The Child at the Social Limit


How have technological and political transformations in sexual and social reproduction transformed the relationship between children and adults? How have these transformations altered our collective understanding of the affective and ethical bonds between caregivers and the young people they are directly or indirectly responsible for and to? This symposium will consider different configurations of the child at the social limit and offer a more expansive understanding of the ongoing work of social reproduction.

Rachel Bowlby (Professor of Comparative Literature, UCL) “We Wanted This Child” – “You Mean You Did!”: Mid-Twentieth Century Arguments about Artificial Insemination

David L. Eng (Professor of English & Asian American Studies, UPenn) Psychic Nowhere: Parachute Children and Racial Dissociation

Lisa Guenther (Professor of Philosophy, QueensU) Settler Colonialism and Carceral Power: Lessons from an Australian Youth Detention Centre

PDF iconThe Child at the Social Limit Poster.pdf


Image Description - "JR inaugurated last week a huge scaffolding installation on the Mexican side of the border between the United States and Mexico. The piece is best viewed from the US side of the border. An immense image of Kikito, a one year old boy from the city of Tecate, looks playfully over the infamous border wall. Kikito and his family cannot cross the border to see the artwork from the ideal vantage point." (source: