Global Opportunities

SEL3434 : Making Young Adult Literature

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Teenage literature, books for new adults, YA… while the name may have changed, specialist publishing for adolescent readers has existed in the UK since (at least) the 1950s. But how have people thought about this category of literature, and how has it been marketed, circulated and read? This module will explore the history of young adult books in the UK. It will consider:

• How ideas about adolescents and their relationship to literature have changed since the early twentieth century
• The poetics of young adult literature: do these books have distinctive literary characteristics, or is this just a marketing category?
• The ways in which books for this age group have been published and marketed

We will consider the influence of publishing traditions from elsewhere, but will focus on texts first published in the UK.

Students will have the opportunity to use archives and special collections to support the book history / publishing dimensions of the module. We will consider what the material book can tell us about attitudes to books for adolescents, and examine how publishers and authors have approached the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures will focus on the history of the field, providing context on the social and publishing history which has shaped books for adolescents. Seminars will focus on specific texts, inviting students to consider how this context affected the development of the literature. Workshops will focus on skills and methodologies, including the use of archives and special collections.

The syllabus will vary from year to year. Indicative texts include:

* Dodie Smith - I Capture the Castle
* Elfrida Vipont - The Lark on the Wing
* Alan Garner - The Owl Service
* Berlie Doherty - Dear Nobody
* Aidan Chambers - Postcards from No Man's Land

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading185:0085:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:0035:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Methods are varied as is appropriate to the breadth and diversity of the module's content and intended learning outcomes. The lectures offer students wide-ranging overviews of the historical development of literature for adolescents, its relation to British culture and publishing, and critical strategies and methodologies appropriate to its study. One important strand of the module is the opportunity to gain experience of literary research in archives and special collections: the workshops will offer students he opportunity to gain practical skills related to this area, while further opportunities to engage with this type of research will be offered through structured online activities.. Building on this foundation, the two-hour seminars are designed to enable active learning and include short lectures focused on particular writers, plenary discussions, student presentations, and group work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M401500 words
Written exercise1A602500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment 1 will ask students to exercise their new skills in relation to the material book, archives and special collections.

Assessment 2 will ask students to bring together their understandong of the historical and theoretical basis of the mdule to produce their own investigation into a text or aspect of literature for adolescents.

Reading Lists