YOUNG ADULT MEDIA ADAPTATIONS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND EMPATHETIC AUDIENCES
In 2022, about 35.04 million printed books were sold that classified as Young Adult Literature (Curcic 2023). In fact, it’s the fastest growing category since 2018, with almost a 50% increase in sales to date (Curcic 2023). And, if trends hold, the numbers will continue to rise, making the YA category a multibillion dollar opportunity for publishers. It’s also no surprise that media adaptations of popular Young Adult novels have become big business, raking in millions of dollars, skyrocketing actors to celebrity status, and providing another mediated experience for fans to embrace.
Perhaps more importantly, educators and media critics have long recognized YAL’s value in providing readers with outlets to make sense of navigating social relationships, processing difficult circumstances, and developing a sense of self-identity and self-worth. Contemporary YA authors don’t shy away from representing traumatic, violent, and/or emotionally fraught situations, though many temper descriptions and character perceptions with a teen audience in mind. Recent popular novels and their respective adaptations deal with important and divisive (current) events that impact children and teens in ways that many adults might like to downplay or ignore. More so, texts like these can also provide representations of how to stand against injustice both personally and communally; this can also be true when the narrative content is humorous or romantic rather than dramatic and dark. YA, even when fantastic in its narratives, pushes boundaries and limits to help empower audiences and recognize their agency in the world.
We invite essays for a collection that will examine adapted Young Adult narratives and their connections to contemporary social issues and concerns that are relevant to readers/viewers. Specifically, we are looking for essays that explore the cultural implications of these narratives and the ways audiences (and critics) negotiate them in a post-modern, convergence culture world, potentially accounting for multi-mediated and repeat viewings/readings. We would like to include a variety of scholarly methods beyond textual analysis.
We welcome a variety of mediums for examination, including but not necessarily limited to: films, television series, web series, and podcasts. We prefer to forefront texts that have been specifically published as YA, as opposed to those re-branded to fit modern category expectations.
We anticipate that this collection will include 16-20 essays, and as a working guide, the essays should be 4000-4500 words. Essays must adhere to the most current MLA format. McFarland has expressed interest in publishing this project.
Submission Guidelines: Please send a 500-word proposal in Word, followed by a short bibliography showing the paper's scholarly and theoretical context. Please also include a short professional description of yourself.
Submission deadline: June 25, 2023
Direct inquires and proposals to: ConvergencePotter@gmail.com
Editors: Amanda Firestone, Leisa A. Clark