An LSE Gender Studies conversation celebrating the publication of Jacob Breslow's Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child (University of Minnesota Press, 2021).
In this panel, scholars Jules Gill-Peterson, Erica Meiners, and Mary Zaborskis will put their own research into conversation with the book’s analysis of childhood’s ambivalent relations to blackness, transfeminism, queerness, and deportability. How do social justice movements negotiate the competing demands for inclusion in, and exclusion from, the category of childhood? What lessons do critical race, trans, feminist, queer, critical migration, and psychoanalytic theories bring to bear on the mobilisations of childhood in the contemporary United States? What might an understanding of “the psychic life of the child” enable for scholarly and activist engagements with national belonging, and the violences directed against queer, trans and racialised people? Following the book’s invitation to interrogate what childhood makes possible, the panel discussion will engage with these questions, as well as others, as a means of imagining childhoods anew.
Jules Gill-Peterson is Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and is author of the Lambda Literary Award winning Histories of the Transgender Child (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
Erica Meiners is Professor of Education and Women's and Gender Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, and is author of For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).
Mary Zaborskis is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies at Penn State Harrisburg. Her work has appeared in Signs, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and GLQ, for which she received the Crompton-Noll Prize for Best Article in LGBTQ Studies in 2019.