PhD Research

My PhD research investigates how practices of digital culture and authorship shaped the writing of a YA novel

This thesis comprises of a young adult novel and a contextualising dissertation. The novel The Networked Wonderland of Us explores practices of digital culture its relationship to authorship as a locus of action within young adult literature. The representation of its themes, story, characters and settings are shaped by key practices arising within the culture of networked technology, including blogging, media sharing and profile making. The study of these practices open interesting discussions around the broader issues of identity construction, self-narration and authenticity which run through the work. The thesis presents a contextualisation of this discussion by looking at digital technologies and their uses alongside traditional and new practices of authorship, highlighting key areas of interest for the author and novel.  The dissertation proceeds to consider these practices within the specific literary landscape of young adult fiction, placing the author in that landscape and reflecting on the processes of writing this work. The creative and critical work of this thesis seeks to better understand the impact of digital culture on young adult literature and the role of authorship for both writer and text. It argues that close investigation into these practices are best forwarded through practice-based research, concluding with the possible causes of the recent growth/ rise, etc., of young adult literature; even of its coming-of-age as a result of this broader cultural practice of participatory [self] authorship.