University of Cambridge > > Centre for Research in Children's Literature at Cambridge > The Ghosted Adolescent: Denying and disguising ‘Deviant’ Desire

The Ghosted Adolescent: Denying and disguising ‘Deviant’ Desire

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This paper is part of a larger project, Silence and Sexuality: Reticent Responses to Adolescent Sexuality which examines the extensive use of silence and absence as rhetorical devices in fiction for and about sexually active teenagers. The main goal of this study is to create a systematic framework and common vocabulary for understanding how silence and absence function in literature. After a brief overview of the project as a whole, this paper will examine one particular form of silencing: ‘ghosting’. Texts which ‘ghost’ adolescent sexuality either obscure our view of the sexual adolescent or turn the character into a less confrontational form, for instance by metamorphosing the adolescent character prior to his/her initiation into sexuality. Lydia Kokkola is Adjunct Professor of Children’s Literature in English at Åbo Akademi University and has been Acting Professor of English Literature at the University of Turku, Finland. Since May 2009, she has been a research fellow at the Turku Institute.

This talk is part of the Centre for Research in Children's Literature at Cambridge series.

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