115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Post-Family Studies

Session Chair: 
Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Session 6: Saturday 10 – 11:30 am
Henry 225
Topic Area: 


  1. Alessia Ursella, University of Guelph (Canada)
    The aim of my paper is to explore the role of Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden in starting his conversation on new forms of families or reactions to the absence thereof. Lack of viable networks and communities creates the ground for doubtful moral choices. The plot and discursive aspects contribute to the interrogation of ‘normative’ families, pushing the reader to challenge that paradigm.
  2. David John Boyd, University of Glasgow (Scotland)
    This essay examines current gender and family conflicts in Japanese boy culture, specifically analyzing a handful of manga and anime produced during the twenty year economic recession. In my estimation, the rise of 'dead mother' origin stories in these series not only depict the transformation of a delinquent boy into a heroic man, but, most importantly, they interrogate the precarity and anxieties of growing up inside and outside of the heteronormative Japanese nuclear family.
  3. David Gardner, Phillips Academy
    This paper uses a queer theoretical framework to examine the ways Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Water by the Spoonful, offers up new understandings of community, connection, and kinship that both critique and transcend mainstream family structures.
  4. Jeremiah Axelrod, Institute for the Study of Los Angeles, Occidental College
    Space exploration has historically been the province of corporations and nation states, yet our Sscience Fictional imagination is rife with images of autonomous and cohesive families. This paper will examine such texts as Robert Heinlein's The Rolling Stones and Disney's Miles from Tomorrowland to interrogate what these fantasies of cosmic adventure have to say about our own contemporary visions of family structure and patriarchal authority.
Session Cancelled: