Date

6-11-2020

Description

“Young adult,” coined in the 1960s by the Young Adult Library Services Association, holds immense meaning though it has had a much shorter lifetime than “child” and “adult.” The young adult (“adolescent” or “teenager”) continues to exist within a grey area between the duality of child and adult, an area that tends to be disregarded due to stereotypes and clichés. In working extensively on Fantasy/Young Adult Fantasy literature from the 19th century to the present, my research has focused on the evolution of the adolescent/adolescence and how magic and temptation are used to argue the human inability to bypass sacrifice. Pamela Gates, Susan Steffel, and Francis Molson have worked to underline humanity’s need for heroes (Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults). Richard Mathews and Alan Garner respectively discuss the contours of fantasy as a method to break down social constructs. Greer Watson, Vladimir Propp, and Farah Mendlesohn are some others whose works have been considered, too. Currently, a lack of appreciation and discussion on the seriousness and transformative qualities of YA Fantasy is evident. This presentation will show how late 20th century and 21st century YA Fantasy authors (like Tamora Pierce and Kendare Blake) can and should be better understood outside of the dichotomy between and emphasis on commercial versus literary as well as child versus adult. The significance of sacrifice within YA Fantasy and those who take on the sacrifice(s) and the entertainment aspect of YA Fantasy should not be pushed aside since thoughtfulness and technique can exist in any genre, age group, and time.

Keywords: Literature, History, Young Adult, YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Literary, Commercial

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Jun 11th, 12:00 AM

The Grey and the Liminal: A Study of YA Fantasy

“Young adult,” coined in the 1960s by the Young Adult Library Services Association, holds immense meaning though it has had a much shorter lifetime than “child” and “adult.” The young adult (“adolescent” or “teenager”) continues to exist within a grey area between the duality of child and adult, an area that tends to be disregarded due to stereotypes and clichés. In working extensively on Fantasy/Young Adult Fantasy literature from the 19th century to the present, my research has focused on the evolution of the adolescent/adolescence and how magic and temptation are used to argue the human inability to bypass sacrifice. Pamela Gates, Susan Steffel, and Francis Molson have worked to underline humanity’s need for heroes (Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults). Richard Mathews and Alan Garner respectively discuss the contours of fantasy as a method to break down social constructs. Greer Watson, Vladimir Propp, and Farah Mendlesohn are some others whose works have been considered, too. Currently, a lack of appreciation and discussion on the seriousness and transformative qualities of YA Fantasy is evident. This presentation will show how late 20th century and 21st century YA Fantasy authors (like Tamora Pierce and Kendare Blake) can and should be better understood outside of the dichotomy between and emphasis on commercial versus literary as well as child versus adult. The significance of sacrifice within YA Fantasy and those who take on the sacrifice(s) and the entertainment aspect of YA Fantasy should not be pushed aside since thoughtfulness and technique can exist in any genre, age group, and time.

Keywords: Literature, History, Young Adult, YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Literary, Commercial