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Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

English 4903  Young Adult Literature 

Section 001       CRN 94431
Young Adult Literature     1200-1250 MWF

In this class we will explore the range of works in English written for and about “young adults” (teens and pre-teens). We will focus primarily on recent works but will also look at historical milestones published before and after the 1960s, when this sub-category of “juvenile” literature emerged as a distinct literary market.  Class discussion, oral presentations, D2L posts, and more formal writing assignments (a research-based review essay and final exam) will focus on critical analysis of narrative technique and literary quality as part of a more wide-ranging evaluation that takes into account the perceived needs and desires of the target audience(s) for these works. We will also explore the ways texts from a variety of time periods and cultural perspectives reveal changing social attitudes about adolescents and the world around them.  Readings may include innovative works such as Monster (winner of the first Printz award) and the LGBTQ short story collection Am I Blue?, works in emerging formats (novels in vignettes like A Step from Heaven and graphic narratives likeAmerican Born Chinese), dystopias such as Feed or Hunger Games, and self-selected works in a variety of genre (e.g. award-winning non-fiction). Students taking the course for graduate credit will complete a more extensive research project on an issue in young adult literature. (Group 5, Group 1 for teacher certification)