E.D. (1989) "Past caring: A history of U.S. preschool care and education for the poor, 1820-1965." New York: National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University.
Cahan, E.D. (1991) "Science, practice, and gender roles in early American child psychology." In F. Kessel, M. Bornstein, and A. Sameroff (Eds.) Contemporary constructions of the child: Essays in honor of William Kessen. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.. pp. 225-249.
Cahan, E.D. and White, S.H. (1992) "Proposals for a Second Psychology." American Psychologist. 47, 2, 224-235.
Cahan, E.D. (1992). "John Dewey and Human Development." Developmental Psychology, 28, no. 2, 205-214.
Cahan, E.D. (2003) "James Mark Baldwin: The natural and the good." Developmental Review. 23, 9-28.
Cahan, E.D. (2006) "Towards a Socially Relevant Science: Notes on the Professionalization of Child Development." For Beatty, B.Cahan, E. and Grant, J. (Eds.) When Science Encounters the Child: Education, Parenting, and Child Welfare in Twentieth Century America. New York: Teachers College Press.
Beatty, B., Cahan, E.D., and Grant, J. (2006) When Science Encounters the Child: Education, Parenting, and Child Welfare in Twentieth Century America. New York: Teachers College Press.
Cahan, E. D. (2006) "Children's Voices: Who's Listening?" Review of Pufall, P. and Unsworth, R.(eds.) (2004) Rethinking Childhood , New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, HNET Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences. http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=14851160693572
Cahan, E.D. (2007) "Sheldon H. White (1928-2005)" American Psychologist, 62, no. 6, 600.
Cahan, E.D. (2007) The child as scientific object. Review of Smuts, A. (2006) Science in the Service of Children, 1893- 1935 Serves the Child. New Haven: Yale University. In Science (Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science), vol. 16, Issue 5826, 11 May, p. 835.
Cahan, E. D. (2005) Science, Practice, and Gender in Early American Child Psychology, Annual meeting of Cheiron (International Society for the Study of the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences). Berkeley, CA, June.
Cahan, E.D. (2005) Commentator on panel "Do theories make children or do children makes theories? Childhood, Social Services, and the Human Sciences in the 20th Century. Biennial meeting of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, Milwaukee, WI, August.
Cahan, E. D. (June, 2006) Chair, symposium on "Giving Psychology Away." Annual meeting of Cheiron (International Society for the Study of the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences), Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.
Cahan, E.D. and Yeh Hsueh, (20007) , co-chairs. Memorial panel to celebrate the life of Sheldon H. White. Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA. March 30.
Cahan, E.D. (2007) G. Stanley Hall: On Adolescence and Utopia. Paper presented at biennial meetings of SHCY (Society for the History of Children and Youth). Norkoping, Sweden, June 27-30.
- Lifespan I: Birth to Adolescence
- Child Development: The Early Years
- Children's Cognitive Development
- Memory, Identity, and Development
- In the Best Interests of the Child
- Theory, Practice, and Policy in Early Childhood Education
- Learning from the Holocaust (in progress)
Research Interests and Projects
- Social Ethics at Harvard, 1906-1913
- Gender Segregation in the education of social workers at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges
- G. Stanley Hall: Adolescence Ideals the Rise and Fall of Utopia
- Josiah Royce on Social and Moral Development
- Memory, Identity, and Development for Survivors of the Holocaust