Crossing Boundaries in Young Adult Literature – MMLA 2016 – Nov. 10-13, 2016

full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Rickard Rebellino
contact email: 

The theme of the 2016 MMLA Conference, which will take place November 10-13, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri, is "Border States" ( This CFP is for a special session entitled "Crossing Boundaries in Young Adult Literature."

Young adult novels like Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, John Green's Looking for Alaska, Suzanne Collins'sThe Hunger Games,and Stephen Chbosky's Perks of Being a Wallflower are mainstays on the ALA's list of banned and challenged books because of the way that they handle substance abuse, violence, sexual content, and more. These books and many other works of young adult literature push the boundaries of what is and isn't "appropriate" content for teen readers. However, controversial content is not the only boundary-crossing aspect of YA literature. By tackling adolescence, young adult literature inherently considers the boundary between childhood and adulthood. Further, YA literature features innovative, genre-blurring forms such as the verse novel, and recent young adult "crossover" books have altered conceptions of who the readers of YA books are. By considering these and other topics, this panel seeks to explore the many ways that young adult literature crosses and blurs boundaries. Suggested paper topics include but are not limited to:
• Coming of age stories
• Genre-blurring forms of young adult literature: verse novels, multimodal books, illustrated texts, and more
• Young adult literature and controversial subjects such as sex, substance abuse, race, sexuality, etc.
• Invisible or real boundaries in the readership of YA fiction
• Boundaries and borders in YA graphic narratives
• Fandom surrounding YA books and the continually murky boundary between content creators and content producers
• Intertextuality and the boundary between old and new texts

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract by April 30th, 2016 to Rachel Rickard Rebellino at