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  1. I specifically don't understand the alt, it talks about queering the child. Can someone please explain? The alternative is to queer the Child – only our negation of the Child as a symbol of innocence solves endless violenceGreteman and Wojcikiewicz 14 (Adam J. Greteman, Department of Art Education, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Steven Wojcikiewicz, “The Problems with the Future: Educational Futurism and the Figural Child,” Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 48, No. 4, PN) Edelman's critique and exposure of the Child and the Child's structuring logic illustrates that the Child is exclusionary, de-legitimising all that which is not future-focused, or which does not benefit the Child in all its innocent, sentimentalised, and decontextualised (non)identity. The Child takes up the whole frame, permitting nothing else to be seen, recognised, or thinkable. However, Edelman makes it clear that the Child he writes of is figural and therefore ‘not to be confused with the lived experiences of any historical children’ (p. 11). Rather the figural Child ‘serves to regulate political discourse—to prescribe what we count as political discourse—by compelling such discourse to accede in advance to the reality of a collective future whose figurative status we are never permitted to acknowledge or address’ (p. 11). In order to reveal the Child, and the full range of the meanings of the Child for discourse and action, Edelman (2004) proposes the ‘unthinkable’: he threatens the Child by queering it, since ‘queerness names the side of those not “fighting for the children”, the side outside the consensus by which all politics confirms the absolute value of reproductive futurism’ (p. 3). In queering the Child, these hidden discourses and contexts are exposed, and the Child is portrayed, not as the widely and easily accepted stand-in for children, but as an oppressive figure that closes down possibility and denies particularity, all in the name of a future that ‘is mere repetition and just as lethal as the past’, a future that is normatively, narrowly defined but never to be reached. (p. 31). It is important to understand, in this analysis, that to queer the Child in the name of children is, by extension, to put children in the position of the queer. This, in turn, opens up many possibilities. Yet, making the claim that children are queer may provoke anxiety, or outrage because of the reach of the figural Child. Such a statement on the queerness of children, especially in the realm of education, disrupts the innocence of the Child as imagined and portrayed. It challenges the frame that sets the Child up as in need of a proper curriculum, in need of protection. Edelman acknowledges as much noting that, ‘for the cult of the Child permits no shrines to the queerness of boys and girls, since queerness, for contemporary culture at large … is understood as bringing children and childhood to an end’ (p. 19). Such anxiety, or even outrage, is useful for our purposes, for it helps reveal the contextualised, complex, and perhaps troubling realities that lie beneath the bland image of the Child. The Child is not an innocent position. The Child is indeed the representative of positions that have been utilised politically to assault and reject those who do not support the Child. The stories that have been told about the Child have followed a narrow narrative trajectory and to take a stand against the Child is to offer different stories, different narrative trajectories, and challenges to the future. In offering a challenge to this dominant story line on the Child asks that we stand against the maintenance of innocence, for it is its maintenance that inhibits experience and learning (Archard, 2004; Bruhm and Hurley, 2004; Buckingham, 2000). This maintenance of innocence on the part of the Child is an important piece of what separates the Child from children, and what makes the political Child such a totalising force for the suppression of children. This Child is one who is always innocent, always protected, and, as the potential for anxiety and outrage already mentioned alludes to, always inexperienced. Experience taints, disrupts, and ends innocence. And yet, experience itself is a vital characteristic of learning. Thus children in schools, those who are learning, are always already in a queer position. The Child's image of innocence is merely an exclusionary political position, ‘a central reference point in a wider mythology of childhood that helps uphold an unjust moral order in which both adults and children are subject to the oppressive politics of purity’ (Davis, 2011, p. 381). To argue against the Child and its innocence is to open up that which the Child closes off, the real experiences and desires of children.
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