Disability and Young Adult Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Jacob Stratman
contact email: 
jstratman@jbu.edu

Although there is a growing interest in disability studies in art, literature, film, politics, and religion, there is still a dearth of scholarship that explores the intersection between young adult literature and disability. In the last ten years, there have only been a small handful of peer-reviewed articles that explore any issue regarding young adult literature and disability. This gap in scholarship among young adult literature scholars and teachers is surprising because of two reasons: first, disability is a growing reality in all of our lives. According to a 2012 report by the United States Census Bureau, “About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe” (2012, par. 1). Secondly, this reality is influencing our literature, especially fiction targeting young adults. The Schneider Family Book Award, an award that “honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences” has been around since 2004.

I am interested in creating/editing a sourcebook that would include articles that explore how primary and secondary teachers (should) incorporate novels that include protagonists with disabilities in their curriculum. While the articles must be grounded in theory, the nature of a sourcebook is to provide teachers/ readers with best-practices for pedagogy: lesson plans, assignments, activities, etc. The primary goal of this book is to help classroom teachers incorporate Disability YAL in their curriculum.

I envision topics that explore the following (other topics will be considered):
• Connecting Classic Texts with Contemporary Novels
• Community Engagement and Disability
• Using the Schneider Family Book Award
• Teaching specific disabilities: Blindness, Deafness, Autism, Cerebral Palsy
• Teaching specific YA novels through a Disability lens (e.g. Peter Jackson Series)
• Literature Circles and Disability
• Disability as Civil Rights in literature
• Digital Humanities and Disability
• 21st century literacies and Disability
• Classroom libraries
• Booktalks
• American Disabilities Act Awareness Month (October)
• Disability and Genre Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Western, etc.
• Teaching Non-fiction (memoir)
• Disability and Race
• Disability and Gender
• Disability and Class

This project has initial support from McFarland Publishing. Please send a 400-500 word abstract and brief cv to Jacob Stratman (jstratman@jbu.edu), Associate Professor of English at John Brown University before October 15, 2014.

Please forward this CFP to interested scholar-teachers.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
childrens_literature
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
theory