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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

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The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

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2015-12

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Insect Girls: Poems

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Insect Girls is a chapbook-length collection of poems exploring the human inclination toward, and desire for, violence. Using insects and other bugs as motifs to show how people can often be treated like insects, these 25 poems complicate the relationships

Insect Girls is a chapbook-length collection of poems exploring the human inclination toward, and desire for, violence. Using insects and other bugs as motifs to show how people can often be treated like insects, these 25 poems complicate the relationships between violent people and their victims. The collection specifically focuses on women's issues such as domestic violence and female sexuality. The speakers range from a prostitute waiting in the rain, to a submissive girl at a fetish party, to a housewife with a werewolf for a husband. Violence and sex are depicted as inherently intertwined. Because of this, many characters in the book show a connection between desire and violence, how cruelty can have a kind of sex appeal. This is explored in the collection with depictions of sadomasochism and BDSM, where power dynamics can be at certain times problematic, and at others, beautiful. In writing these poems, I was inspired by the fact that upon seeing a harmless bug, so many people's first instinct is to crush it, for no reason at all except because they can. Bug imagery appears throughout the collection, illustrating the dehumanizing aspect of cruelty. The capture of a butterfly serves as a metaphor for sexual assault, and elsewhere bee wings show a desire for escape. Imagery as a whole is important to the collection because it illustrates not only the physical scars that result from violent actions, but also the strength and loveliness within the survivors. In Insect Girls, I didn't want to hide away ugliness, but I didn't want to hide away beauty either.

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2016-12