Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Amanda K. Allen joined the Department of English Language and Literature in September, 2010. Her research focuses on:
Dr. Allen's current project is a book-length manuscript that examines the effects of the publishing, librarian and educational fields on the history of young adult literature and, more specifically, on teen girl romance novels published from 1942 to 1967 (known as the female junior novel genre). Allen uses a feminist cultural materialist approach, drawing on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Luce Irigaray, and using previously unpublished archival documents, to suggest a revised history of young adult fiction: one that explores the neglected female junior novel genre in relation to the rise and fall of a semi-autonomous network of female producers and distributors (editors, critics, librarians), and contrasted against the academics who ultimately defined "good" young adult fiction. By examining the female junior novel texts and network in relation to Cold War politics, federal initiatives in education and librarianship and the history of the children's publishing industry in America, she suggests a heretofore hidden battle regarding who has the right—and ability—to define our current concept of young adult fiction.
“'(972): It’s not my fault I help girls realize they’re lesbians': Compulsory Homosexuality as Communication in the Online Wentworth Fandom." Wentworth Is the New Prisoner. Eds. Craig Batty, Tessa Dwyer, Radha O'Meara, Stayci Taylor. Peter Lang. Forthcoming.
"'Dear Miss Daly': 1940s Fan Letters to Maureen Daly and the Age-Grading and Gendering of Seventeenth Summer." Children's Literature Association Quarterly 41.1 (Spring 2016): 24–40
*Awarded Children's Literature Association (ChLA) ARTICLE AWARD
"Letters from the Editor: Anne Emery’s Correspondence (1946-1975) and the Rise and Fall of the Junior Novel Genre." Children's Literature Association (ChLA) Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana: June 13-15, 2019.
“'Just like real life': How Fan Letters to Betty Cavanna Complicate the Emergence of Canonical Young Adult Literature." Youngsters 2. Association for Research in the Cultures of Young People, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: May 9-12, 2019.
“Romance Vs. Realism: How Critical Battles over Postwar Teen Romance Novels Led to the Emergence of Canonical Young Adult Literature.” Researching the Romance Conference. Bowling Green State University: April 13-14, 2018.
“I’m not interested in being polite or heterosexual”: Compulsory Homosexuality in the Online Wentworth Fandom. Wentworth Is the New Prisoner Conference. RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia: April 5-6, 2018.
“(972) It’s not my fault I help girls realize they’re lesbians”: Femslash, the Question of Compulsory Homosexuality, and the Online Wentworth Fandom. Popular Culture Association National Conference, Indianapolis: March 28-31, 2018.
"Lord knows, they teach them how to dress': Junior Novel Critics and the Struggle to Define 'Good' Postwar Novels for Girls." International Research Society for Children's Literature (IRSCL). Toronto, Ontario: 29 July–2 August, 2017.