4/13 thoughts

Carmen Kynard says “I see all of this now as a kind of black literacy skills-set, a black-girl skills-set even, a worthy one that I will always be honing.” “life and death matter”  Stories of/for survival are crucial for black girlhood, especially ones, like Flossir and the Fox that not only showcase their intelligence and wit, but also keep their dignity intact. What then are the possibilities for a counter fantasy black girlhood that can allow a full spectrum outside the labor of engaging with white supremist patriarchal ideologies? What would it look like if black girls didn’t NEED books like this?

Gail Melson says: “Children must have played at hunting.”/”Hunting game lost its urgency and the whiff of a new relationship would present itself.” (p. 23) Is this what a children;s books with animals are doing? Curiosity? How much caution should we place on that curiosity? What is it about children and animals that facilitates this? In what ways do these animals tame child and adult? I’m trying to get at the ultimate work that these stories are doing/maintaining…how it;’s being used to furnish and secure adult goals/ideology? I think this is where subversion can some into play, much nore so with animals than children. What does “neoteny” allow us to explore/exploite?

2 thoughts on “4/13 thoughts

  1. Carrie Hintz

    Hi Jaïra, Your question about books that work “outside the labor of engaging with white supremicist patriarchal ideologies” is a powerful one, and I see the roots of a powerful ongoing investigation there. One thing I noticed about Flossie: she “skips away” from the. fox often in this book, and I wonder if that is some kind of willful & energetic refusal in its own right, walking away from the fox like she doesn’t really have time for his nonsense, while deftly playing the game. Your question about Melson interests me because of your remark about “secure adult goals/ ideology.” It reminds me of the work of my frequent collaborator Eric Tribunella about how “boy and his dog” stories often work to create a normative/ cis-heteropatriarchal adulthood, etc, as well as to enforce other ideologies…to be discussed! CH

  2. Ruwanthi

    Melson’s “Reaching Across the Divide” among other things, alludes to the ways in which animals (pets, to be more precise) get interpellated into normative, capitalist, heteropatriarchal ways of being. Critics such as michael Cobb have argued about the subversiveness underlying ‘singlehood’ and the ways in which radical singlehood can trouble or perhaps even queer normative heteropatriarchal social structures. In light of this idea, how might pet-owning complicate such seemingly radical ways of being?

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