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AKA Lecture | The Impact of the Adoptee Killjoy

  • women make movies 115 W 29th, Suite 1200, New York, New York 10001 (map)
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Adoption privileges a narrative of love and family, while overlooking calls for family preservation and the transnational, institutional, and commercial implications of adoption. Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States explores adoption's contradictions in conversation with adoptees' critiques of the transnational adoption industrial complex. In this talk, Kimberly McKee will discuss the emergence of what she calls the adoptee killjoy, and the ways in which adoptees kill joy when they fail to adhere to the adoption fantasy—where adoptive parents save the orphan from poverty and degradation. Not only is the joy of adoptive parents killed, the adoptee killjoy also outwardly scrutinizes and troubles narratives promulgated by orphanages and adoption agencies concerning the benefits of adoption.

WHO: Open to Public
WHEN: Thursday May 9, 6:45 pm - 8:45 pm
WHERE: Women Make Movies, 115 W 29th, Suite 1200, New York
COST: FREE for members, $5 for non-members
RSVP: Please send email to Michael Mullen.

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Kimberly McKee is the director of the Kutsche Office of Local History and assistant professor of liberal studies at Grand Valley State University. She is the author of Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States (University of Illinois Press, 2019). She is co-editing a collection exploring women of color's experiences in graduate school, which is under contract with University of Illinois Press. Her publications have appeared in Feminist Formations, Adoption & Culture, and Journal of Korean Studies as well as edited volumes exploring kinship, media, and representations of Asian Americans. She is the assistant director/secretary of KAAN (the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network) and serves on the executive committee of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption & Culture.