Deadline Extended! Edited Volume: Contemporary Young Adult Literature and the Fashioning of Black & Brown Youth

deadline for submissions: 
March 29, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Candice L. Pipes
contact email: 


This volume, currently under advanced contract with the University Press of Mississippi, is a call for original critical essays, which examine how contemporary African American young adult literature responds to, critiques, sympathizes with, and offers strategies for survival and resistance to black and brown youth. The book, tentatively entitled, Contemporary Young Adult Literature and the Fashioning of Black & Brown Youth is concerned particularly with literature that addresses the complexity and diversity of young adult fiction as it uncovers and critiques individual, communal, systemic and institutionalized power dynamics that effect and work to shape the consciousness of black and brown youth.

This collection will explore questions like: What do these texts teach our children about how to negotiate complex racial, social and economic environments? What do these stories teach black and brown you about gender norms and sexuality? What makes these stories “real,” true, honest, authentic and where do they fall short? How do these narratives function to inspire assimilation and/or activism, name trauma and offer coping strategies, critique symbols of institutionalized racism while validating the strength of the institution, complicate monolithic narratives of blackness while challenging the dominance of whiteness?   What do these stories tell us about the value of black girls and boys? And how will these fictive imaginings of black young adult life shape my children’s (all children’s) very real sense of identity, power, and agency? 

The editor seeks contributions which consider contemporary texts written for and/or about young adult readers of color in the last decade (or so) responding to and interjecting in current social, political, economic, religious, historical, racial, sexual, and gender conversations.  Possible authors to consider (but not limited to) are Elizabeth Acevedo, Tomi Adeyemi, Sherman Alexie, Kelly Barnhill, Tonya Bolden, Lamar Giles, Diane Guerrero, Veera Hiranandani, Isabel Ibañez, Jason Reynolds, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Renee Watson, Jaqueline Woodson.  Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Black Lives Matter, activism and the worth of black/brown youth
  • Violence (domestic, community, interpersonal, governmental, police brutality, sexual, systemic, etc)
  • Colorism
  • Defining family
  • Authenticity, agency, voice, identity and authorship
  • Feminism and its limitations
  • Privilege, whiteness, and culture
  • The role of sport, music, art and/or poetry
  • Institutionalized racism and/or sexism
  • Hope as concept and promise

In the form of a single Word file, please send proposals of 500-750 words, a brief biography, and contact information to Candice Pipes at no later than 29 Mar 2021.  Please title the e-mail subject line of the proposal “Contemporary YA Lit” when e-mailing the proposal. Notification of proposal acceptance will occur no later than 30 April 2021.  Acceptance into the collection will be based on completed essays of approximately 6000-10000 words submitted no later than 1 June 2021.