This essay suggests a queer reading of the poem “My Japanese Fan” by American children’s writer Laura Richards. Published in 1890, the poem stands out as conspicuously queer even today. While describing a Japanese figure of ambiguous gender, the poem outlines for its young readers terms for defining sexual identity that lie outside mainstream binary thinking; that it does so without any attempt at establishing gender hierarchy is remarkable. In so doing, the poem destabilizes clearly demarcated, binary notions of sex and gender in favour of indeterminacy and ambivalence, characteristics that inform queer theory. Thus, the poem complicates traditional views of sexuality in Victorian America, and joins a significant body of Richards’s resistant poetry, further demonstrating the subversive potential of children’s literature. The following discussion offers a close and contextual reading of the poem and attempts to account both for its positive portraiture of gender queerness in the Victorian nursery, as well as for its invisibility in criticism before now.
Children's Literature in Education – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera