May 30, 2008 – Kathryn Stockton: “Theorizing the Queer Child: Broad Problems, Telling Details”
Friday, May 30 / 4 PM / Humanities 210
Kathryn Bond Stockton is Professor of English and Director of Gender Studies at the University of Utah. Her most recent book, Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer” (Duke, 2006) was a national finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and last month she received the Crompton-Noll Prize, awarded by the Modern Language Association, for the best essay in gay and lesbian studies. She has also authored God Between Their Lips: Desire Between Women in Irigaray, Bronte¨, and Eliot (Stanford, 1994), and her new book, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century, is forthcoming from Duke University Press, Series Q.
Her current project on the queer child answers a set of social silences surrounding children’s queerness, even their “gayness,” with literary form. Is there a gay child? Is there a notion of a child lingering in the vicinity of the word “gay,” having a ghostly, terrifying, complicated, energizing, chosen, forced, or future connection to this word? What might the notion of a gay child do to conceptions of the child? Involving concepts of backward birth, growth turning sideways, intervals of animal, moving suspensions, and oddly non-identity forms of reaching toward “gay,” the gay child illuminates the darkness of the Child.
Sponsored by the Queer Theory Research Cluster