Identities in YA: What You Need To Know About The One Day Symposium at The University of Northampton UK

From JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, Young Adult (YA) narratives have grown exponentially over the past twenty years. Adopting a range of genres and platforms including the Bildungsroman and the coming of age teen drama, YA narratives represent a significant cultural means to explore the formation of identity in all its varied aspects.

With this in mind, a one day symposium at the University of Northampton entitled ‘Investigating Identities in Young Adult YA Narratives’ will investigate the representation of identity constructions in relation to narrative form in YA narratives both past and present.

The symposium will take place on Saturday the 16th of December 2017.

Dr Samantha George — Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire’s Dr Samantha George will giving the keynote lecture at the symposium. George is the convener of the successful Opengravesopenminds project and among others, has pioneered a module at Hertfordshire called ‘Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic’.

YA Author Lisa Williamson

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winning author of ‘The Art of Being Normal’ (2015) Lisa Williamson will be in conversation in a special event. Lisa will be discussing identity in ‘The Art of Being Normal’ and her new YA novel ‘All About Mia’ (2017) followed then by a Q&A session.

The call for abstracts is still open and all the details can be found below:

Suggested topics may include, but are no means limited to:

- Representations of racial/ethnic identity in YA narratives

- Representations of gender and/or sexual identity in YA narratives

- The representation of identity in YA narratives in relation to the notion of class

- Interrogations of YA narrative’s treatment of LGBTQIA+ identities

- The effect of trauma on identity in YA narratives

- YA narratives and the notion of the outsider or other

- The relationship between genre and the notion of identity in YA narratives

- The representation of non-binary identities in YA narratives

- The transition from childhood to adulthood in classic (children’s) literature

- The representation of disability in relation to the notion of identity in YA narratives

- The use and function of supernatural identities in YA narratives

Being an interdisciplinary symposium focused on narrative, papers from across the subject areas of literature, screen studies, history, popular culture and education studies are invited. The symposium welcomes papers on both YA literature and screen adaptations, and from scholars working on earlier periods as well as contemporary culture.

The symposium invites papers from academics, early career researchers and postgraduate research students alike.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words and a short bio note should be sent to both sonya.andermahr@northampton.ac.uk and anthony.stepniak2@northampton.ac.uk by the 8th October 2017.

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