Young Adult Fiction, Feminist Pedagogy, and Convergence Culture: “Fangirling” as a Feminist Act

Title: Young Adult Fiction, Feminist Pedagogy, and Convergence Culture: “Fangirling” as a Feminist Act
Authors: Barton, Tina
Date: 2017
Abstract: JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga are widely recognized as three of the most successful recent young adult franchises. Although it may not seem so at first, each of these series has a preoccupation with feminist learning; each series’ author, whether explicitly or implicitly, addresses the extent to which their protagonists and fans can learn feminist lessons within, or from, these texts. Each protagonist does seem to undergo some kind of learning experience, and by measuring these against what feminist education scholars such as bell hooks call a feminist pedagogical model, I show that the reality of what is expressed in these texts does not necessarily align with the ways Hermione, Katniss, and Bella have been discussed by critics and fans. Further, I argue that despite their divergence from the didactic nature of earlier feminist young adult fiction, such as that written by Judy Blume, by making connections between young adult fiction and what fan theorist Henry Jenkins calls “convergence culture”, young readers of Rowling’s, Collins’s, and Meyer’s texts, through their critical and creative engagement with online fan activities, are actually participating in a kind of feminist education that interestingly embodies the aims of feminist pedagogy.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -