Supernatural Youth
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Supernatural Youth : The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture

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The goal of Supernatural Youth: The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture, edited by Jes Battis, is to analyze the ways in which young heroic protagonists are presented in popular literary and visual texts. Supernatural Youth is essential for educators who work in the fields of English, media studies, women's studies, LGBT studies, and sociology, as well as undergraduate students who are interested in popular culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0739186175
  • 9780739186176

Review quote

Supernatural Youth is truly a unique collection. In over a dozen essays written, appropriately, by engaged young scholars, this readable, provocative, and comprehensive book offers a multifaceted, many-voiced, multi-media consideration of the young hero/heroine. It will add years to its readers' sophistication while making their imaginations young again. -David Lavery, founding editor of Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association Jes Battis has gathered a lively set of essays on a subject of serious significance-the deeply needed fantasy stories of 'embattled and marginalized youth.' From Gideon Haberkorn and Verena Reinhardt's aphoristic appreciation of novelist Terry Pratchett to David Kociemba's defense of the extraordinary ordinariness of Buffy's Xander; from Alison Ching's analysis of the archetypes of Holly Bush's urban fantasy to Hugh Davis's tour of the allusions of Hex, these essays provide a vivid picture of the kind of hero that lives at the heart of the best current YA fantasy. Perhaps most important of all, each contributor, in a different way, focuses on the ethics underlying these stories of what Battis calls 'queer and questioning teens. -Rhonda V. Wilcox, Gordon College To quote Tamora Pierce, the author of The Song of the Lioness and several other young adult novels, fantasy is a 'literature of empowerment.' This aphorism takes on new meaning in light of the many provocative observations put forth in Supernatural Youth: The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture. Bringing together thirteen original essays that transport the reader from the outer edges of Terry Pratchett's Discworld to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts and beyond, this energetic collection will doubtless spark a reassessment of our most treasured cinematic, literary, and televisual texts (including Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea volumes, Neil Gaiman's comic book series The Books of Magic, and Joss Whedon's cult sensation Buffy the Vampire Slayer). But this book's greatest contribution is its thoroughgoing exploration of the ways in which an 'intangible, ethical magic' (to borrow the words of Jes Battis) at the heart of these and other less widely discussed texts (such as the TV series Hex and Sabrina the Teenage Witch) informs the construction of gender, sexuality, and adolescent identity among social outcasts. Like Pierce's allegorical tales involving cross-dressing and lesbianism, Supernatural Youth challenges us 'to see beyond the concrete universe and to envision other ways of living and alternative mindsets' -an invitation that can empower readers young and old alike. -David Scott Diffrient, Colorado State Universityshow more

About Jes Battis

Jes Battis is assistant professor of English at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. He is also the editor of Homofiles: Theory, Sexuality, and Graduate Studies (Lexington Books, 2011).show more

Table of contents

Introduction: Supernatural Youth, by Jes Battis Chapter One: Spiritual, Not Sexual: The Plight of the Adolescent Human Wizard in Diane Duane's Young Wizards Series, by Alice Mills Chapter Two: Magical Learning and Loss: Hermione Granger and the Female Intellectual in Harry Potter, by Alissa Burger Chapter Three: Magic, Adolescence, and Education on Terry Pratchett's Discworld, by Gideon Haberkorn and Verena Reinhardt Chapter Four: "Does the Phrase 'Vampire Slayer' Mean Anything to You?": The Discursive Construction of the Just Woman Warrior Trope in Joss Whedon's Buffy, the Vampire Slayer TV Series, by David Nel Chapter Five: Why Xander Matters: The Extraordinary Ordinary in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by David Kociemba Chapter Six: "Kinda Gay": Queer Cult Fandom and Willow's (Bi)Sexuality in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by Jennifer Moorman Chapter Seven: Postfeminism in a Postmodern Landscape: Navigating Difference on Veronica Mars, by Cary Elza Chapter Eight: "Bigger Things to Worry About": Allusions and the British Fantasy Tradition in Hex, by Hugh H. Davis Chapter Nine: Being Harvey Kinkel: The Laws of the Other Realm in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, by Tiffany S. Teofilo Chapter Ten: Closed Minds: Tamora Pierce's Teenagers and the Problem of Desire, by Anastasia Salter Chapter Eleven: Nerds, Geeks, and Dorks, Oh My!: The Teen Wizard as Social Outcast, by R.C. Neighbors Chapter Twelve: Breaking the Spell: Power and Choice in Holly Black's Valiant, by Alison Ching Chapter Thirteen: Enrolling in the 'Hidden School': Timothy Hunter and the Education of the Teenage Comic Book Magus, by Jason L. Winslade About the Contributors Indexshow more

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