Lost Girls and Teen Dreams: Constructions of Gender in Children's and Young Adult Texts (8/11/14)

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University of Wisconsin Colleges
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Call for Proposals: Lost Girls and Teen Dreams: Constructions of Gender in Children's and Young Adult Texts

Young adult literature has seen tremendous market growth in recent years, stemming from the explosive popularity of the Harry Potter series to the success of the Twilight series and later the Hunger Games series. Children's literature remains both a popular and contested site of children's literacy and social enculturation. Young adult texts provide a unique window into both the range of representations of gender construction as well as the ways in which children and teens react to these constructions. Further, popular culture is both a space in which young adults are enculturated to traditional gender expectations and an opportunity for gender conventions to evolve, to subvert, and to contest traditional gender boundaries.

Tricia Clasen (contributor to Bitten By Twilight and Heroines in Comics and Literature) and Holly Hassel (Contributor to Of Bread, Blood and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy and co-author of The Critical Companion to JK Rowling) call for proposals for essays to be included in an upcoming anthology focused on gender in young adult literature and popular culture. We have an interested publisher but require a full prospectus for a confirmed contract.

Sitting at the intersection of cultural studies and literary studies, our vision for this edited collection is to collect diverse and complementary examinations of how gender operates in children's and young adult literature. As a result, essays accepted for this collection should contribute to an understanding of the potential impact and of the current status of gender portrayals in children's and young adult texts. The editors seek proposals from a broad range of gender studies approaches: feminist critiques and readings of popular or non-mainstream texts, readings from the perspective of masculinity studies, and examinations of gender construction (boys/girls/trans*). Further, we imagine an expansive definition of "texts" that might include a range of traditional print texts such as novels, short stories, picture books, nonfiction, etc. as well as comic books, mixed textual/image works for children (such as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ellie McDoodle series), graphic novels, and other print and electronic texts aimed at child and adolescent readers.

The topics below are intended as suggestions, but the editors welcome related proposals:
• gender and genre conventions in popular series
• subversive approaches to gender, femininity, masculinity in popular or alternate series
• gender, race, class, and difference in children's and young adult literature
• treatment of sexuality and trans* issues in children's texts
• evolving representations of gender, femininity, masculinity in specific works by a single author or within a genre
• Responses to evolving gender representations in literature-based fan communities and/or social networking sites.
• Treatment of diversified gendered perspectives upon adaptation

For submissions, please include:
• a proposed chapter title
• an abstract of your proposed essay (no more than 500 words), including your proposed area of inquiry, original thesis, and overview of the essay's argument
• an abbreviated curriculum vitae highlighting your relevant teaching, research, and service experience to the book's focus

Deadline for proposals: August 11, 2014

Please submit your materials as a single word or PDF document as an attachment. Copy Dr. Tricia Clasen and Dr. Holly Hassel at tricia.clasen@uwc.edu and holly.hassel@uwc.edu.