ABOUT THIS BOOK
2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
In The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood, Hannah Dyer offers a study of how children’s art and art about childhood can forecast new models of social life that redistribute care, belonging, and political value. Dyer suggests that childhood’s cultural expressions offer insight into the persisting residues of colonial history, nation building, homophobia, and related violence. Drawing from queer and feminist theory, psychoanalysis, settler-colonial studies, and cultural studies, this book helps to explain how some theories of childhood can hurt children. Dyer’s analysis moves between diverse sites and scales, including photographs and an art installation, children’s drawings after experiencing war in Gaza, a novel about gay love and childhood trauma, and debates in sex-education. In the cultural formations of art, she finds new theories of childhood that attend to the knowledge, trauma, fortitude and experience that children might possess. In addressing aggressions against children, ambivalences towards child protection, and the vital contributions children make to transnational politics, she seeks new and queer theories of childhood.