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The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Growing Sideways, or Why Children Appear to Get Queerer in the Twentieth Century 1
Part I. Sideways Relations: "Pedophiles" 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 "Your" Parents via Intrusions 183
Conclusion: Money Is the Child's Queer Ride: Sexing and Racing around the Future 219
Notes 245
Bibliography 275
Index 287

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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, Bronte, and Eliot.


"Brilliantly queer, the child is for Stockton not a being but a troubling act of looking at the self: this is why the child vindicates the strangeness of any form of sexuality... Stockton's complex defence of fantasy is remarkably effective in showing us how much cultural work the child can silently do, as Jo-Ann Wallace has demonstrated. Leading us through discussions ranging from the literal 'growing sideways' of the fat teenager in The Hanging Garden, (1996) to mothering in The Children's Hour (1961), A.I. (2001) and Djuna Barnes's fiction, Stockton looks at many 'dangerous children', and helps us along this journey by providing us with the categories of the ghostly gay child, the grown homosexual, and the child queered by Freud." Daniela Caselli, New Formations "I don't know when I've been so captivated by a book and eager to get to the next page. That it is original and that it addresses a topic, the queer child, pretty much completely ignored is one mark of its importance. Even more striking though is the ease with which stunning insights are delivered as if they were a matter of course. Many readers will be struck by the centrality of Kathryn Bond Stockton's book and the graceful way it exposes and breaks the silence surrounding the queer child." James R. Kincaid, author of Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting "I consider Kathryn Bond Stockton to be one of the most impressive and important queer critics in the academy today, and The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century only confirms that assessment. It is magnificent: the kind of book that defines the field and is returned to again and again, inspiring all sorts of thought and work for generations to come."--Michael Cobb, author of God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence

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