Amanda K. Allen

Hi! I’m an Assistant Professor in the Children’s Literature Program at Eastern Michigan University. If you’re interested in any of my past publications or presentations, please refer to my EMU faculty page.

My research focuses on:

  • mid-twentieth-century girls’ novels
  • women’s literary and employment history
  • the history of the children’s publishing industry in America
  • fandom studies (particularly the Harry Potter fandom)

My 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). I use a feminist cultural materialist approach, drawing on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Luce Irigaray, and integrate previously unpublished archival documents to suggest a revised history of young adult fiction: one that explores the neglected female junior novel genre in relation to the rise and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, I suggest a heretofore hidden battle regarding who has the right—and ability—to define our current concept of young adult fiction.

You’re welcome to contact me here:

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