English | Literature for Young Adults
L391 | 13014 | Andrew Miller
L391 LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS
13014 - 2:30p-3:45p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
The definition of “young adult literature” is notoriously
uncertain; to start with, it is unclear what counts as “young.”
But other basic questions also bedevil anyone hoping to teach this
material: are there particular themes that characterize these
works? Typical formal features? Repeated purposes or functions?
These perplexities can be consequential when you are trying to
select books for young people to read, of course, but they also
matter if we are to understand our own (adult) response to those
texts. And so our leading aim this semester will be to develop a
working understanding of just what young adult literature is. To do
this we are likely to read some classics of the genre (Winesburg,
Ohio; To Kill a Mockingbird; Catcher in the Rye) as well as some
more recent novels (The Golden Compass; Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer’s Stone; maybe King Dork). While this is not a writing
course, you should know that a high value will be placed on good
(and correct) prose: writing assignments will probably include one
short and two substantial papers. We are also likely to have
quizzes; we’ll certainly have two tests.