The intersectional Bildungsroman and resistance to sexism and racism in young adult fantasy literature. (2020)
AuthorsTaylor, Hannahshow all
The following work presents a discussion of what I term the Intersectional Bildungsroman, a theory I have developed following wide reading within the young adult fantasy genre. In this thesis I analyse and explain this theory through the texts of Alwyn Hamilton, Laura Sebastian, and Sabaa Tahir. Specifically, I focus on these authors’ treatment of issues such as sexism and racism, issues of continuing importance despite the fact that some people believe we now live in a post-feminist and post-racist age. Each chapter looks at one of these authors and their respective series, highlighting the different historical, cultural, and social influences they have chosen to appropriate in their exploration of the intersectional bildungsroman. Throughout this thesis, I demonstrate the way in which these authors have utilised things like the French Revolution, settler colonialism, and rape culture in order to highlight the presence of sexist and racist ideologies. As a result, I hope to prove the validity of the young adult fantasy genre for further scholarship. Ultimately, I demonstrate that the genre offers more than simply escapism from reality, but also serves to comment on current social situations in a way that encourages the audience to engage in real-world action against the sexism and racism they witness and/or experience every day.