An event hosted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women & Gender on Friday afternoon will focus on analyze the history of “pederastic” relationships. “Pederastic” refers to romantic relationships between adult males and boys.
The event, which is called “Pederastic Kinship: Deidealizing Queer Studies,” will feature Emory University professor Kadji Amin. The lecture will focus relationships between adult males and younger boys. The event description describes modern pederasty as “sexually, ethically, and politically dubious” but goes on to analyze the role it played for French author and activist Jean Genet.
To identify a relational form as “queer kinship” is to implicitly dignify and redeem it. What are the limits of such redemption? This talk tests the boundaries of the discourse of queer family by investigating a sexually, ethically, and politically dubious kinship form: namely, modern pederasty.Pederastic kinship names the kinship function of many intergenerational modern pederastic relationships. Its shape is discernable within French author and activist Jean Genet’s (1910-1986) life practices of affiliation, including his habit of introducing himself into the domesticities of heterosexual couples, his practice of financing the heterosexual households of his younger male lovers, and his fantasy of himself as the adopted foundling of the Black Panther Party. Pederastic kinship is a forgotten and uncomfortable precursor to gay and lesbian “chosen” and nuclear family that restores power and inequality to overly idealized imaginaries of queer kinship.
According to most definitions, pederasty is defined as sexual relations between two males, one of which is a minor.
The event is scheduled to take place on Friday at the University of Michigan from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.