In "Curioser: On the Queerness of Children," Bruhm and Hurley discuss the use of the future anterior (Felipa's sexual desires for Christine "will pass") to assert childhood innocence while simultaneously preparing the child for entry into the heterosexual paradigm. Meanwhile, in her Introduction to "The Queer Child," Stockton discusses the "gay child" as one who can only exist retrospectively in the past-- through a "future act of looking back" (9). How do these two different strategies-- the use of the future tense and the use of a retrospective "gay child" work together? Do you see the two theorists' approaches as complimentary or at odds with one another? What is the effect of locating the queer or gay child in the future or past (never the present)? If the gay or queer child never exists in the present, then does such a child exist at all?
What do you make of works (like Owens' book mentioned in "Curioser") that paraphrase the words of their subjects? Is this ever a useful strategy, or does overlaying a narrative on the disparate voices of one's subjects necessarily obscure their message(s)? Does your opinion depend at all upon whether the subjects who were interviewed are pleased with how their stories were retold?
What violence does the fiction of childhood innocence do to children? And to adults? How does this kind of "violence" relate to our discussion of violence earlier in the semester, when we were talking about ACT-UP and choreographies of protest?
What purpose does the fiction of childhood innocence serve for adults in society? While Stockton focuses on the violence that this narrative does to children, does it also have benefits?
How do you understand Stockton's notion of "growing sideways"? Do you find this terminology helpful to explain children's development? Why or why not?
After reading all of the children's short stories, it seems that a common theme is that if you are a troublemaker you are punished with a "time out." What is the significance of this particular punishment? What does a "time out" really mean? What is the logic behind having a "troublesome" child "cool down a bit" and reflect on their actions?
In the stories from the children's book, I noticed that not all of the stories revolved around children misbehaving. Rather, the stories were about children and women (The Not So Clean Queen and Grandma the Pirate). What message is the book sending to both our kids (and us as adults) by indicating that not only children, but also women, need to be tought to behave or risk punishment? Why is it that "women and children" are always grouped together-- as troublemakers, victims, or those in need of protection? In the "Curioser" article it was mentioned that the movements to ban pornography were aimed at the safeguarding of "women and children." What is the double-logic of locating children and women simultaneously as the sources of trouble and those who need to be protected from trouble?