1 Jacob Breslow
Dr Jacob Breslow

Dr Jacob Breslow

Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality

Department of Gender Studies

Room No
Key Expertise
childhood studies; trans, feminist, queer, postcolonial, critical race

About me

Dr Jacob Breslow is currently on medical leave


My primary area of research is on contemporary U.S. social justice movements, and the ways in which the idea of childhood operates within and against them. Specifically, this work interrogates and thinks with Black Lives Matter, transfeminism, queer youth activism, and anti-deportation movements. My monograph on this research, titled Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child was published in 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press. It brings together critical race, trans, feminist, queer, critical migration, and psychoanalytic theories to explore the role of childhood in shaping and challenging the disposability of young black life, the steadfastness of the gender binary, the queer life of children’s desires, and the precarious status of migrants. Through an engagement with “the psychic life of the child” it combines theoretical discussions of childhood, blackness, transfeminism, and deportability with critical readings of films, narrative, images, and social justice movements. Beyond Ambivalent Childhoods, my research in this area is published with Feminist Theory (forthcoming), American Quarterly (2019), and Transgender Studies Quarterly (2017).

My second line of research is on transnational and local sexual politics, and the conceptual and lived effects of ameliorating sexual harms. This is a prison abolitionist project that seeks to disrupt the tendency to simply displace ‘unwanted’ sexual content, or sexual subjects, to an unseen ‘elsewhere,’ as if that displacement might render the difficulties of troubling sexualities resolved. In this body of work, I have written on social media’s outsourcing of content moderation and the production of the digital life of coloniality for Porn Studies (2018); and on the relationship between #MeToo and homonationalism for Comparative American Studies (2020). I am currently working with Emma Spruce (University of Liverpool) on a themed issue for Gender, Place & Culture titled Queer and Trans Geographies of Accommodation and Displacement, which combines analyses of local and everyday acts of making or denying spaces for queer subjects, with examinations of the political and psychic landscapes of these spatial politics. My contribution to this issue is a piece of research that brings together queer geographies with carceral geographies.


Expertise Details

childhood studies; trans; feminist; queer; postcolonial; critical race theories; psychoanalysis; social justice movements; sexuality and power; representation; cultural production; pornography; witnessing.



(2021) Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child. University of Minnesota Press.

Explores childhood in relation to blackness, transfeminism, queerness, and deportability to interrogate what “the child” makes possible. Ambivalent Childhoods is a forward-thinking and intersectional analysis of how childhood affects activism, national belonging, and the violence directed against queer, trans, and racialized people.

Journal Articles:

(forthcoming, accepted) They Would Have Transitioned Me: Third Conditional ‘TERF’ Grammar of Trans Childhood. Feminist Theory.

(2020) "Flirting with the Islamic State": Queer Childhood with a Touch of Sexual Politics. Comparative American Studies. 17(1): 73-86.

(2019) Adolescent Citizenship, or Temporality and the Negation of Black Childhood in Two Eras. American Quarterly. 71(2): 473-494.

(2018) Moderating the "Worst of Humanity": Sexuality, Witnessing, and the Digital Life of Coloniality. Porn Studies. 5(3): 225-240.

(2017) “There is nothing missing in the real”: Trans Childhood and the Phantasmatic Body. Transgender Studies Quarterly 4(3-4): 431-450.

Book Chapters:

(2021) Precarity. In L. Pérez-González, B. Blaagaard and M. Baker (eds.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media. London: Routledge.

(2021, co-written with Aura Lehtonen) Infantilised Parents and Criminalised Children: The Frame of Childhood in UK Poverty Discourse. In J. Horton, H. Pimlott-Wilson and S. M. Hall (eds.) Growing Up and Getting By: International Perspectives on Childhood and Youth in Hard Times. Policy Press.

(2017) The Queer Story of Your Conception: Translating Sexuality and Racism in Beasts of the Southern Wild. In B.J. Epstein, and R. Gillett (eds.) Queer in Translation. London: Routledge.

Public Writing:

(2020) Homesickness. Feminist Review blog series “Confronting the Household.”

(2020) The Non-Essential Transphobia of Pandemic Disaster Politics. LSE Engenderings.

(2019) Adolescent Citizenship, or Temporarlity and the Negation of Black Childhood. Critical Childhood Studies, a Long 19C Digital Humanities Project, “BUZZ: New Essays in Critical Childhood Studies.”

(2018, co-authored with Emma Spruce and Tomás Ojeda) Study Your Grievances. MAI Journal volume 2. [originally posed on LSE Engenderings].