Lecture by Dr. Aparna Mishra Tarc
“Pedagogy and the perverse in Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child”
Introduced by Toby Wiggins
Monday, June 5, 2017
519 Kaneff, YorkU
This lecture is situated in recent queer scholarship celebrating and/or recuperating perversion from its pathological treatment in the social sciences (Edelman, De Lauretis). Aligned with these moves, Aparna Mishra Tarc takes a different tact to thinking the perverse in a turn to Melanie Klein’s treatment of Freud’s polymorphous perverse baby subject to the adult (m)other’s sexual drives. In infancy sexuality driving the subject formation of the baby is open to impression as intra subjectively experienced and inter subjectively engaged. The intra subjective drive of sexuality instantiated in infancy is fundamental to human existence and wholly dependent on the inter subjective response and care of the (m)other. To examine how infantile sexuality is expressed and repressed in sexual and racial markers of identity, Mishra Tarc conducts a psychoanalytic reading of Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child. Morrison’s novel investigates personal, legal and societal responses to perverse expressions of the child’s sexuality generating, degenerating and regenerating the self. Subject to the other with sexual drives of their own, Morrison highlights the profound role of pedagogy in the care of the child’s polymorphous perverse existence. The adult’s response (use, refuse, and abuse) of the child’s sexuality sets the conditions for her identity and relation to others.
Click here for Dr. Tarc’s bio
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