1st Edition

Gender(ed) Identities Critical Rereadings of Gender in Children's and Young Adult Literature

Edited By Tricia Clasen, Holly Hassel Copyright 2017
    302 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This volume brings together diverse, cross-disciplinary scholarly voices to examine gender construction in children's and young adult literature. It complements and updates the scholarship in the field by creating a rich, cohesive examination of core questions around gender and sexuality in classic and contemporary texts. By providing an expansive treatment of gender and sexuality across genres, eras, and national literature, the collection explores how readers encounter unorthodox as well as traditional notions of gender. It begins with essays exploring how children's and YA literature construct communities formed by gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and in face-to-face and virtual spaces. Section II's central focus is how gendered identities are formed, unpacking how texts for young readers ranging from Amish youth periodicals to the blockbuster Divergent series trace, reproduce, and shape gendered identity socialization. In section III, the essential literary function of translating trauma into narrative is addressed in classics like Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna, as well as more recent works. Section IV's focus on sexuality and romance encompasses fiction and nonfiction works, examining how children's and young adult literature can serve as a regressive, progressive, and transgressive site for construction meaning about sex and romance. Last, Section IV offers new readings of paratextual features in literature for children -- from the classic tale of Cinderella to contemporary illustrated novels. The key achievement of this volume is providing an updated range of multidisciplinary and methodologically diverse analyses of critically and commercially successful texts, contributing to the scholarship on children's and YA literature; gender, sexuality, and women's studies; and a range of other disciplines.

    Gender(ed) Identities: Critical Rereadings of Gender in Children's and Young Adult Literature

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Section 1: Gender(ing) Communities
    Chapter 2: History Repeating Itself: The Portrayal of Female Characters in Young Adult Literature at the Beginning of the Millennium (Suico)
    Chapter 3: Girls Online: Representations of Femininity in the Digital Age (Flanagan)
    Chapter 4: Academic Agency in YA Novels by Mexican American Women Authors (Cummins)
    Chapter 5: Queer Consciousness/Community in David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing: “One the Other Never Leaving” (Matos)
    Section 2: Developing Gender(ed) Identities
    Chapter 6: “What Defines Me?” – Performativity, Gender and Ethnicity in Korean American YA Fiction (Lee and Stephens)
    Chapter 7: Gendered Stories, Advice, and Narrative Intimacy and Amish Young Adult Literature (Brown)
    Chapter 8: One Choice, Many Petals: Reading the Female Voice of Tris in the Divergent series (Jennings)
    Chapter 9: Who Is a Girl? The Tomboy, the Lesbian, and the Transgender Child (Friddle)

    Section 3: Gendered Trauma, Loss, and Healing
    Chapter 10: Pedophobia and the Orphan Girl in Pollyanna and A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning  (Tribunella)
    Chapter 11: "Kindred Spirits": Vulnerability as the Key to Transformative Female Relationships in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (Pilmaier)
    Chapter 12:  Speaking the Bitter Truth: The Role of the Creative Imagination in the Process of Healing (Mallan)

    Section 4: Complicating Sexuality and Romance
    Chapter 13: Paradise Contested: Sexuality and Sacrifice in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (Zanichkowsky)
    Chapter 14: Growing Up Girl: A Rhetoric of Restrained Empowerment in American Girl's Self-Help Books about Puberty (De La Cruz)
    Chapter 15: Gender and the Perfected Female in the Contemporary Resurrection Allegory of Breaking Dawn (Casper)
    Chapter 16: Masculinity and Romantic Myth in Contemporary YA Romance (Clasen)

    Section 5: Gender/Genre, Texts, and Contexts
    Chapter 17: When the Slipper Doesn't Fit: Construction of the 'Ugly' Female in Cinderella Picture-Book Illustrations 1800-2015 (Wildermuth and Robinson)
    Chapter 18: Girls Write Back: Feminism and Disordered Writing (Bherer)
    Chapter 19: Freedom in Fantasy?: Gender Restrictions in Children’s Literature (Long)
    Chapter 20: Hungry for Change: Lessons from The Hunger Games as Consciousness-Raising (Egan)


    Tricia Clasen is Professor of Communication and Theater Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, USA.

    Holly Hassel is Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County, USA.