This issue troubles received genealogies about romanticized childhood, from scientific claims about how young girls’ bodies should mature, to masculinist rationales for child protection, to sentimental imperialist discourses about education for young women in the Muslim world. It also unsettles conventional histories of modern feminism and black motherhood. The articles offer unflinching critiques of state power and the imbrications of gender, race, and class in the enactment of that power. Carla Rice illuminates how scientific research on puberty suppresses nonnormative sexualities, while Paul M. Renfro takes aim at anxious government masculinity expressed through claims to protect the notion of innocent childhood. Moon Charania and Wendy Simonds extend Renfro’s examination of gendered legal governance to an analysis of mandated parenting classes as a form of governmentality designed to produce apologetic citizens, shore up the heteronormative middle-class white family, and portray state interference as benevolent. Molly Geidel highlights the racial and gendered politics of US imperialism by deconstructing sentimental narratives about education for girls in the Muslim world, narratives that gained traction in the so-called war on terror and that deflect Western responsibility for the conditions of these girls’ lives. This issue also includes two essays on black maternity. Jennifer C. Nash’s review essay explores the concept of black mothering through recent works that take up the maternal as a rich site of theorizing for black women. Erica S. Lawson demonstrates the ways that black women who have lost their children to violence channel their grief into activism that inspires movements. Carol Giardina resituates the birth of the modern US feminist movement within the working of black women activists for the March on Washington. Justin Louis Mann encourages us raise awareness about white attempts to control public space, while Lana Dee Povitz pays tribute to movement photographer JEB’s documentation of political resistance. We round out this issue with poetry by Carolina Hotchandani and Shirley Geok-lin Lim.

Special notices

We are pleased to announce that Marlon Bailey's essay on ballroom culture, “Gender/Racial Realness: Theorizing the Gender System in Ballroom Culture,” in Feminist Studies Volume 37, Number 2, won the 2013 Modern Language Association's Compton-Noll Prize for Best LGBTQ Studies Article.

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