The introduction of the book lays out the historical and theoretical stakes of its project. It works to chart the movement from the child-in-need-of rescue (characterized by Henry James’s 1898 novella Turn of the Screw) to the child-as-resource by the way of Kazou Ishiguro’s 2005 Never Let Me Go. As Carolyn Steedman argues in Strange Dislocations, scientific accounts of physiological growth and development were central to the construction of the child as well as to evolutionary thought, a congruence expressed in recapitulation theory. In essence, the link forged between the child and the species helped to shape eugenic historiography, focalized reproduction as a matter of concern for racial nationalism, and made the child a mode of time keeping.
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