Abstract

This article interrogates the ways that material feminism can expand literary understandings of materiality, adolescence, and gender in the female young adult novel. Drawing from such theorists as Karen Barad and Rosi Braidotti, the article defines “mattering,” “becoming,” and “knowing in being” as forces that affect how adolescence is depicted in the young adult novel Beauty Queens (2011) by Libba Bray. Specifically, material feminism invites scholars to interrogate the mutually implicating relationships between the discursive and the material world of adolescence. Additionally, material feminism considers how the material world affects discourses about the female teenager in the overlapping areas of the body, technology, physical artifacts, and the natural world. In this formulation, identity is not a purely discursive function; it is formed in part through interactions with the material. Furthermore, philosophical interrogations of representationality elucidate the ontological gap between that which is enacted and its representation. These philosophical concepts are applied to Beauty Queens to position it as a material feminist novel.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1645
Print ISSN
0732-7730
Pages
pp. 379-400
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-11
Open Access
No
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