English Seminar: Samantha Poulos, ‘Reading Femininity and Gender Possibility in YA Fiction’
Samantha Poulos, ‘Reading Femininity and Gender Possibility in YA Fiction’
Young Adult (YA) literature is a genre that can expose and explore the performativity of gender. Texts of this category often highlight the binary hierarchy of masculinity and femininity through their emphasised noting of the clothing and physical appearance of characters. These descriptions of clothing and characters’ response to them can be used as a means of challenging gender stereotypes or as a means of supporting and perpetuating them. This paper will examine the way Tris Prior from Veronica Roth’s Divergent series and Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series engage with binary gender coded clothing to understand how femininity is being valorised and constructed in contemporary culture and presented in popular fiction. Using a methodology of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s paranoid and reparative reading will allow for an exploration of how gender is performed and constructed in these YA texts, and what possibilities the representation of gender in these texts can have for the formation of new understandings of gender identity outside the binary.
Samantha Poulos is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Sydney. Her thesis looks at the relationship between femininity, agency, and identity as presented by female protagonists in Young Adult (YA) literature. Her work explores the unique space YA literature creates for the formation and performance of gender and identity and how these texts reflect contemporary discussion of gender and feminism.
This event will be held online via Zoom.
Contact: Liam Semler (firstname.lastname@example.org).