Synopses & Reviews
Children are thoroughly, shockingly queer, as Kathryn Bond Stockton explains in The Queer Child
, where she examines childrenandrsquo;s strangeness, even some childrenandrsquo;s subliminal andldquo;gayness,andrdquo; in the twentieth century. Estranging, broadening, darkening forms of children emerge as this book illuminates the child queered by innocence, the child queered by color, the child queered by Freud, the child queered by money, and the grown homosexual metaphorically seen as a child (or as an animal), alongside the gay child. What might the notion of a andldquo;gayandrdquo; child do to conceptions of the child? How might it outline the pain, closets, emotional labors, sexual motives, and sideways movements that attend all
children, however we deny it?
Engaging and challenging the work of sociologists, legal theorists, and historians, Stockton coins the term andldquo;growing sidewaysandrdquo; to describe ways of growing that defy the usual sense of growing andldquo;upandrdquo; in a linear trajectory toward full stature, marriage, reproduction, and the relinquishing of childish ways. Growing sideways is a mode of irregular growth involving odd lingerings, wayward paths, and fertile delays. Contending that childrenandrsquo;s queerness is rendered and explored best in fictional forms, including literature, film, and television, Stockton offers dazzling readings of works ranging from novels by Henry James, Radclyffe Hall, Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, and Vladimir Nabokov to the movies Guess Whoandrsquo;s Coming to Dinner, The Hanging Garden, Heavenly Creatures, Hoop Dreams, and the 2005 remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The result is a fascinating look at childrenandrsquo;s masochism, their interactions with pedophiles and animals, their unfathomable, hazy motives (leading them at times into sex, seduction, delinquency, and murder), their interracial appetites, and their love of consumption and destruction through the alluring economy of candy.
A study of the queer child, using literary, psychoanalytic, and cultural theory.
About the Author
Kathryn Bond Stockton is Professor of English and Director of Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She is the author of God Between Their Lips: Desire Between Women in Irigaray, Brontandeuml;, and Eliot.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Growing Sideways, or Why Children Appear to Get Queerer in the Twentieth Century 1
Part I. Sideways Relations: andquot;Pedophilesandquot; and Animals
1. The Smart Child is the Masochistic Child: Pedagogy, Pedophilia, and the Pleasures of Harm 61
2. Why the (Lesbian) Child Requires an Interval of Animal: The Family Dog as a Time Machine 89
Part 2. Sideways Motions: Sexual Motives, Criminal Motives
3. What Drives the Sexual Child? The Mysterious Motions of Children's Motives 119
4. Feeling Like Killing? Murderous Motives of the Queer Child 155
Part 3. Sideways Futures: Color and Money
5. Oedipus Raced, or the Child Queered by Color: Birthing andquot;Yourandquot; Parents via Intrusions 183
Conclusion: Money Is the Child's Queer Ride: Sexing and Racing around the Future 219