Johnathon Speed is a doctoral candidate interested in questions of social control and child welfare in Central Europe since the nineteenth century. His dissertation concerns the peculiar migrations of the so-called “Swabian Children” – child migrants from the Eastern Alps who negotiated summerlong labor terms at “child markets” in Württemberg during the long nineteenth century. In this project, he charts the process by which state actors transformed these migrants into public wards of the provincial state. By the phenomenon's twilight years, administrators at the very local level held the power to decide where, when, and for how much these children could work over the summers. And for those who violated the terms of their schooling releases or visas, these same bureaucrats stood ready to invoke extradition in collaboration with German authorities across the border.
Johnathon received his B.A. from the University of North Texas and his M.A. from New York University. In 2019-2020, he was a Doctoral Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for European History (IEG) in Mainz, Germany. Most recently, his essay, “A ‘Child Export’: the Swabian Children at the Austro-German Border, 1897 – 1914” was selected for the Konrad Jarausch Prize by the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series (NCGS).