Title

Night of Awakening: Strength and Empowerment in the Young Adult Fantasy Genre

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

16-5-2021

End Date

22-5-2021

Keywords

Fantasy, YA Literature, Creative Writing, Academic Service Learning, Diversity, Sustainability

Abstract

The Young Adult Fantasy genre is often written off as a useless, or immature form of writing. However, there are studies that prove that this specific genre is not only engaging, but it is also empowering for young readers. By writing toward adolescents readers, authors are able to promote various ways in which their characters adjust or interact with their surroundings, which also influences their reader’s self and social awareness. By representing feminist perspectives and depicting the effects of trauma, YA literature fosters progressive social change and conveys the importance of mental health. In writing my own novel, The Night of Awakening, for my Douglas Honors College Thesis, I discovered how my own characters could represent young women’s power and mental health awareness to change long-standing institutions. My main character, Alina, is isolated from all those around her because of a mysterious power that has taken her hostage. While seemingly “powerless” in a world of magic, Alina embodies feminist power as she finds her own ways to battle ancient powers and acknowledge the trauma her own family has inflicted upon her. By using scholarly articles to meter my study, I was able to discover the ways in which my novel might impact the literature scene and influence young, impressionable minds. This presentation will briefly highlight debates over YA literature’s effects and then offer one model of how the genre can teach empowerment through a reading of a brief scene from my work.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Sarah Sillin and M. O'Brien

Department/Program

Douglas Honors College

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May 16th, 12:00 PM May 22nd, 12:00 PM

Night of Awakening: Strength and Empowerment in the Young Adult Fantasy Genre

Ellensburg

The Young Adult Fantasy genre is often written off as a useless, or immature form of writing. However, there are studies that prove that this specific genre is not only engaging, but it is also empowering for young readers. By writing toward adolescents readers, authors are able to promote various ways in which their characters adjust or interact with their surroundings, which also influences their reader’s self and social awareness. By representing feminist perspectives and depicting the effects of trauma, YA literature fosters progressive social change and conveys the importance of mental health. In writing my own novel, The Night of Awakening, for my Douglas Honors College Thesis, I discovered how my own characters could represent young women’s power and mental health awareness to change long-standing institutions. My main character, Alina, is isolated from all those around her because of a mysterious power that has taken her hostage. While seemingly “powerless” in a world of magic, Alina embodies feminist power as she finds her own ways to battle ancient powers and acknowledge the trauma her own family has inflicted upon her. By using scholarly articles to meter my study, I was able to discover the ways in which my novel might impact the literature scene and influence young, impressionable minds. This presentation will briefly highlight debates over YA literature’s effects and then offer one model of how the genre can teach empowerment through a reading of a brief scene from my work.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2021/CAH/7