Lecture / Reading

Between Fiction and Reality: Young Adult Literature, Justice, and the Next Generation

Sponsored by Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford Arts Institute, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Department of Theater and Performance Studies.


Thursday, April 29, 2021
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
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Since 2000, young adult literature has been a publishing powerhouse, popular with readers across a variety of demographics, but especially designed for the newly recognized category of personhood: the adolescent. Through narratives and characters exploring contemporary adolescence as informed by questions of diversity, race and class-based violence and the legal system, this genre engages their adolescent readers through narratives grounded in the harsh realities of today’s unjust world. Our next Humanities Center Arts + Justice Research Workshop will center these themes by featuring bestselling contemporary YA Lit authors Mark Oshiro (Anger is a Gift) and Dashka Slater (The 57 Bus) alongside Stanford Education Professor Antero Garcia (Critical Foundations in Young Adult Literature) for what promises to be an enlightening conversation on adolescence today, the YA Lit medium, and the justice of tomorrow. 

We hope that you and the SHC will join us on April 29th from 4:30-6:00 PM PST to tune in! Please RSVP at least 24 hours in advance to receive the Zoom link; the first 10 individuals to RSVP will receive a complimentary copy of either Anger is a Gift or The 57 Bus.

Pop Culture and #OwnVoices: Gleaning Whiteness in Contemporary YA | Antero Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Antero received his Ph.D. in the Urban Schooling division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to completing his Ph.D., Antero was an English teacher at a public high school in South Central Los Angeles. His work explores how technology and gaming shape learning, literacy practices, and civic identities. His recent books include Everyday Advocacy: Teachers who Change the Literacy Narrative, Good Reception: Teens, Teachers, and Mobile Media in a Los Angeles High School, and Compose Our World: Project-Based Learning in Secondary English Language Arts.

De-Centering Whiteness in YA Lit | Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of ANGER IS A GIFT (2019 Schneider Family Book Award) and EACH OF US A DESERT, both with Tor Teen. Their middle grade debut, THE INSIDERS, is out in 2021. When not writing, they run the online Mark Does Stuff universe and are trying to pet every dog in the world.

Context and Accountability: Bringing a Restorative Lens to Writing for Young Adults | Dashka Slater, journalist, novelist, and children's book author, has been telling stories since she could talk. She is the author of eleven books for children and adults, including The Wishing Box, an LA Times Best Book of the Year, and Escargot, winner of the Wanda Gag Read-Aloud Award. Her New York Times best-selling young-adult true crime narrative The 57 Bus has received numerous accolades, including the Stonewall Book Award, the California Book Award, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. Learn more at dashkaslater.com.

If you need a disability-related accommodation, please contact Devin Garnick at dgarnick@stanford.edu or (650) 497-9905. Requests should be made at least one week in advance of the event.