Que(e)rying Theory #3: The Queer Child, by Kathryn Bond Stockton

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Que(e)rying Theory #3: The Queer Child, by Kathryn Bond Stockton
February 15, 2015 6:00 PM
February 15, 2015 9:00 PM
646 457 0859
January 26, 2015
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
646 457 0859
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States


Que(e)rying Theory is a discussion group about queer theory and critical theory for thinkers from all contexts. Reading texts both vintage and new, we will ask questions such as: What is queerness? What do queer politics look like? How do we find the tools for living in a precarious world? And finally, what can theory mean in our own lives? In dialogue with one another, we will fearlessly relish in the complexities of theory, and collectively work towards richer understandings of our past, present, and future. Discussions will be moderated by Connor Spencer, and for a small donation, wine, beer, and sparkling water will be available to help lubricate our conversations.

Children exist in strange temporalities, as Kathryn Bond Stockton argues in The Queer Child, in which she examines how children are queered by the very forces that both constrain and produce them. Through inspired readings of film, novels, and popular culture, Stockton describes the ghostly “gay child” that haunts our fictions of childhood and grows “sideways” outside of the linear narrative of straight, historical time. Stockton’s account of the “gay child” not only complicates ideological configurations of the child, but also our own experiences in the present as the adults who still feel the haunting touch of queer childhood histories.We’ll encounter notions of time and history over the course of our discussion, and consider what changes if we think about childhood in terms of “sideways” growth. Come with questions, thoughts, and ideas–even if you didn’t have a chance to finish the entire book!


Connor Spencer is a writer living in New York City. He graduated with a BA in English from New York University, where he conducted bi-coastal archival research on the artists David Wojnarowicz and Gary Fisher. Recently, he was a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship. Connor tweets about leftism, queer politics, and dog costumes @conneriks.


Image: David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (One day this kid . . .), 1990. Photostat, 30 × 40 1/8 in. (76.2 × 101.9 cm). Edition of 10.