Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Unhoming the Child: Queer Paths and Precarious Futures In Kissing the Witch
    (Penn State University Press, 2018) Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen
    Focusing on Emma Donoghue’s fairy-tale retellings for young readers, this essay explores the implications of stories that stray from the conventional script of children’s literature by rejecting normative models of belonging as well as happily-ever-after permanence. Instead of securely positioning the child on the path toward reproductive futurism and the creation of a new family home, these tales present radical visions of queer futurity and kinship and upend normative child-adult relations. Drawing in particular on Sara Ahmed’s work on happiness and Judith (Jack) Halberstam’s analysis of queer time, I analyze how Donoghue’s versions of “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel” unhome their protagonists and cast them outside of heteronormative temporality.
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    Through the Black Mirror: Innocence, Abuse, and Justice in ‘Shut Up and Dance
    (Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., 2019) Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen
    Constructed as needing protection and lacking agency, the figure of the child is always a potential victim in whose name political battles based in moral panics are often waged. But where does this abstract child figure leave real children, who are not as void of desire, agency, and sexuality as contemporary understandings of childhood imply? The Black Mirror episode “Shut Up and Dance” approaches this question through the story of its teenage protagonist, Kenny, who is blackmailed into committing increasingly violent and dangerous tasks so as to prevent the release of a video that shows him masturbating to pornography. Although in being sexual Kenny has fallen from the pedestal of childhood innocence, his awkwardness, vulnerability, and intense shame about the video nonetheless mark him as non-adult, and the punishments he endures seem disproportionate and abusive—until, that is, we learn that it was child pornography Kenny was masturbating to. Faced with the idea of child-as-victim that the mention of child pornography evokes, can we still also conceive of Kenny as a victimized child, or does he, in that revelatory moment, irreversibly grow up into a predatory adult? Drawing on scholarship situated at the productive intersections of childhood studies and queer theory, this chapter interrogates conceptions of the child-as-victim and analyzes how “Shut Up and Dance” complicates the dominant discourse on child abuse.
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    "I be home": Childhood Belonging and Un/becoming in Hawai'i
    (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018) Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen
    In this article, I juxtapose two coming-of-age narratives, Lois-Ann Yamanaka's Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers (1996) and Matthew Kaopio's Written in the Sky (2005), analyzing how these texts inscribe onto their young protagonists the complex and competing ontologies in the Hawaiian Islands. This article contends that children's literature produced in settler societies and intent on participating in efforts of decolonization can productively resist the impulse to home the settler child on Indigenous lands and instead radically question the ways in which we construct home and belonging through the figure of the child.
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    Can the Child Speak? Childhood in the Age of Nation-States, Children’s Rights, and the Role of Children’s Literature
    (The College of St. Scholastica, 2016) Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen
    Positing that the institutions of childhood, and children’s books in particular, contain the child as both a controlled subject and a disruptive presence, this article notes the potential of children’s literature for fostering a dialogical engagement between child and adult voices within as well as outside the texts.
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    Disidentifying with Futurity: The Unbecoming Child and its Discontents
    (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) Nolte-Odhiambo, Carmen