Section 1: Tuesday 6:30-9:10 PM
Professor: Susanna Benko
In his description about writing for a young adult audience, Sherman Alexie explains:
“I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing every day and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.”
This course is designed to engage students in reading, discussing, and thinking critically about literature written for adolescents or young adults – especially about literature for young adults that handles adult issues. We will read roughly one YA text per week (~12-13 novels throughout the semester) and will also a variety of texts about the genre, including scholarly (e.g., from peer reviewed journals) and popular (e.g., blogs from authors). Although this is not a course about teaching young adult literature, we will also consider pedagogical approaches to these texts and the role of these texts in middle and secondary schools.
This course is open to all majors. There are opportunities within the course for students to self-select some texts and to take ownership of their assignments. In general, assignments in this course are designed to immerse students in the genre of YA literature and provide opportunities to read, write, and talk about important questions and topics within this area.