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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 4903  Young Adult Literature 

Section 001       CRN 35034
Young Adult Literature   1230-1345 TR

This course will focus critical attention upon the wide range of literature created mainly since the 1960’s for readers once known as “teenagers” and now generally identified as “young adults”. We will explore a variety of genres within this increasingly vast literary category—realism, fantasy, poetry, fictional memoir, graphic novel—in order to analyze how these works reveal changing perceptions of adolescence and address the desires and concerns of their intended audience. We will discuss narrative techniques, debates about literary quality, issues of censorship. Readings will include works by Robert Cormier, Suzanne Collins, Sherman Alexie, and Gene Luen Yang, among others. Group presentations on self-selected works from a variety of time periods and cultural contexts will expand exposure to the wide range of young adult literature. Assigned writing will include informal analytic responses, a researched review essay and a final exam. Students taking the class for graduate credit will produce a more extensive research paper exploring an issue or theme in young adult literature. (Group 5, Group 1 for teacher certification)