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ERIC Number: EJ1171938
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Vampires and Witches Go to School: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction, Gender, and the Gothic
Smith, Michelle J.; Moruzi, Kristine
Children's Literature in Education, v49 n1 p6-18 Mar 2018
In the twenty-first century, the Gothic has experienced a cultural resurgence in literature, film, and television for young adult audiences. Young adult readers, poised between childhood and adulthood, have proven especially receptive to the Gothic's themes of liminality, monstrosity, transgression, romance, and sexuality (James, 2009, p. 116). As part of the Gothic's incorporation into a broad range of texts for young people, the school story--a conventionally realist genre--has begun to include supernatural gothic characters including vampires, witches, angels, and zombies, and has once again become a popular genre for young readers. In the past decade, in particular, a large number of Gothic young adult series with female protagonists set in boarding schools have been published (These include "Shadow Falls" (2011-2013) by C.C. Hunter, "Covenant" (2011-2013) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, "House of Night" (2007-2014) by P.C. Cast, "Mythos Academy" (2011-2014) by Jennifer Estep, "The Dragonian" (2013-2015) by Adrienne Woods, "The Morganville Vampires" (2006-2014) by Rachel Caine, "Blue Bloods" (2006-2013) by Melissa de la Cruz, and "Fallen" (2009-2012) by Lauren Kate). In this article, we will consider the first books in three such supernatural Gothic series that feature vampires and witches: Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" (2007), Claudia Gray's vampire romance "Evernight" (2008) and Rachel Hawkins' "Hex Hall" (2010). These books are significant for the ways in which the traditional school story is adapted and transformed by the Gothic to define models of contemporary girlhood. Although Diane Long Hoeveler suggests that "the 'body' that emerges from female gothic textuality is a highly gendered one" (1998, p. 18), what we see in these texts is how the school story setting enables Gothic female protagonists who are unique, disruptive, and potentially transformative, despite the limitations enforced by the heterosexual romance plot. We argue that these novels, while conservative in some respects, rework the school story genre in that they foreground the sexual and romantic desires of girl protagonists regardless of the threat they constitute to the institution and the safety of others.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A