The genre of young adult fiction has brought forth some of the most successful novels of our time. Countless readers have been absorbed into J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, or have been at the edges of their seats as Katniss Everdeen fought for her life in the Hunger Games. Young adult fiction-which is intended for readers between 12 and 20 but is also enjoyed by older audiences-deals with a range of culturally relevant issues and, in so doing, can help its intended readers develop, challenge, and navigate their values and worldviews.
Throughout the seminar, we will explore constructions of race, class, gender, and species in YA fiction. In particular, we will discuss Rowling’s second Harry Potter novel, The Chamber of Secrets, as well as its screen and theatre adaptation. We will look at Suzanne Collin’s first two novels of the Hunger Games trilogy, The Hunger Games (2008) and Catching Fire (2009), and its screen adaptations, and, last but not least, Melorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses (2001), the first novel from the series of the same name, and the TV adaptation.
In preparation for the end-of-term paper, students will write and submit a short mid-term-essay (Prüfungsvorleistung). A detailed syllabus and list of secondary reading will be handed out in the first session.
Please purchase a copy of the novels (in English) and start reading in due time. You will have access to the screen adaptations of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games via Netflix or Amazon Prime. We will probably have a screen night to watch Noughts and Crosses together, as it is difficult to access the series online.