Twenty-First-Century Feminisms in Children's and Adolescent Literature

Twenty-First-Century Feminisms in Children's and Adolescent Literature

Roberta Seelinger Trites

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9781496813800

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Twenty-First Century Feminisms in Children’s and Adolescent Literature employs methodologies from material feminism to demonstrate how feminist thinking has influenced literature for the young in the last two decades. Material feminism provides people with ways of thinking about the interactions among discourse, embodiment, technology, the environment, cognition, and the ethics of caring. This book thus applies the principles behind material feminism and interrelated manifestations of feminism (such as Critical Race Theory and ecofeminism) to texts written for the young to demonstrate how shifting cultural perceptions of feminism affect what is happening both in publishing for the young and in the academic study of children’s and adolescent literature. The work begins with a specific focus on how language and the material interact before moving to an examination of race as an intersectionally-lived material phenomenon and a social construction. How embodied individuals interact with the environment is explored through ecofeminism and the dystopic; how people interact with each other involves romance, sexuality, and feminist ethics. In other words, the structure of the book moves from examinations of the individual to examinations of the individual in social groups, the individual and the environment, and the individual within relationships. Overall, the goal of this work is to interrogate how material feminism can expand our understanding of materiality, maturation, and gender—especially girlhood—as represented in narratives for preadolescents and adolescents.