Dr. Hannah Dyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child & Youth Studies and holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. She is a cultural theorist of childhood with concentration in art/aesthetics, critical theory, and psychoanalysis. She is interested in how aesthetic and expressive cultures of childhood reframe relationships to political crises, historical traumas, and social debates about belonging. While taking the child’s material vulnerabilities and pressing need for care into account, this work also examines the rhetorical force of childhood. Her first book, The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood: Asymmetries of Innocence and the Cultural Politics of Child Development (2020, Rutgers University Press) extends these lines of analysis. She is currently at work on a book project with Casey Mecija (York University) that draws from aesthetics, affect theory, and studies of empire, to consider the sonic frequencies of queer childhood.
Dr. Dyer is the Principal Investigator of the SSHRC funded research project, “Drawing Queer and Trans Family: Understanding Kinship through Children’s Art” (with Julia Sinclair-Palm, Carleton University). She is also currently a co-investigator (with Michelle Miller and Natalie Kouri-Towe) on a SSHRC funded project, entitled “Triggering Education: Relational Readings of Trigger Warnings in the Canadian Post-Secondary Classroom”. She has supervised graduate students working on projects in the areas of queer theory, sexuality studies, critical childhood studies, trans childhoods, disabled childhood studies, diaspora and migration, memory and media, and sound studies.
- Critical theories of childhood
- Gender, sexuality, and queer theory
- Children’s art and the aesthetics of childhood
- Racialization and racism
- Memory studies and narrative
- Film and visual studies
- Psychoanalysis and object-relations
- Theories of trauma
Dyer, Hannah and Casey Mecija. ‘“Family is a Feeling”: Affective belonging, Family Photography and the Reparative Practices of Queer Parenting’, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (forthcoming).
Dyer, Hannah. “Queer Aesthetics and Childhood Stories”. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Theories in Childhood Studies. (Eds Sarada Balagopalan, John Wall, Karen Wells) (Forthcoming).
Xuan Thuy Nguyen, Karen Soldatić, Hannah Dyer. ” Conceptual and methodological issues in research with disabled youth in the Global South: Towards decolonial futures in pandemic times”. Research Handbook on the Sociology of Youth (Eds. Judith Bessant, Philippa Collin and Patrick O’Keeffe). (forthcoming).
Farley, Lisa and Hannah Dyer. “Child Development”. The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health (Ed. Jessica Lester and Michelle O’Reilly), 2022.
Murphy, Emily and Hannah Dyer. “Innocence and Parenting in Difficult Times”. Childhoods in More Just Worlds (Ed. Tim Kinard and Gaile S. Cannella), 2021.
Dyer, Hannah and Monica Patterson. Introduction to and editing of Special Issue of Global Studies of Childhood, “Children’s Art in Times of Crises, March 2021.
Dyer, Hannah, Julia Sinclair-Palm, Chase Joynt, Miranda Yeo, Calla Tait, “Aesthetic Expressions of Queer Kinship in Children’s Drawings”, Journal of Canadian Cultural Studies, forthcoming 2021
Dyer, Hannah, Julia Sinclair-Palm, Miranda Yeo. “Drawing queer and trans kinship with children: Affect, cohabitation, and reciprocal care”. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, Feb. 2020.
Dyer, Hannah. 2020. The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood: Asymmetries of Innocence and the Cultural Politics of Child Development, New York: Rutgers University Press.
Dyer, Hannah. “The Contested Design of Children’s Sexual Education: Queer Growth and Epistemic Uncertainty.” Gender and Education, 31(6), 742-755, 2019.
Dyer, Hannah and Casey Mecija. “Leaving to Love: Filipina Caregivers and the Queer Kinship of Transnational Childcare”. World Futures, Special Issue: Transdisciplinary Child and Youth Studies, 74(7-8), 542-558, 2018.
Dyer, Hannah and Dina Georgis. “Play Interrupted: Love and Learning Amidst Difficult Futures for the Children of Gaza”. The Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies. 39(5), 431-445, 2018.
Dyer, Hannah and Chase Joynt. “Aestheticizing trauma and the remains of childhood secrets: A Conversation with Chase Joynt’s Akin”. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 22(2), 212-219, 2017.
Dyer, Hannah. “Reparation for a violent boyhood: Pedagogies of mourning in Shane Meadow’s This is England”. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 25(3), 315-325, 2017.
Dyer, Hannah. “Queer Futurity and Childhood Innocence: Beyond the Injury of Development”. Global Studies of Childhood, 7(3), 290-302, 2017.
“The Queer Sonics of Childhood: Listening to Capital, Labor and Asymmetries of Innocence”, The Child as Queer Emergence, American Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 8th, 2018 and Youngsters 2, Ryerson University, May 10th, 2019, with Casey Mecija.
“The Queer Temporality of the Playroom”, Playing with Childhood in the Twenty-First Century, University of Pittsburgh, April 11th, 2018.
“Transnational Mothering and Queer Kinship: Psychoanalytic Notes on “The Caregiver Program”, Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Rutgers University, October 15th, 2016 and International Congress on Gender Studies, University of Lisbon, May 26, 2016, with Casey Mecija.
“The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood Trauma and The Promise of Futurity”, Queer, Trans, Feminist, and Critical Race Perspectives on the Cultural Production of Childhood, American Comparative Literature Association, Harvard University, March 2016.