Saturday, 23 November 2013

ABC blog: A

A is for aetonormativity. As the White Knight says in Through the Looking Glass, “It's my own invention”. Thoroughly my own invention. If you google it, you get 660 hits, which are mostly either by me or references to me. Google will ask whether you meant “heteronormativity”, and it shows you how clever Google is, because the concept of aetonormativity is coined in analogy with heteronormativity in queer theory where it means that heterosexuality is the norm. Aeto- refers to age, so aetonormativity means that adulthood is the norm while childhood is a deviation. If you ask me where I found the aeto-, I have no idea. Possibly on Wikipedia. I needed this term, and I invented it. I first used it in an obscure publication where it wasn't noticed, at least not by children's literature scholars, and then I developed it in my book Power, Voice and Subjectivity. It has now been picked up by some students and colleagues, and one colleague whom I don't know personally even lists it as her specialty on her university profile page. I think I can state with confidence that this has been a successful launch, and I hope that posterity gives me credit.

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