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Twentieth Annual Cultural Studies Conference

Child Matters

October 23-24, 2015

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How does the child matter now?

This is the central question guiding the two days of presentations and discussions at Indiana University's Cultural Studies Conference, CHILD MATTERS.

The contemporary moment is a particularly rich and urgent vantage point from which to consider the child. The child has long served as a kind of machine for making predictions about the future. Through notions of developmental staging, the child anticipates the future adult that she will become. More generally, children stand in the place of the future.

So what are we to make of the unexpected future in which we find ourselves? Over what narrative sequence does the child preside after the Anthropocene? In this age of transembodiments and somatechnics, what becomes of "proper" childhood development? Are we still in the grips of reproductive futurism and, if so, how is it contoured by homonormativity? In what racialized and securitized circuits does the child become valuable or expendable life? During our time together, we will attend to these questions.

Coming from a variety of perspectives, participants at this conference will build an account of the child's continued centrality to the new techniques of power in the 21st century and the queer, sideways deformations the child always also enacts.

The conference celebrates the recent WSQ special issue CHILD and the forthcoming GLQ special issue THE CHILD NOW. All of the speakers are contributors to these volumes.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Paul Amar, Associate Professor of Global and International Studies, UC Santa Barbara
  • Kathryn Bond Stockton, Distinguished Professor, Department of English, University of Utah
  • Sarah Chinn, Associate Professor, Department of English, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Anna Mae Duane, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Connecticut
  • Julian Gill Peterson, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh
  • Clifford J. Rosky, Professor, College of Law, University of Utah
  • Mary Zaborskis, Graduate Student, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

Full Schedule

Click here for a full conference schedule.

2015 Indiana University Cultural Studies Conference

The Cultural Studies Program invites you to CHILD MATTERS, the 2015 Cultural Studies Conference! Co-sponsored by the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Gubar Chair, the Center for Theoretical Inquiry, the Poynter Center for Ethics and American Institutions, the Department of English, and the Department of Gender Studies.