Welcome to the Year of the Child!

The Children's Literature Program is pleased to announce that we are coordinating with Pitt's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program in 2017-18 for a special Year of programming and events related to Gender and Childhood.

There are two events pertinent to the year happening this fall:

Kathryn Bond Stockton, Distinguished Professor of English at University of Utah, will give a talk sponsored by the Humanities Center in late September. Dr. Stockton's landmark book The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century (2009) addresses intersections of childhood and queerness. She has since continued to write about queer childhood in a variety of other venues, including GLQ and Queer Game Studies. On September 29th from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in William Pitt Union 548, Professor Stockton will deliver a lecture called "Race, Face, Ravage, and Lyrical Fat: Deleuze and Childood Poverty," on rethinking the figure of the child in poverty through the lenses of queer sexuality and queer childhood." The description of the talk from the Humanities Center is as follows: "Might we strike at the monolith of Poverty by using the blade of the sexual child?  Might we cut the face of the racial cliché of the child-in-peril-in-the-third-world?  We must be seduced . . . by a face . . . on the move—even by its motions in lyrical fat.  Bringing Deleuzian movement to bear on the face of childhood poverty—raced and gendered faces in literature, documentary, and film—stirs new matters.  Specifically, surprisingly, the body has sex with the notion of (its) face.  What does this mean?  How does it queer perspectives on poverty?"

Jack Halberstam, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at USC, will be visiting with the Kristeva Circle in October and he is doing a public talk sponsored by GSWS and the Children's Literature Program. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures, including children's subcultures. Professor Halberstam's lecture, Wild Things: Notes on Queer Anarchy," will be Thursday October 26th at 6:00 p.m. at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. The talk will explore the idea of queer anarchy through performance and protest culture. Examining the intersections between animality, the human and the environment, this lecture builds on Halberstam's writing on children's revolt and the animated politics of children's films in The Queer Art of Failure (2011).

In association with the Year, GSWS Faculty Fellow (and Children's Lit faculty member) Julian Gill-Peterson is currently teaching a graduate course through GSWS on Gender and Childhood. Freyda Cohen is also teaching a brand new undergraduate course, GSWS 1460: Gender, Sexuality, and Childhood in a Global Context, which fulfills a Category Two elective for the certificate. All Critical Approaches sections this year, taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills, will include content related to gender, sexuality, and intersectionality. And Tyler Bickford will be teaching the Children's Literature graduate course for the English department in the spring (along with a section of our new course, Children in Pittsburgh).

We have more special programming coming next semester, including a conference, Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century, which will feature multiple notable speakers! We hope to see you at some of these events!