2023 is the final year of our project: ‘Discovering a ‘Good Read’: Cultural Pathways to Reading for Australian Teens in a Digital Age’. Earlier this year we published a newsletter providing an update on our research activities in 2022 and a preview of some our findings about how much Australian teenagers read for pleasure and the types of books they enjoy reading.
You can read the newsletter in full here
In this paper we examine the effects of the #ownvoices movement in the market for, and consumption of, young adult fiction through a focus on the promotional strategies and critical reception of a single book: Australian author Craig Silvey’s most recent young adult novel, Honeybee. Our data included author and publisher media interviews, social media reviews, and literary reviews in mainstream publications. Honeybee was selected as a case study because it has the hallmarks of a nationally influential Australian cultural product: its author has previously written novels that explore themes of discrimination and his works have been adapted for the screen and are considered suitable for study in Australian schools. On the other hand, Silvey, a heterosexual man, made the controversial choice to write from the perspective of a young trans woman. Our analysis found that the identity standpoint of the reader heavily influenced their judgement of the aesthetic quality of the novel, not simply the ethics of appropriating the voice of a marginalized other. Some self-identified LGBTQI+ readers also advocated strongly for a new kind of allyship in the book industry, one that platforms more diverse creators and thus redistributes opportunity in the creative industries.
You can read the full article https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/53952835
Dr Bronwyn Reddan’s publication for the teacher librarian community has just been published on Synergy.
The explainer covers the following:
- What opportunities do readers have to engage with books on the digital social media platforms YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok?
- How might this affect Australian teenagers when choosing leisure reading material?
- What are the reading practices and book talk teens engage in in the digital reading communities on online social media networks.
- The development of different social reading cultures on BookTube, Bookstagram, and BookTok.
Team member and QUT PhD candidate Amy Schoonens is researching the consumption practices of YA fiction on social media by teens and other content creators (including authors and publishers). Amy explores the ways teens use their reading experience to engage in digital and social media spaces creatively, critically, socially, and in ways that represent an extension of their book engagement and recreational reading practices. These practices include:
- Reviewing and rating the book
- Recreating the book in some form, such as book covers, or character fashion
- Curating aesthetics and themes from the book through digital image collages
- Creating memes about books and other kinds of fandoms