Brave New Teenagers: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction [DEADLINE: July 1, 2011]

full name / name of organization: 
Balaka Basu, Kate Broad, Carrie Hintz / Graduate Center, City University of New York
contact email: 

We invite articles of 6,000-7,000 words for a proposed collection on Young Adult ("teen") Dystopias.

Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010) has attracted much critical and popular attention, but was preceded by several other landmark texts, including M. T. Anderson's Feed (2002); Scott Westerfeld's Uglies (2005); Lois Lowry's The Giver (1993); Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (2008); Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2009); and Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (2004).

An academic consideration of the genre is long overdue. What accounts for the recent boom in YA dystopian fiction? Are young readers genuinely drawn to these dystopian landscapes, or is the success of these YA books largely a product of marketing, merchandizing, and hype? How do we account for their cross-over appeal? What social and political function(s) do they fulfill? Are YA dystopias truly socially and politically progressive, or do their critiques ring hollow as they reinscribe traditional norms? How can we evaluate their literary merit and position them in literary history and in utopian studies? Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

Defining YA dystopias and the history of the subgenre
YA dystopias and the publishing industry
YA dystopias in the wider context of YA literature
Positioning YA dystopias within the history of utopian and dystopian writing
World-building in YA dystopias
Didacticism in YA dystopias
YA dystopias and the Bildungsroman
High school drama after the apocalypse
YA dystopias and fear of the future

E-mail queries are welcome. Send completed papers in word
format by July 1st to:

Balaka Basu, Kate Broad and Carrie Hintz at:

At time of submission, we require papers to conform to the
Chicago Manual of Style. Papers not conforming to this style
guide will not be considered.